"How did the hipster burn their tongue?"

"They drank their coffee before it was cool."

Look, I'm not here to brag (okay, I'm totally here to brag), but I can't wait to shout from the rooftops that I started reading the Five Crowns of Okrith series before it became a major pop culture franchise. If you've been living under a rock or aren't on BookTok (...because you live under a rock), The Five Crowns of Okrith series is the brain child of AK Mulford (she/they). AK started out as an indie-published author with the first two books in the series: The High Mountain Court and The Witches' Blade, which got so much attention on TikTok that Harper Voyager snatched her up to continue publishing the series traditionally. For good reason. AK is an insanely talented storyteller who immerses you in the world of Okrith and the court politics, evil takeover plots, and drug trade plaguing the nation.

The latest installment, The Evergreen Heir, is the book I've most looked forward to since I read The High Mountain Court in September 2021. It follows Neelo (they/them), the heir of Saxbridge, next in line to the crown of the Southern Court. If you're bookish, you have to know that Neelo is ALL OF US. They would 1000% rather hole up in the library than do any peopling, they're riddled with anxiety, and they feel lost in the expectations that the world has of them. So. Freaking. Relatable. 

Way back in The Witches Blade, Talhan Catullus, 1/2 of the Twin Eagles, has a near-death experience, and Renwick (insert all the fire emojis here for my bb Renwick) falls beside Tal and whispers *something* into Tal's ear...something that he has Seen. Something to keep Tal fighting to live.

From that very second (actually, before that, but whatever), I have been DYING for the "secret" to be that Tal and Neelo would end up together. While Neelo isn't necessarily grumpy, they are reserved, which is the polar opposite to Tal's social butterfly nature. Where Tal is bright, loud, and in the center of the dance floor, Neelo is wrapped in their beloved black ensembles, quiet, and hidden in an alcove with one of their many secret-pocket books.

The TENSION in this book FED ME FOR DAYS. It was torturously exquisite, probably because we've been feeling this tension in the books leading up to Neelo's. While I'm not going to tell you IF Tal and Neelo are endgame, trust me, you do NOT want to miss this book (or the entire series!!!) because it is so fantastically written that I'm forever in awe of AK Mulford.

Other things you may love? I GOTCHU: Found family, friends to lovers, epic fantasy, fae, spice that'll make you sweat. What more do you need?

This book was perfect in so many ways: for anxious bookish people, for fantasy lovers, for adventure lovers, and for romance lovers.

I'm going to need you to go shopping at all of the links below, okay? I promise, you'll thank me!

The Evergreen Heir (Book 4 of the Five Crowns of Okrith) (nonbinary MC!!)
The Rogue Crown (Book 3 of the Five Crowns of Okrith) (sapphic!!)
The Witches' Blade (Book 2 of the Five Crowns of Okrith) (MMC is Draco Malfoy all grown up!!)
The High Mountain Court (Book 1 of the Five Crowns of Okrith) (meet the found family and fall in love!!)

Love and a pot of Rish's famous stew,


Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review with my honest feedback. If you purchase a copy using my Amazon affiliate link above, I will receive a small commission which I will use to justify my literary addictions and to spoil my dogs (probably).