“I would rather die a thousand deaths than have never met you.”
I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself regarding this review. I’ve spent weeks hyping up The Fate of Stars almost daily on social media, hosted a giveaway for a special edition copy of it, and even conducted a Zoom interview with the author, SD Simper, to talk about it. After all that, I began to wonder if I could even come up with anything worthwhile to say that I haven’t already said. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried.
The Fate of Stars by SD Simper is the first book in her sapphic mermaid trilogy, Sea & Stars. Let’s start with a refresher on the premise.
“A devout mermaid. A disgraced princess. A feud as ancient as the gods.
Worlds collide when Tallora is kidnapped from her ocean home and forced to be a pet to a tyrannical foreign empire. Her only hope for rescue lies with a sworn enemy—Princess Dauriel, infamous for her stone heart and conflicted past. But when Dauriel’s kingdom comes to the cusp of war, could their uneasy alliance be the key to defeating a common foe? Or will their growing feelings for each other lead them to ruin?
From the world of FALLEN GODS comes a tale of ancient magic and cutthroat politics—and finding redemption through love.”
So, what happens when a bisexual mermaid and stone butch princess whose paths were never supposed to cross meet and fall in love? Read this book and find out! The Fate of Stars is everything I could’ve ever wanted in a f/f fantasy novel. Magic, mermaids, and enemies to lovers? Sign me the fuck up, honestly. I could write an essay length review of the banter alone, but I’ll spare you (for now).
On a more serious note, I loved this book and story. One thing that really stood out to me was that the author handled the inherent power imbalance in the relationship with such nuance, and even had the characters explicitly discuss it between themselves! I’ve never seen that in a book like this, and it was much appreciated.
The Fate of Stars At a Glance:
Genre: High Fantasy, Lesbian Romance
Themes/Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Swords & Sorcery, Butch/Femme, Taming the Beast/Thawing the Ice Queen
LGBT Rep? Yep! The main character, Tallora, is a bisexual mermaid. Her eventual love interest is a stone butch lesbian.
Own Voices? Yes!
Content Warnings (CW): References to suicide, infertility (and trauma surrounding it), emotionally abusive parents, a few instances of graphic violence, threats of sexual assault (but no actual assault)
Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I was a beta reader for the entire Sea & Stars trilogy, but I’d honestly be raving about The Fate of Stars just as much if I hadn’t been.
Also, how gorgeous is this special edition alternate cover?