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Divine Rivals
Cover of Divine Rivals
Divine Rivals
A Novel

When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.
After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.
To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish—into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.
Shadow and Bone meets Lore in Rebecca Ross's Divine Rivals, an epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel filled with hope and heartbreak, and the unparalleled power of love.

When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.
After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.
To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish—into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.
Shadow and Bone meets Lore in Rebecca Ross's Divine Rivals, an epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel filled with hope and heartbreak, and the unparalleled power of love.

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About the Author-
  • Rebecca Ross is the #1 New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author of fantasy books for teens and adults. She has written multiple highly acclaimed duologies, including Letters of Enchantment, Elements of Cadence, and The Queen's Rising as well as two standalone novels: Dreams Lie Beneath and Sisters of Sword & Song. When not writing, she can be found in her garden where she plants wildflowers and story ideas. She resides in Northeast Georgia with her husband and her dog.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2023
    A war between gods plays havoc with mortals and their everyday lives. In a time of typewriters and steam engines, Iris Winnow awaits word from her older brother, who has enlisted on the side of Enva the Skyward goddess. Alcohol abuse led to her mother's losing her job, and Iris has dropped out of school and found work utilizing her writing skills at the Oath Gazette. Hiding the stress of her home issues behind a brave face, Iris competes for valuable assignments that may one day earn her the coveted columnist position. Her rival for the job is handsome and wealthy Roman Kitt, whose prose entrances her so much she avoids reading his articles. At home, she writes cathartic letters to her brother, never posting them but instead placing them in her wardrobe, where they vanish overnight. One day Iris receives a reply, which, along with other events, pushes her to make dramatic life decisions. Magic plays a quiet role in this story, and readers may for a time forget there is anything supernatural going on. This is more of a wartime tale of broken families, inspired youths, and higher powers using people as pawns. It flirts with clich�d tropes but also takes some startling turns. Main characters are assumed White; same-sex marriages and gender equality at the warfront appear to be the norm in this world. Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2023) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 6, 2023
    In this affecting fantasy duology opener from Ross (the Elements of Cadence duology), 18-year-old Iris Winnow’s life is upended when long-slumbering gods wake and begin battling for control of the fictional land of Cambria, using human armies as proxies. After Iris’s brother, Forest, enlists to fight, and her mother is fired from her job for drinking while at work, Iris must quit school to help make ends meet. Her new writing position at local newspaper Oath Gazette doesn’t pay much, prompting Iris to campaign for a promotion. That won’t be easy, however, given the talent and connections of her 19-year-old rival, Roman Kitt. At night, Iris writes to Forest using an old typewriter and, since he has no mailing address, slips the letters under her wardrobe door, after which they mysteriously disappear. Iris hopes that Forest is somehow receiving her correspondence, but in truth, Roman is. Moved by her words, Roman responds under a pseudonym, triggering a chain of life-altering events. Ross elevates predictable plotting with inventive worldbuilding, nuanced characterizations, and prose by turns dreamy and atmospherically tense. The result is an ardent romance and a harrowing exploration of war’s horrors and heartbreaks. The protagonists cue as white. Ages 13–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary & Media.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2023

    Gr 9 Up-Aspiring newspaper columnists at the Oath Gazette, Iris and Roman are competing for the same job. Circumstance has pushed Iris's family away, forcing her to stand alone on the edge of poverty, while Roman's wealthy father pulls the strings to every aspect of his life. When Iris tries to write a letter to her brother on the front lines, it gets magically redirected to Roman, who writes back anonymously. When the final threads tying her to the city of Oath are cut, Iris quits her job and heads to the war front to discover what's really happened to the soldiers who go missing there, including her brother. Ross paints a vivid historical picture with magic adding color to the worldbuilding without overtaking it. Iris is a heroine to root for as she braves the front lines, and Roman goes on his own journey towards independence; their characters are rich and well balanced in the first half of the novel, but once Iris goes to the front, Roman's perspective falls away. The budding romance feels lopsided as Roman holds all the power at the start of their relationship, as a well-educated man from a wealthy, influential family who knows who he's writing to. Reveals and secrets from Iris's investigation add more plotlines to set up the sequel, at the expense of a full arc. VERDICT More historical than fantasy, this is a rivals-to-lovers romance that requires a sequel to be satisfying. Consider purchasing for larger collections.-Emmy Neal

    Copyright 2023 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    March 15, 2023
    Grades 10-12 Iris Winnow is a journalist locked in a battle for columnist with newsroom rival Roman Kitt. Her mother is struggling with addiction, and her brother is missing at the front lines of a war between gods. Missing him deeply, she writes letters to no one--and, to her surprise, responses appear. Iris forges a deep connection with her secret correspondent, not knowing that the person she is falling in love with is actually her rival. When tragedy strikes, she goes to the front as a war correspondent, and Roman follows. This book, the first in the Iris at the Front series, is YA historical fiction with a touch of fantasy. Ross weaves the letters that Iris and Roman exchange into the account of their lives in the newsroom and at the front. The gods are a distant but encroaching presence in the story, which focuses primarily on the reality of everyday people at war. Stories of the gods are interspersed throughout the book, which will appeal to fans of mythology combined with everyday life as well as enemies-to-lovers romance.

    COPYRIGHT(2023) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publishers Weekly

    "An ardent romance and a harrowing exploration of war's horrors and heartbreaks... with inventive worldbuilding, nuanced characterizations, and prose by turns dreamy and atmospherically tense."

  • Paste Magazine "Divine Rivals is another absolute winner from author Rebecca Ross, who is rapidly proving there's very little she can't do in the realm of fantasy fiction."
  • Shelby Mahurin, New York Times bestselling author of Serpent & Dove "Rich and romantic--if stories had scent, this one would smell like a mug of black tea, the ink ribbons of a typewriter, and that addictive spice called enemies to lovers."
  • Adalyn Grace, New York Times bestselling author of Belladonna "A sweeping start to a beautiful and romantic new series. Ross weaves her stories in such a vulnerable and delicate way, truly with a style all her own. I adored this book."
  • Rachel Griffin, New York Times bestselling author of The Nature of Witches "Deeply romantic and beautifully written, Divine Rivals is a story that lingers long after the final page. Set in a world steeped in mythology, Iris's journey to the front is both fascinating and moving, with an ending that will leave readers aching for the next book. I absolutely loved it."
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    St. Martin's Publishing Group
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Rebecca Ross
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