In Seriden, bloodlines do not determine the passing of the crown. Anyone can become the next ruler. Well, mostly anyone. All that is required is for the king to speak their name before he dies. So, that means the Nameless — the bottom rung in a three-tiered caste system consisting of Royals, Legals, and Nameless — are out of the running. Pretty much everyone assumed that the king would name his daughter to be the successor, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. No one will know for sure whom he has chosen until that person chooses to reveal the magical tattoo that appeared on their shoulder after the king died. This is where it gets super weird, though… because Coin suddenly has this tattoo. Coin is the name she goes by on the streets, but that is just because the Nameless have to have some sort of a way to identify one another. (She was an orphan who was raised on the streets and likely ended up with her nickname because she was a good pickpocket.) How in the world, then, could the king have named her his heir if she doesn’t even have a name? And how will this tattoo be anything more than a death sentence, since the Royals and Legals will surely oppose a Nameless ascending to the throne and will likely to anything in their power to transfer the magic of the tattoo to themselves?
Though there is always the possibility of a sequel, this book was technically written as a standalone, so you won’t be stuck waiting 5 years to see how it all ends! Aside from the ability to find out how it all ends, I also really appreciated the way this author explored class and how it relates to power and politics. Want a book with a powerful female protagonist to give you a little inspiration heading into the new year? Look no further!