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Divine Rivals: A Novel (Letters of…
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Divine Rivals: A Novel (Letters of Enchantment Book 1) (edition 2023)

by Rebecca Ross (Author)

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1,949578,518 (4.29)9
Fantasy. Romance. Historical Fiction. Young Adult Fiction. HTML:

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 vanishâ??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.… (more)

Member:bsheber
Title:Divine Rivals: A Novel (Letters of Enchantment Book 1)
Authors:Rebecca Ross (Author)
Info:Wednesday Books (2023), 356 pages
Collections:Your library
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Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
The hype is well deserved for “Divine Rivals.” It has vintage vibes, grounded fantasy setting inspired by history, and dramatic romance.

Iris Winnow and Roman Kitt are rival journalists for the same paper in a fantasy world inspired by the WWI/WWII era. Iris’s brother is missing at the frontlines and Iris writes letters to him and slips them under her wardrobe door. Unknown to her, the letters are being transported to Roman Kitt. One day Roman writes back, knowing exactly who is on the other side, and the two begin to rely on each other’s letters. Similar to “The Shop Around the Corner” and “You’ve Got Mail,” love begins to bloom through the written typed word, while rivalry continues face-to-face because Iris doesn’t know the identity of the mysterious writer.

IT’S SO GOOD.

There’s also a war going on were gods that have awakened are creating havoc in the human world, calling soldiers up to fight for their side. As reporters, the characters witness the horrors of war and search to put the pieces together about how it all began. There’s so much in this book that is progressively revealed, which means there isn’t an annoying info dump at the beginning, and I don’t want to give anything away.

Honestly, the summary did not appeal to me, but for some reason I checked it out… three times! Third time's the charm because I finally read it, and as soon as I finished it I went out and bought a copy. “Divine Rivals” is one of my favorite books of 2023. ( )
  caaleros | May 17, 2024 |
The gods Dacre and Enva are at war, and Iris Winnow's brother, Forest, has gone off to fight. In their town, however, they are largely untouched by the war and the newspaper where Iris works doesn't like to cover it. She misses her brother and her mother lost her job drinking, so getting the columnist job that she and Roman Kitt are rivals for is of paramount importance. Meanwhile, she writes letters to her brother on her Nan's old typewriter, sticking them into the wardrobe where they disappear. And then one day, Iris gets a letter back - and the letter writer isn't Forest.

An enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance that's been getting a lot of hype. It was fun to see Roman and Iris's friendship develop over their correspondence (we're told pretty early on who the other letter writer is), though it is a little You've Got Mail where one party knows and the other doesn't. As Iris continues her reporting, we get more details of the war throughout as well, and stories of the gods. I did think that for a slow burn there were still some decisions that felt abrupt, and while I expected a cliffhanger from a first book of a duology, I was a little annoyed by the ending. ( )
  bell7 | May 14, 2024 |
Representation: N/A
Trigger warnings: Military violence and war themes, explosions, blood, grief and loss depiction, death of a sister in the past in a body of water and a mother, physical injury, conscription, hospitalisation, panic attack
Score: Six out of ten.
I own this book. Find this review on The StoryGraph.

Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross was overhyped. So overhyped. I wanted to read this one ever since it won an award for the Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction book in 2023. No library had it at the time so I had to buy it. I glanced at the blurb, making it seem intriguing, but when I closed the final page, I thought it was only okay.

It starts with Iris Winnow and Roman Kitt, living their separate lives amid a war between two all powerful beings, with Iris sending letters to her missing brother while working as a reporter at a news company. Unexpectedly, Roman, intercepts those letters, which is eventually the start of a relationship between the two, even though he was Iris' rival. The story promised an enemies-to-lovers romance set in a historical urban fantasy setting akin to World War One, but it felt more like a typical romance. Divine Rivals tried to do too much, detracting its plot with so many subplots I didn't know what it was about. Focusing on one storyline would've improved the reading experience.

Roman wasn't a rival nor an enemy, nor did he have any grudges with Iris, making the blurb slightly misleading. The characters are okay, but lack depth, and I didn't feel like Roman and Iris had any chemistry and the relationship felt shoehorned, not genuine. If Ross wrote more depth into them, she'd convince me that the two central characters have chemistry. I prefer to read fantasies with little to no romance and not a romantasy, which may explain why the worldbuilding felt like a wasted opportunity. The fantastical aspects were barely there, and how could Roman and Iris live like the war doesn't exist? Plot armour? Perhaps. Expanding the world would've made me enjoy Divine Rivals more. The conclusion is abrupt, leaving me hoping the next and final instalment, Ruthless Vows, will be better.
( )
  Law_Books600 | May 13, 2024 |
February 2024 Reread:
I enjoyed this one even more now that I knew what the focus of the book would be. On to book #2 now!

Quotes
I don't want to wake up when I'm seventy-four only to realize that I haven't lived.

I am coming to love him, in two different ways. Face to face, and word to word.

She had seen the fragility of life. How one could wake up to a sunrise and die by sunset. She had run through the smoke and the fire and the agony with Roman, his hand in hers. They had both tasted Death, brushed shoulders with it. They had scars on their skin and on their souls from that fractured moment, and now Iris saw more than she had seen before. She saw the light, but she also saw the shadows.
Time was precious here.




October 2023:
I know that 1,000s of others have said it, but that ending…wow. I will be reading the next book for sure.
I really liked all the letters that were exchanged. They were well-written and really added to the story.
It was difficult to get into this book until the 50% mark. I think it is because it was a lot more romance-focused than I was expecting. If that is what you’re going into this expecting, you will love this one.

4 Stars

Content: a non-descriptive *scene* between a married couple, war violence (think WWI) ( )
  libraryofemma | Apr 18, 2024 |
This book was interesting, but it wasn't something I would have read outside of this class. I thought the writing was great and the plot was interesting. ( )
  aiudim2 | Apr 16, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
It is one of the best published book that I had ever read, The gods are at battle once more after sleeping for millennia. However, Iris Winnow, who is eighteen, only wants to keep her family together. Her brother is absent from the front lines, and her mother battles addiction. Her greatest chance is to get promoted to columnist at the Oath Gazette.

Iris sends letters to her brother to distract herself from her anxieties, and she conceals them under her wardrobe door, where they end up in the hands of Roman Kitt, her chilly but attractive competition at the paper. He writes Iris back in secret, and the two of them create a bond that will accompany Iris to the front lines of conflict—for love, the future of humanity, and her brother.

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Write me of hope and love, and hearts that endured.
—EMILY DICKINSON
Dedication
For Isabel Ibañez,
who read this book as I wrote it,
who convinced me to add Roman's POV,
& who occasionally lets me get away with things.

P.S. I'm talking about Chapter 34.
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Cold fog had settled over the depot like a burial shroud, and Iris Winnow thought the weather couldn't have been better.
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Fantasy. Romance. Historical Fiction. Young Adult Fiction. HTML:

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 vanishâ??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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