Book Review: A Veil of Gods and Kings (Apollo Ascending #1) (ARC)

Expected publication: April 27th 2022

Author: Nicole Bailey

A god fighting his fate. A prince burdened with secrets. And a romance that could end in flames.

Apollo is a deity… almost. Half mortal and refusing to take his position as god of the sun, he spends his nights drowning out haunting memories and his days avoiding responsibilities.

Until his father forces him into an ultimatum:

Ascend immediately.

Or spend the year mentoring under the obnoxious Prince Hyacinth.

Forced together, Apollo and Hyacinth grapple with their mutual disdain for each other.

But what starts as a kindling of irritation begins to burn into something new. A spark that, if it turns to flame, could incinerate everything they’ve always protected.

A reimagining of the Greek myth of Apollo and Prince Hyacinth, this NA, enemies-to-lovers fantasy series is a whirlwind journey full of romance, intrigue, and enthralling characters.

A Veil of Gods and Kings is the first novel in the Apollo Ascending series, which is a retelling of Apollo and Hyacinth (Cyn). As I love retellings and I greatly enjoy Greek mythology, this novel seemed like a perfect fit for me. While I am familiar with the tale, I enjoyed how the author made it her own. The story does begin with an introduction to Apollo and many familiar mythological characters, which may seem initially overwhelming to those with zero knowledge, however, I enjoyed how the author laid everything out as it gave a nice set up to the rest of the story. Apollo is sent by Zeus to spend a year with Prince Hyacinth to be mentored to help complete his ascension even though Apollo has no desire to ascend to be the God of the Sun.

The romance that forms between Apollo and Hyacinth was a nice slow-burn where their chemistry and connection grew a lot over time. The story includes both Apollo and Hyacinth’s POV, so the reader gets to follow both sides of the story. The two begin as “enemies” that do not hate each other but are wearier of the other based on their reputations. The two initially avoid the other until it becomes impossible, and they begin to interact. Both have their own perceived personalities and a lot of growth throughout the story. There were some moments where each were unlikable towards the beginning, but they are both lovable as the story moves forward.

Additionally, to Apollo and Hyacinth, Epiphany, a princess and Cyn’s younger sister, gets her own POV. I loved that she was plus-sized as it was a representation that came as a pleasant surprise in the story. Epiphany has a growing friendship with Temi, Apollo’s sister, and I loved watching their relationship grow. Their bond was very sweet, and I loved how they supported each other. Epiphany has a forbidden romance subplot, which was sweet and enjoyable. It is not explicitly said, but many elements of Temi point to her being aromatic, which is another representation that I was not expecting. While I greatly enjoyed everything in Epiphany’s POV, I am not positive still on why it was all necessary. I am not sure if I am missing something (highly possible) as I was more interested in Apollo and Hyacinth or if there were no reasons yet, but maybe it will all make sense in a later story.

Sometimes author sites have character art to show some representations of the characters, so I was excited to find that Nicole Bailey’s site has some nice art for these characters, and it is worth others also checking it out. The main romance is a primary focus of the story, but I also enjoyed the friendships that were explored. Another highlight was the different sibling dynamics as Temi and Apollo have one type of relationship and Hyacinth and Epiphany have another. This novel was a very entertaining start to the series. The ending was not an extreme cliffhanger, but it does make me eagerly anticipate the sequel!

**I want to give a special thank you to Book Sirens and the author, for a review copy of this entertaining and enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

6 thoughts on “Book Review: A Veil of Gods and Kings (Apollo Ascending #1) (ARC)

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