Author: Elliot Foree
Publisher: Mercury Press Publishing
Series: The Cambion Series, Volume I
Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQ+
First Publication: 2022
Book Summary: Reign by Elliot Foree
A descendent of the demon Lilith, Captain Reign Lilim has one duty – protecting her kingdom’s monarch from the demons devastating their land.
For the safety of their princess, Reign’s troop has spent three years isolated from society, but as hell’s crumbling gates begin allowing the damned further access to their world, they’re recalled to base.
When Reign’s mother, the Queen’s second, begins unloading a lifetime’s worth of secrets, Reign’s left clambering for a way to save humanity from extinction.
Book Review: Reign by Elliot Foree
As a descendant of the demon Lilith, Captain Reign Lilim has one responsibility: to defend the monarch of her kingdom from the demons who are wreaking havoc on their world. Reign’s troops have spent the last three years hiding away from the rest of civilization to ensure the protection of their princess. However, as hell’s failing gates begin to give the damned more access to their planet, they have been summoned back to their base of operations. When Reign’s mother, the Queen’s second, starts divulging long-kept secrets, Reign is left frantically searching for a solution to prevent the destruction of all humankind.
As you’ve probably already garnered from the above summary, the scope of Reign by Elliot Foree is majestic, brimming with detail and ideas and teeming with characters, languages, and perspectives. Elliot Foree deftly navigates her way through a thorny and twisted tale of morality, anguish, and trauma—taking elements of fantasy, her experience, and her own imagination and pasting them into a beautifully rendered fantastical collage that has representation in sorely needed ways.
All the characters in this novel are so intricately crafted, and their layers, as well as their motives, are masterfully unveiled, bit by bit, and even though the plot slowly unfolds at times, these characters will manage to keep you moving forward. Reign and Dane have a friendship forged in the heat of the situation, which later engenders a feverish mutual respect. This book deserves praise for the remarkable quality of sapphic material it contains.
Elliot Foree gives us a character that can bring light into us while reading this because of what she overcame and what she achieved. Reign Lilim is a character who did not allow herself to be let down, held down by anyone. But she found herself valuable, in herself and in others. Reign was able to make a difference in her life and in others’. She was a different kind of character, and everything that she did was beyond beautiful, as if she was the one painting her world for you to see it for what it really is.
This was such a strong debut by Elliot Foree. Her writing is gorgeous and teleported me straight into the world of Reign. There is so much to like here—an empowering central female character, great political intrigue, a huge female cast with strong potential, and thematic issues which, while tough to read at times, are dealt with so powerfully and carefully. Reign’s story takes some time to build up in the beginning, since her motivations and goals as a character aren’t quite clear yet. But once that drive was initiated and the plot got moving, it was so easy to get into the book and be swept up in this unforgettably brutal yet beautiful story.
With all that aside, there are many aspects of the book that I think demand deeper examination. Elliot Foree weaves in powerful themes of self-empowerment and self-love, identity and self-discovery, while fervently denouncing the objectification of women. The author does a great job of creating impressive female characters. They are all fascinating, diverse, and very different in both background and attitude to their circumstances.
All told, Reign by Elliot Foree was a good book. The author kept me invested in the story, and the writing style was easy to read. The ending was pretty interesting, and I’m very curious about what will happen in the next book in the Cambion Series. If you’re a fantasy reader who enjoys high fantasy and beautifully done queer rep, I absolutely recommend picking up a copy of Reign: The Cambion Series, Volume I.