Title: The Fever King by Victoria Lee
Publication date: 1 March 2019
Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult | A little science thrown in for good measure
Page count: 375pages
Rating: 5 out of 5 GLORIOUS stars
Synopsis: In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
Despite having only just started this blog, I think this will still be the third time I’ve mentioned The Fever King, because it is incredible. It’s my favourite book of the year so far, it may even be my favourite book ever and I just cannot explain how much I want you to read this.
This book blends science and magic into one unique package: magic is caused by a virus. A virus which just so happens to kill the majority of people who catch it. Those who survive are called witchings, capable of wielding magic. Each witching has a presenting power – these powers are hugely varying from healing to technopathy. But it isn’t quite that easy. Magic is hard. It requires an understanding of the science behind it to wield it effectively. Noam, an immigrant in the nation of Carolinia, has survived the virus and awoken with the power of technopathy. Trying to take down the regime from inside, Noam accepts the minister of defence, Calix Leher’s, invitation to study and learn the science. So Noam ends up under the tutelage of Leher, one of the most powerful men in the country, living with 4 other trainees in the ministry complex.
As Noam trains, he becomes deeper and deeper involved in the fight against the government, and closer and closer to Dara, Minister Leher’s adopted son. Dara and Noam’s relationship is so beautifully and heartbreakingly written. They both have been hurt so badly and yet are so protective of each other, I love every page with them interacting. I did reread the book before I wrote this review, and reading it the second time, knowing what you do about the ending, it really does make their relationship even more intense and beautiful. Their is definitely no instalove here, I really enjoyed the slow development of their relationship. One of my biggest YA pet peeves is instalove, I can just never get onboard, but in The Fever King, the romance is much more developed and it’s really lovely to watch how Dara and Noam’s behaviour changes as they become friends.
Whilst Dara was my favourite character, I very much related to Noam. There were some passages I found very difficult to read because of how much I have felt like he did. These boys are just ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
The book deals with some very difficult subject matter – Victoria has a full list of trigger warnings here. The way the story unravels, as you slowly become more and more uneasy about certain characters, feel terrible for liking some of them to start with, slowly fall in love with others, and then get shot through the heart a million times, is just amazing. I found the development of Leher particularly fascinating – he’s such an interesting and complex character and one you’re never quite sure about. Pay attention to the archive extracts which talk about Leher’s previous rise to power, it’s really interesting to re-read these knowing the ending and spot all the things you didn’t notice before.
This is a very difficult book to review without giving too much away because there are some really big revelations throughout the book which drastically alter what I can talk about. All I can really say is that I was absolutely enthalled from the first to the last page, and I want nothing more than to give these boys a farm and some goats.
Rach + Draco