Some things are worth sacrificing for... The Last Messenger of Zitól by Chelsea Dyreng (Blog Tour Review & Giveaway)

I got to read this back in July and then be included on the back of the book, which is rather terrifying and exciting at the same time. I mean to be quoted on a published book? Yep. Scary. This was a great story and I'm glad to have had the chance. Definitely check out my full review and enter the giveaway below...

The Last Messenger of Zitol
The Last Messenger of Zitól
by Chelsea Dyreng
YA Historical, Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 304 Pages
September 1st 2016 by Sweetwater Books


When Rishi is kidnapped and taken to Zitól, she faces an unthinkable future: she is to be sacrificed to appease the gods. To survive in this place, where greed, lust, and fear eclipse compassion, Rishi befriends the selfish and ignorant king, only to discover that he may not have the power to save her after all.

In this gripping romance of ancient America, Rishi will have to help the king learn about restraint and true love if she wants to stay safe and alive.

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My Review

Steeped in an ancient culture, THE LAST MESSENGER OF ZITÓL will take readers on a journey of danger and romance they won't soon forget. It's a story full of heartbreak, a people bent on violence, family and friendship, and a budding romance. Perfect for readers who enjoyed THE CENOTE or books with adventure, sacrifice, and love.

One thing that strikes me about both of this author's books is how powerful they are and how she doesn't sugar-coat anything. This story was blunt and strong and beautiful. It showed the wildness of this culture and how morality shifted as the people became uneducated and selfish, everyone acting for themselves and for no one else. Then there is Rishi who has grown up in an island community where the exact opposite is true. Everything is about the community and the role each individual member plays. They work hard and love fiercely. There was such a stark contrast in this story, which worked perfectly for the way the characters and the story itself evolved.

Rishi and Nadal. They are so naive in so many ways, but their hearts are open (although one of them is a little more stubborn in wanting to change than the other). It made me think about the type of person I would be if I was raised with being told and taught one thing, not learning to read, being fed lies my whole life, not having anyone who loved me to help or care, and then combining that with being almost completely unrestricted and rich. That is Nadal's past. Then there is Rishi who was raised almost completely opposite to that. Again, a stark contrast. It was interesting how their relationship began, grew, and changed. There were times I was annoyed with them here and there, but I also completely got it.

This is definitely an emotional read. It is also quite dark and violent in places, which fits the story and the culture, so it all feels realistic to the situation. I connected easily with Rishi and Nadal and then wanted to cheer them on as the story progressed. There are parts that are shocking and terrible and then others that are so very sweet, making for a balanced story.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Yes. This author has a way of completely immersing the reader in this ancient world and bringing characters to life. I can't wait to see what she writes next!

Content: Innuendo, violence, sacrificial murder, referenced rape.
Source: Received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher, which did not affect my review in any way.

Other Books by the Author

The Cenote
Make sure you check out my five-star review, as this was one of my top reads from last year.

About the Author

Chelsea Bagley Dyreng is the author of “The Cenote.” She was raised in Wyoming and Idaho and earned her BA at Brigham Young University. She worked for several years as a librarian before moving to North Carolina where she and her husband are raising five God-fearing, book-loving, adventure-seeking kids.


ebook of The Last Messenger of Zitól
Provided by the publisher
Ends September 30th

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Did you read The Cenote? Have you or will you be reading this one?

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