Loved it! 😍

In a world fuelled by war and hate, can two key members of opposite sides find love?

Rhea Flint is fuelled by revenge. She wants revenge on the people who murdered her best friend and who invaded her home; and she will stop at nothing to get it. Luckily, she's a talented spy, warrior and has a multitude of ways to kill her enemies. And, she will kill her enemies, if it means a stop to the war that has crippled her country of Karm. Oden Ellwood is Rhea's enemy; he is a major in the army of Drell, the country that is occupying Karm. He's a skilled marksman, and the leader of the best, most feared tactical unit of the Drellian forces; and he never misses when he shoots. He's ordered to kill any Karmian on sight - but goes against those orders when he finds a severely wounded Rhea keeping two children safe in a box room of a house. Indeed, he helps nurse her back to something akin to health, and she flees with the children and a promise on her lips to repay the favour should they meet again.

Although there is a lot of blood, gore and intense fighting in Foes, it's a surprisingly beautiful novel that explores the human psyche and delves into what really drives us. As Rhea and Oden battle their way through the war, they begin to realise they're not the enemies that their governments insisted they were, and that they have more in common than what divides them. Rhea is driven by anger, heartache and a deep love for her country. Oden is driven by duty, honour and deep love for his country. They both know the war is wrong. They both want the war to end. And they'd both do anything to ensure that it happens with as little loss of life of their compatriots as possible. It's a long time before they realise they have fallen in love with each other; believing their deep emotional bond was nothing more than hate and a strange physical attraction.

That said, there are areas of Foes which could be improved upon - the odd spelling error here and there, and a slight clumsiness of the sentence structure. But English isn't Varlese's first language. The simple fact that she was written such a complex, thoughtful and thought provoking novel in English is incredible.

S. A.

Reviewed by

Sally's debut novel, The With Laws is now available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited!! Sally loves to read, and is a champion of Indie Authors, especially those who write fantasy novels. She is the proud reviewer on The Indie Book Nook (link in bio). When not reading, she knits!


About the author

Anna Varlese is an emerging thriller author. A Russian stuck between Brussels, Belgium, Denver, US, and Moscow, Russia. An author, a traveler, and a lunatic who loves watching people and inventing stories about them. view profile

Published on March 08, 2023

Published by

90000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Dystopian

Reviewed by