Year of the Reaper Readalong Day 1!

Stunning photo by @giota_the_reader

Hey Fairies!

Welcome to day 1 of our Year of the Reaper readalong. I hope you’re all as excited as I am! I can’t WAIT to see what you all think, I hope you love it!

Before we start, how are you all? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and got some reading done. If you read anything good, make sure you let me know in the comments below!

Since today is day 1, we’ll be reading from the Prologue to the end of Chapter 5. Find a comfy spot, grab some blankets, a drink, maybe a snack (or three!) and let’s get started!

When you’ve finished today’s section, catch up with me in the comments down below so we can discuss the beginning of the book. Happy reading!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier from the beginning to Chapter 5. Please only read on if you have finished this section!


Welcome! We’re joining Princess Jehan as she travels with her entourage to meet her fiance, King Rayan. Whilst this should be a happy occasion, their kingdom has been brought down by the plague and Jehan can do nothing but picture the dead and pray the plague doesn’t catch, since it’s airbourne…

At least Jehan has Mari, they seem close! Best friends maybe?

Things head sour (or sourer!) when a guard from Jehan’s entourage falls from his horse! Oh no! The ambassador (a wise man!) tells Jehan and Mari to stay back, this is the time of the plague after all. The fallen guard has a fever, but worse than that when the ambassador cuts away his tunic, a pus filled boil (a sure mark of the plague) can be seen under his arm. Gross!

The ambassador orders Jehan to take Mari (his daughter) and have Lord Ventillas escort them to the King. Understandably, she doesn’t want to leave her men and when she tries to argue, the ambassador reveals his own boil, nestled under his collar. He has the plague too!

A heartbreaking start for sure! Jehan has to leave her entourage behind, Mari has to leave her father. With any luck, we’ll start chapter one and the ambassador and Mari and Jehan and Lord Ventillas will all be lunching together reflecting on their past hardships which they all overcame!

Orrrrrr, maybe not.

Instead, a year on, we join Cas, and Cas, it seems, sees ghosts! Just what you want when you’re surrounded by death!

What’s worse, is the ghost he’s seeing right now is someone he KNEW. Izaro, was the guard of a bridge close to where Cas is originally from aaaand Izaro suspects Cas can see him. Eek!

I really shouldn’t laugh at Izaro’s ghost insulting Cas’s mother in an attempt to get him to admit he can see him, but Izaro got the reaction he desired and Cas dropped his guard and it was prettyyyy funny. 

Cas admits he doesn’t know why he can see Izaro, but he can. We know now that Cas is searching for his brother, and Izaro hasn’t seen him! Hopefully Cas can find him.

Izaro wants Cas *ahem* LORD CASSIAPEUS… hello, to bury his body. Worse still, he tells Cas the “animals have come”…

Cas doesn’t really want to do it, but says yes anyway. Something tells me I’m going to like Cas, he seems like a good person.

Amidst a flashback, we see Cas in prison. Much like Izaro wound Cas up to get a rise out of him, we see Cas riling up a guard to intentionally start a fight! Why? BECAUSE CAS KNOWS HE HAS THE PLAGUE. He’s purposely trying to get the guards close so they catch it. These guards sound HORRIBLE, so I’m not taking it back just yet that Cas is a good person. He can have the benefit of the doubt.

Cas finishes burying Izaro, learning of a thief that left him for dead and stole his Toll, and that the Lord that managed the Toll also succumbed to the plague. This country is in a bad way!

Oh! What’s this? A girl is trying to steal Cas’s horse, oh… sorry “borrow”.

But he found the mare! I really have a soft spot for animals so I’m glad she’s ok.

KARMA! The horse thief is stuck up a tree, a plague riddled Lynx trying to attack her. Will Cas help? If he said no and left on his horse, it would be understandable, he’d be risking his life AND she did steal his horse. But something tells me Cas isn’t the type to abandon her, no matter the circumstance.

And now, after slaying the Lynx, Cas offers his help to the mysterious horse thief because she’s STUCK UP THE TREE. Why is this so comical?

The comedy continues when she limply drops herself from the tree and Cas DROPS HER tumbling to the floor with her!

This guy is a HERO. He’s out here burying the dead, letting gals steal his horse, saving horse thieves from deadly Lynx’s, catching (maybe the word catch is a stretch, cushioning falls?) said horse thief as she falls from a tree and now he’s offering her a ride! He’s too kind. My weak heart can’t take it.

So, horse thief has a name, Lena! Pretty name. It’s no Lord Cassiapeus but alas. 

They arrive at Palmerin Keep. After Lena rushes to leave, Cas is left to ignore those who recognise him… odd?

He watches from afar as the King and Queen celebrate their son, the prince’s, naming day. BUT, they live in HIS OLD HOME. What does that mean for his family, his brother?

Cas, ever the hero, notices before anyone else that there is an archer, with their arrow pointing straight at the prince. Hitting the prince’s nurse, they fall into the lake. Lord Cassiapeus to the rescue! Our hero obviously wastes no time diving in and saving both the nurse and the prince. Seriously, this guy! Swoon!

And then who would catch Cas saving the prince’s life? None other than Lord Ventillas, his brother!

We learn that Cas, Lord Cassiapeus, Lord Cassia, LITTLE Cassia, has been gone for THREE YEARS. That’s such a long time! And in the midst of a plague, it’s no wonder everyone is so shocked to see him.

What’s not shocking, is that everyone wants to know where Cas has been. I mean, we know he’s been in prison but even we don’t know the whole story and I’m itching to know! How did he get out? What did he DO to be put in prison?

After the ordeal that was the last few days, Cas sleeps for a LONG time. He deserves it too! Not sure Ventillas deserved to be punched in the face by Cas’s sleeping form though! Oopsie.

Cas tells Ventillas everything and we leave them with a SUMMONS FROM THE KING! Eek!

What a way to kick off our readalong! Who else is in love with Cas? Surely not just me!

What are your initial thoughts on Year of the Reaper? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back tomorrow for more readalong fun!



128 thoughts on “Year of the Reaper Readalong Day 1!

  1. Hi everyone!

    Wow, this book really doesn’t shy away from getting a bit into the disgusting details, but I guess that’s expected with the plague and everything.

    So far I really love Cas, I wonder if this change later, probably not. I wonder what will happen during the meeting with the king.

    I also want to know more about Lena and Ventillas, plus more about the world in general. I like the book so far, excited to continue!

    1. Right? The author really didn’t hold back on those gory details! I’m really intrigued. ?

  2. I’m very intrigued by this opening. I’m not clear on who I should be cheering for or what the aims of the players will be yet but I’m enjoying the information that is being revealed to us and I think it’s achieving a good mix of back story and present day action. I’m thinking Lena is the archer but I’m not sure why she wants to kill the baby. I’m also guessing that Cas can see ghosts because he crossed to the other side when he had plague but somehow came back.

    His aversion to touch reminds me of Kaz Brekker’s which makes me wonder if the name Cas is a deliberate choice, like an homage?

    1. Oh that’s a good theory on why Cas can see the ghosts! I didn’t make the connection between him and Kaz Brekker, but I can see some similarities now you’ve mentioned it! ?

    2. Now that you mention it, certain things of Cas’ reminds me of Kaz Brekker!

    3. I didn’t think about Kaz, but now that you mentioned it!! You’re right, it could be… Good question for if/when they speak with the writer on Instagram!

    4. I immediately thought of the resemblance to Kaz’s trauma as well!

    5. yes! i’m so conflicted on which country is the “bad guy”. i guess in wars every country thinks the opposing is in the wrong. definitely can’t wait to learn more on both countries

    6. i noticed the similarities between him and Kaz as well!!

  3. I really enjoyed reading today’s chapters and I am really intrigued to learn more about Cas, Lena and the world in general.
    Also, how was Cas healed from the plague?

    1. He’s a very mysterious type isn’t he! I’m hoping we’ll find out more about him! ?

    2. I think Cas was just one of the lucky ones to recover from the plague.

  4. Cas intrigues me, and his ability to see ghosts is an interesting development and I wonder what caused it? Is he actually dead? Did the plague actually kill him but somehow he is still technically alive? I’m intrigued by who, what and why a plot against the royals is unfolding when they are clearly in love and feel bad that people can harbour such resentment towards their former enemies of war. But then again, it’s believable for human nature to strike again…

    1. That’s a really good theory! I agree, it’s really sad, and a baby no less! ?

    2. I find it so interesting that he can see ghosts!! I was thinking it maybe was something the plague somehow gave him?? I don’t think he could be dead…..I hope not…. Otherwise nobody would be able to see him, I think….?!? I guess we’ll find out ?

      1. That’s a good theory, Sandy! I wonder if we’ll find out why he can see ghosts. Either way I hope he embraces it, it’s kind of cool! ?

  5. Just finished reading today’s chapters and omg I’m obsessed and can’t wait to continue tomorrow

    1. So glad you’re enjoying it! ?

  6. Hello everyone!
    I love the way everyone is in shock when they recognize Cas! Especially when master Jac(omel) took his head between his hands I got teary eyes.
    I think he’s one of my favorite characters in the book so far, next to Cas and Lena.
    I feel so sad for Cas ‘He no longer cared to be touched. Not in anger, not with affection’ and because of the nightmares ?

    So true: ‘There were no certainties in life except that life was uncertain’ and than he licked all the plates clean ??

    The archer who tried to kill the baby-prince was a woman…. Could it be Lena??? I hope not because I really like her…….. ?


    1. Hi Sandy! I love Master Jac too… my heart belong to Lord Cassia though. ?

  7. Really good so far, much faster paced than I was expecting, but great so far. Interesting to see who the shooter will be I wonder if someone is trying to break the treaty. The seeing ghost aspect is Interesting so I’m hoping we get a bit more back story on that like when it started or why.

    1. It’s so faced pace, I love it! ?

  8. This is my first Fairyloot box and I’m very excited to participate in the discussion for Year of the Reaper.

    That being said, previously I avoided book about the plague…well like the plague. Two years into a pandemic and with plague on the brain, Reaper would not have been my first choice for a day of reading.

    But the first 60 pages grabbed me and I had to force myself to not read ahead. Reaper’s Cas reminds me of Kendare Blake’s Cas of Anna Dressed in Blood. Except Reaper Cas has a chip on his shoulder the size of New Jersey.

    So just a couple of things that I thought the author did well:

    1. Setting the plague stage with the prologue and Princess Jehan was well done. We see her from her own eyes which is marked contrast from how Cas sees her when they meet.

    2. The meeting with Lena and the passing of plague from animal to human. Shades of Cujo in that scene which always scared me when I was a kid.

    3. The mysterious assassin in the tower and the rescue of the baby. Cas jumping in immediately proves that he hasn’t lost his underlying goodness even with his bad experiences.

    4. And lastly the meeting with Cas’s brother. Initially I thought he was seeing ghosts again and I was prepared to be heartbroken for him.

    So far Cas doesn’t let us as readers know him very well, but I’m interested in his path. And I hope Lena isn’t the assassin. I need a romance in this book!

    1. Yayyyy, welcome to the Fairy Family! We hope you enjoy your first ever readalong. ?

  9. Cas seems so nice (He has a Kaz Brekker backstory but seems more nice and more the hero type, which is cool)! I can’t wait to continue his story. but also Jehan and Maris (where is she?)! The seeing gosts part is really cool and i like the plague part in the book (its so much like the black death, I love the historical accuracy!). also the quote “shed like snakeskin. dead like snakeskin”????? it Rhymes and it is poetic! great start!

    1. Definitely agree, such a good start! And I hadn’t noticed the differences between Kaz Brekker and our Lord Cas but I can certainly see it! I’m convinced Cas has a cinnamon roll streak ?

    2. Yes! I also thought he was similar to Kaz just not as dark and blood thirsty

      1. For sure! Cas is a lot fluffier! ?

  10. Wow! Considering this is my first read-along, I just have one word… WOW! I wasn’t too sure if I’d like this one just going off the plague topic. But boy was I wrong! Those first 5 chapters had a little bit of everything. Makiia sure loves the details, especially the gruesome ones (the burial of Izaro was pretty detailed, especially when Cas found his body). I’m really liking Cas so far. I’m not too sure who’s side I should be on though, I like everyone but feel like some twists and turns could happen in the next few chapters. Now let me talk about Lena, I’m curious about her character, who is she? Why was she in a rush? Did she try and kill the young prince? So many questions gahh! I can’t wait to find out why the king has summoned Cas… oh! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE that he can’t handle being touched. That is one trope I’m a sucker for. Hopefully when he meets his special person that all changes. Counting down the hours until tomorrow!

    1. I’ve just realised how big of a paragraph that is! I was too excited to write it down ?

    2. Yesssss! For a book about the plague, I’m struck by how easy it is to read ? Loved reading your thoughts, we love a good chunky paragraph around here! ?

  11. Such a gory start of the story, I love it! Cas is an interesting character and I am curious to learn how he got the ability to see “ghosts”. AND i have so many questions…..

    When did Cas started seeing ghosts? After he was cured from the plague? How did he survive the sickness? I have a feeling Lena has something to do with the Archer or was she Mira with a fake name? Has the marriage between Jehan and the King solved anything with regards to the war?

    1. Yesssss, I’m glad you’re loving it! I’m normally not a big fan of gore, but I feel like Makiia Lucier has struck a great balance and I’m not overwhelmed by it! All good questions, let’s hope they’re answered over the next few days! ?

  12. Hi all! I had a very productive reading weekend. I read Anatomy: A Love Story & An Ember in the Ashes. I loved both.

    I started reading Year of the Reaper not really knowing much about it. What a pleasant surprise! I adore Cas. What a great character. He seems very noble and like he can’t help but do the right thing. It’s clear in the way everyone receives his return that he is quite beloved. I love the opening scenes with the ghost and the rescue! Lena is interesting. I too think she tried to assassinate the baby prince. I’m so sad for Cas learning about what’s happened to his family and I’m nervous that the occupation of his home is going to continue. Not getting good vibes from Jehan or the King. I can’t wait to read more!

    1. Cas is so great! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it so far! ?

  13. Hi everyone! I am so excited to start this readalong, i wanted to start reading this from the moment it arrived but i managed to contain myself ?.
    It starts of in a pretty grim and serious situation so i love that Makiia managed to get some good natured humor in it that doesn’t feel out of context.
    I am intrigued by cas and Lena, though i am suspecting that she is the archer but we’ll see. It started of with a lot of excitement and i am stoked to continue reading with you all

    1. Yes! Makiia Lucier’s so good at striking a balance between serious and light scenes! ?

  14. It’s been awhile since I’ve joined a readalong, so I’m happy to be doing so. Plus I need to get out of the dreaded reading slump.

    I love how fast paced this book is and the characters really do intrigue me. How did Cas survive and why can he see ghosts? Who is Lena really? Why would someone want to kill a baby, much less the prince? I need answers. I’m looking forward to reading the next section.

    1. I hope Year of the Reaper gets you out of your slump! ?

  15. Wow-what a good start! I like how the book started with a bang. I really can’t wait to learn more about how Cas escaped the plague. Why do I feel like Lena is either the archer or Mari? Or perhaps both? I can’t wait for tomorrow!!

    1. So glad you’re enjoying it so far! ?

  16. This book jumps right into the action (and the gore) and I was sucked in quickly! Very much want to know more about where Cas has been and how his ghostly ability came into being! Really flew through this section so I’m excited to continue!

    1. I’m flying through it too! It’s so hard to stop at each section ?

  17. This story reads so fast! I am invested already, and interested to read on. I too, was surprised at how gory some of the descriptions were. I also suspect the archer might be Mari, as another read has mentioned.

    1. It’s so good! ?

  18. This is my first fairyloot box, and I feel so lucky that I’m already in LOVE with this book!
    This weekend I read These Hollow Vows and had a lot of fun belatedly reading the Fairyloot Read-Along for that one. ?

    Okay – Year of the Reaper. What a strong prologue to start with, Jehan and her entourage racing in the middle of the night from a mysterious plague was such a SMART way to kick off the action to this story. And the flash-forward to the present with Cas. I love him already. What a great way to introduce us to our lead, to see him as a gruff and weary traveler, but selflessly taking the time to bury a body as a ghost’s last wish. I think I would enjoy this book even WITHOUT the ghost stuff, but that definitely adds a fun and intriguing mystical layer to the story.

    Lena was so fun already – I immediately thought she was the princess Jehan when she showed up, disguised in royal livery. Especially with her “I’m very late” comment… hmm… But then we see the “real” (??) princess in the keep later on… Could Lena be Mari? Or are there more hidden identities at play here…? I have theories ??

    I’m very excited to read the rest of this! The story is fast-paced and compelling, and I really enjoy how we are introduced to Oliveras not as Cas remembered it but as it has been since the plague wreaked havoc on the lands. It’s like we’re seeing it with new eyes – but so is Cas. Love that.

    And Cas’s complex feelings with Brias, having waged war with his home country for decades (and imprisoned him!)… It hurts my heart. Ugh! I hope he can find someone to open up to, someone who can help shoulder his burdens. ??

    1. Big block text, whoops… ? I have a lot of feelings about this book already!

    2. Loved reading all your thoughts! ?

  19. Wow. I really wasnt expecting to be pulled into this book quite as deeply or as quickly as I was. Putting it down after that summons proved to be quite the task. The wheels of my mind are already spinning. At first I thought Lena was Jehan but when the story unfolded more and the attempt was made on the princes life I started to wonder if Jehan is even Jehan? I mean, where is Mari? The prologue even states that Mari is always at Jehans side but shes miraculously gone all of a sudden? Hmmmm….I am so ready for day two and very excited to be participating in this readalong. I’m hoping to participate in all of them this year and to not fall behind on Fairyloot books.

    1. Interesting theory! I’ve been wondering where Mari got to as well! ?

  20. I have loved reading all your comments above, just as much as I’ve enjoyed reading the book so far. This is my first ever FairyLoot book and read along and I’m so happy to share it with all you lovely people. Cas is a wonderful character to start with. He definitely seems to be a good sort, not having let his past horrific experiences turn him bad. I also suspected instantly that Lena was the archer, but maybe that’s a red herring. Such a fast paced enjoyable start with great world building. Can’t wait to continue tomorrow x

    1. I hope you enjoy your first FairyLoot readalong! ?

  21. I really love the tone of the book. For some of the pretty dark moments we have seen or far the author has this light tone with sparks of hope making it a very enjoyable reading experience.

    1. Completely agree! I never expected a book about the plague to make for such easy reading. ?

  22. Wow, I really love this book so far! The first chapters are so good, it’s hard to put down! I’m really loving the fast pace. Can’t wait to read the next chapters. ?

    1. So glad to hear you’re enjoying it! ?

  23. What a great start! I love all the details and am already excited about the characters ❤❤❤

    1. Yay! So glad you’re enjoying it! ?

  24. I really liked the start of the story! I can almost feel the pain (both mentally and fisically) Cas is going through. You can see he is been through ALOT and I really feel for him already!
    I hope we will find out more about him as the story continues.

    I have this gut feeling that the bond between Lena and Cas will be one with alot of funny moments where they think they can’t stand each otter, but still care for each other (maybe even love….)

    I am holding myself back right now for Reading more, but I don’t know of I will have the strenght tomorrow!

    Can’t wait to dive deeper into this adventure!

    1. It’s such a hard book to put down! ?

  25. I loved the start of this book, I was honestly expecting a morbid and a little slow fantasy pull, but instead this started off quite fast-paced and intriguing, with a gloomy vibe hanging in the background. I absolutely adore Cas, reading from his POV makes it fascinating to follow the plot, as most of the time I read from a female gaze, so this is a welcome change. Another thing I really dug so far is the whole mystery surrounding most of the characters due to Cas not having been home for 3 years. I am anxious to find out which direction this story will take …

    1. Yes! So interesting to see a YA book from a male perspective, I feel like that never happens unless it’s a dual narrative. ?

  26. Ok so when I first read the description I wasn’t I really excited for this book.
    I was so wrong!
    I can’t wait to read more, I find it so hard not to read ahead lol
    I am so curious about how Cas survived the plague and then developed the ability to see dead people.
    Kind of sad we’ve skipped the whole Jehan love story but hopefully we will see some more of it.
    Why would that girl try to kill a baby! ?
    I can’t wait to keep reading.

    1. I’m so glad this book surprised you! It’s amazing! ?

  27. Hi everyone!❤️

    I’m a FairyLoot subscriber since one year ago but it is my first read-along ?

    And I’m so happy because this book was such a surprise! I started without knowing very much about it and I lost in it. I passed today’s chapters without notice it, how was my enthusiasm.

    Cas is such a sweet amazing guy, I love him already. He really seems a nice guy with a lot of ghosts *cof*cof* to handle. It was so good to see him with his brother and master Jac, even the king. Everyone seems to missed him so much and he really needs their support and love after this horrible experience he had ?

    Am I the only one who thinks Lena is Mari? It’s odd After Jehan said she will always be with her and we haven’t see her yet…

    1. Hi! Thanks for joining us. I hope you love your first FairyLoot readalong! ?

  28. It’s been a while since I was captivated ted by a book this much from the very beginning. I already feel like this is going to be one of my future favorites! I really like the setting and the fact that the author mixed a bit of our history with some paranormal elements.

    Also, Cas is giving hardcore Kaz Brekker vibes, anyone else? Can’t wait for tomorrow’s chapters!

    1. Yes! It’s such a great book. ?

  29. What a way to start a book!!! Amazing writing and what a way to keep the suspension…I can’t wait to continue reading!

    I believe we are all already in love with Cas. It’s been a long time since I saw such a good portrayal of trauma and how his emotions are so valid without us knowing anything. It’s only been 5 chapters and I am obsessed with him. I do have to see where the ghost seeing situation will take the story.

    For other characters I still don’t have any type of opinion formed as, so far, we know nothing about them, but I can’t wait to get to know them.

    There are so many questions after this beginning: How did Cas survive the plague? What even is this plague and how did it just disappear? What exactly happened to him in prison and why? Why is Jehan called a witch? Where is Mari? What is the deal with Lena? Is Cas’s horse okay?

    I can’t wait to keep on reading and if the book continues in the same way as it started…it might be my first 5 star read of the year!

    1. Yay! I’m glad you’re as obsessed with Cas as I am. ?

  30. A guy named Cas that can see dead people? Sign me up.
    I have a feeling that Lena was the archer from the window because who wouldn’t love that little twist.

    1. That would be such a twist! ?

  31. I thought that it would take me a while to get into and adjust to this book. I did NOT expect to get sucked in as quickly as I did. I am so anxious to know more and see what happens from here!

    1. Right?! It drew me in immediately too! ?

  32. I really enjoyed the start. I really like Cas, despite his trauma he helps a lot of people, even if sometimes reluctantly. I’m glad he found his brother alive. I really liked the scene with Jacomel, it shows how much Cas was cared about and missed.
    I’m interested to learn more about Lena, and looking forward to seeing her and Cas meet again.
    I’m also wondering why Mari wasn’t at the naming ceremony.

    1. That scene was so sweet. Everyone’s missed Cas! ?

  33. I’m really loving Year of the Reaper so far!

    I have so many questions. I’m intrigued by Cas’ past and I want to know how he ended up in prison and how he escaped, but I have a feeling that we won’t be finding out for a while.

    I also find Lena really fascinating. I initially thought she was lying about her identity and was actually the queen, and then I thought she might be the archer. Cas also seemed to think she was the archer, which means that might be correct. However, it could also mean that the author’s trying to lead us towards that conclusion before throwing us a curveball. Lena didn’t seem like a person capable of such violence as trying to kill a baby, but then again, she might have just been acting. I hope her and Cas end up forming an alliance somehow; I like how well they go together. I also really like the mystery surrounding Lena; it’s making me very eager to continue reading.

    Overall, the book has been very engaging so far and I’m so excited to take part in my first readalong!!

    1. So happy you’re enjoying it so far! ?

  34. I read the summary of this book and was like ehhh I don’t know if this is going to be for me. The year jump after the prologue threw me a little though…I was just settling in to get to know Jehan as she gets married and then whoop moving on.

    But WOW Cas’s pain is so visceral! Especially when juxtaposed with how warmly and emotionally everyone greeted his return. He seems to have been very well loved before he vanished and that just makes who he’s become even more tragic.

    So, yep. Hooked me fast. Can’t wait to read more!

    1. I’m thinking there has to be a reason Makiia Lucier did it that way, everything seems well planned out! ?

  35. Hello again! So happy to be back! How are you? ??
    So this book has a hell of the start!

    Prologue – The duties of a royal family member…. always sacrificing happiness to ensure a stable kingdom…

    Chapter 1 – So we start to get into the story with Cas… who can see ghosts and is immune to the plague… I’m very confused how!
    – And this girl… the nerve she has to “borrow the horse” and why the hell is she going to Cas’ homeland!?

    Chapter 2 – Cas is such a mysterious character…. but I think you can tell he is a good person and likes to help others.
    – But this girl… I don’t know what to think yet…

    Chapter 3 – Why doesn’t he want to be recognized?
    – Coming home after 3 years and finding out that you don’t have a home is not good for anyone
    – Cas will be considered a hero, saving the king’s son is not for everyone! But what consequences will it bring him? (I hope none!)
    – After all his brother is alive… how nice, will it be a good reunion?

    Chapter 4 – Hmm the archer is a woman… is that who I think it is? Is anyone else feeling the same as me?

    Chapter 5 – Home sweet home after all. It must have felt great to Cas be back!

    Here are some of the reactions/comments I had during these 5 chapters
    I still can’t have a better opinion on what I’ve read, but I think Cas is and will be a fantastic character in the story!

    See you tomorow ??

    1. Hi Rita! Loved reading your thoughts. ?

  36. So far I’m enjoying the story, although I don’t really know where it’s going. I like Cas so far, especially when he stops to bury the dead and save a baby. I want to learn more of his past and more on the plague but I feel like we’ll find this out later. I also liked the moments we had with Lena. Can’t wait to see what happens in the next section

    1. I’m desperate to know what happens! ?

  37. This book grabbed me right away and I always love a book that can do that!
    Cas seems like a great main character, the seeing ghosts aspect is interesting and I hope we get to learn more about his backstory a little bit. I think his seeing ghosts has something to do with surviving the plague
    Also love that they just have pet lynxes??? Super fun pet ?
    I’m definitely curious about Lena, so far it feels like they’re hinting that she is the archer but why?
    Also not sure if we can trust Jehan or not ?

    1. yes! I hope there will be many lynx appearances!! theyre just so fluffy!!!

    2. Right?! Where can I adopt a Lynx? ??

  38. Just finished the Day 1 reading and wow, I’m immediately hooked!

    I like the prologue a lot, but mostly for the fact that after, the author didn’t immediately return to characters like they usually do. It got me curious about Jehans’ journey and how it ended. Obviously, by the end of this section, we know Jehan made it past all the plague and was alright, but I’m really curious about how the rest of the party (minus Ventillas) faired. This is a book that seems to reveal people as the story progresses with Cas, so I hope we end up running into Mari soon! The prologue alone did also make me wonder the extent that Jehan resents Rayan and her new country, and if she could end up being the villain in the end? It doesn’t make much sense though, considering that she seemed genuinely concerned about her son, but maybe her son was an unintended target? I’m not sure, interested to see how it plays out!

    I also absolutely love the banter between Cas and Lena. It’s clever and fun to read. I find myself cracking smiles anytime they have an exchange and it makes me so excited to see how their relationship will grow.

    1. Loved reading your thoughts! ?

  39. Great start to the beginning of this book. The gruesome details of the plague and the journey was awesome. It made the story more intriguing at the very start.

    I’m really loving Cas right now and am curious to see how the story develops. Between his journey and Lena. I wonder if Lena is the archer and what her background is. Cas is a deep down good guy it seems and I hope that doesn’t change.

    1. Definitely agree! Cas is such an angel. ?

  40. I have been lucky enough to be a Fairyloot subscriber since May 2021 but this is my first time participating in a read along! One of my 2022 reading goals is to do the read along every month and Year of the Reaper is starting that off with a bang!

    So far, I am loving this book! I like how the world building – the plague and the warring nations – is woven into the plot. I really enjoyed reading the prologue through Jehan’s POV, since it gives us such a different view of her character than how Cas sees her.

    And Cas – I am sensing a new book boyfriend will be added to the collection by the end of this book! He is morally conflicted but wants to do the right thing, he can see ghosts, he sounds like a true tall dark and handsome type, so what is not to love?!

    I already liked the banter between Lena and Cas. I am suspicious of the relationship between Jehan and Ventillas (does she really love the king or is there a reason why Ventillas offered his keep to her?) and where is Mari – so many questions I hope will be answered tomorrow!

    And from one Shannon to another, thank you for hosting this read along! ?

    1. From the Prologue, I could tell I was going to enjoy this book, & it has yet to disappoint! Poor Cas. In addition to his capture, torture, losing men, the plague, etc, now he has to keep secret a new affliction: seeing ghosts. Also, HOW did he survive the plague? How will that affect the story later on? Is that when he began seeing ghosts? What does Ventillas think of Cas’ time missing? Who is Lena? I thought maybe Mari in disguise, but Cas also alluded to the archer being a possible female. It doesn’t seem likely, since the guards at the gate seemed to know/respect her, but was the horse thief late for the naming ceremony to celebrate or to assassinate?

    2. Hello fellow Shannon! Thanks for joining us. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it so far! ?

  41. I wasn’t sure if this book was going to be for me but I really enjoyed the start, it flew by really fast! I like Cas so far, very intrigued about him seeing ghosts, I can’t wait to find out why.

    1. It’s so fast paced, I love it! ?

  42. Hi everyone!! I’m so excited to take part in this readalong?
    This opening has definitely intrigued me… I still don’t have enough informations and I don’t know whose side I should be on, but it’s definitely promising! I need to learn more about Cas and Lena. So far I’m thinking Lena might be the archer and that Cas’s ability to see ghosts might come from the plague.
    I definitely saw the resemblance with Kaz’s aversion to touch too and I’ve immediately thought of him!
    I’m really excited to continue, the story reads so fast and I’m already very invested!

    1. Hi! Thanks for joining us. Some interesting theories there! ?

  43. hello!! this is my first fairyloot read along and OH MY GOSH this book is incredible so far!

    i really love how we’re slowly getting pieces of the story and finding out details about this plague. it’s super intriguing and i’m so invested so far.

    it was so heartbreaking when Izaro asked Cas to bury him, i got a little teary eyed ?

    i’m really loving the characters too! cas is such a sweetheart, and i can really see some similarities between him and kaz brekker. lena was also such a bad ass, i hope we see more of her!!

    speaking of lena, i also have a theory as to who the archer is ?

    overall i’m loving it so far! so glad this was the fairtloot book as i probably wouldn’t have bought it otherwise because i tend to gravitate away from books with male MCs, but this book is phenomenal so far

    1. Hi! Thanks for joining us! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it so far! ?

  44. It’s my first time being a part of a FairyLoot readalong!! And I am so excited to join 🙂

    Wow what a start to this book! It was really hard to put down after 5 chapters…I feel like I might finish this book a lot earlier ?

    Cas genuinely has my heart! He is the literal definition of a hero! He’s gone through so much and yet he still cares about others and is willing to help out anyone in need! I am so excited to see where this story goes ♥️

    1. Yay! I hope you enjoy your first readalong! ?

  45. I’m loving this one so far! I love how there’s so many little mysteries to unravel!

    1. Right?! It’s so good! ?

  46. Liked these chapters! Glad that Caz has found his brother and I am very intrigued about the ‘horse theif’ and the Queen!

    1. So glad you’re enjoying it so far! ?

  47. Hello all!

    Wow! What an interesting start to the story! ngl, I love the trope of a long-lost hero returning home – which this seemed to echo! Especially since Cas IMMEDIATELY saves the day. And then sleeps. And is surly. 🙂

    Even though he’s on the embossing, I wasn’t sure he was going to be THE main character when Jehan had the prologue. But I think it’ll be more interesting to see how her life has developed through his eyes – especially since Cas has so much animosity from being imprisoned in her former kingdom. And I can’t wait to learn more about Lena – love a mysterious but chipper adventurer!

    1. Hi! Yessss, it’s such a good trope! I feel like Makiia Lucier has pulled it off so well too. ?

  48. I’m so glad to be back and doing another one of these read-alongs!

    I’m really liking this book so far! I find the idea of characters seeing the dead to be really interesting and am looking forward to seeing how Makiia Lucier does it! I wonder if surviving the plague gave Cas the ability to see the dead…but then wouldn’t more people see the dead? I’m just really looking forward to seeing how he got his ability! Cas is such a great character, and the representation of his PTSD is really well done here. I think in a lot of books it ends up being pushed aside or something the character don’t struggle with consistently, but Year of the Reaper looks like it’s going to stick with it throughout the book!

    Lena introduction was great, and I can’t wait to see what her role in the book is going to be! And i’m betting a lot she was the archer from before, but I wonder why she is trying to kill a baby!

    Overall, I looking forward to reading more and seeing where it’s going! The book is off to a solid start!

    1. So glad you’re enjoying it so far! ?

  49. A great start for the book. It hooked me right from the first page and my interest in the story kept growing the more I read.

    The things I like the most are the setting of the story during the time of the plague, seeing the story from the point of view of a male character for a change, and the fast pacing of the story.

    Cas is a really interesting character. I want to know more about him. There is a mix of darkness and a noble character in him that make for a very intriguing combination. He is obviously been through a lot and carries the burden of a trauma as we can see he doesn’t tolerate well being touched by another person.

    Lena is also a great character. I’m also looking forward seeing the relationship between these two grow and maybe develop into romantic feelings for each other.

    1. It hooked me from the beginning too! ?

  50. I just finished the first 60 pages a few minutes ago and I am already loving this book! I’m really enjoying the story line and I like reading a young adult fantasy from the perspective of a male main character. It’s refreshing to read from Cassia’s perspective, especially because he’s gone through so much in such a short period of time. I’m very intrigued by his ghost sight and I hope that plays a part in the plot further in the book. Will he be able to see his family? Will they be able to share information with him that could help him solve who is after the new prince? I love Cassia as a character but I’m liking a lot of the side characters as well. The way they all welcomed him home really made my heart happy. For him to go through so much while in prison and then to be recognized by his family and community was really heartwarming. I really like Lena but I’m interested to see what she was rushing to get to when she “borrowed” Cassia’s horse. Seems suspicious that there was an attack on the prince the same day that she was escorted back to the city…and as a side note I am loving all the lynxes in this book! I’ve never read a book before with them as such prominent symbols and companions. So far this book is really interesting and I can’t wait to read more!

    1. It’s definitely fun to see a YA Fantasy from a male point of view, I feel like that never happens unless it’s a dual point of view! ?

  51. I’m already loving it. Im intrigued about Lena and wonder if that’s her real name or if it’s actually _____. I don’t want to spoil anything by my speculations.

    Love Cas’ character. Dark haired, check. Strong and loyal, check. Tortured past, check.

    1. Loving that check list! ?

  52. Finished this late last night, but I’m excited to dive not into it today! Pesky bedtime made me have to stop, so hopefully I can somewhat catch up today – I can’t wait!

    1. I hope you’re enjoying it so far! ?

  53. Hi everybody Hi Shannon

    Catching up to the read along gonna spend the day reading to catch up on todays readalong

    As for this section I love that Cas can see ghosts it gives a nice twist to the book and I cant wait to see what ghosts we might meet in the book.

    Lena sound interesting I wonder if she is the archer because Cas said that that the archer was a woman hmm but if she isn’t why was she in such a hurry

    Gonna go read now can’t wait to find what awaits us in this book

    1. Hi! Thanks for joining us. Hope you’re enjoying it so far! ?

  54. I read this entire book so fast. BUT, for this first part, I adored meeting Cas and he is now a favorite character! I find it so fascinating he can see ghosts and better yet, he is kind about it and helped Izaro by burying him in a really lovely location. The way he meets Lena is priceless! I like Lena a lot…bold, fierce and a sense of humor! lol It is tragic how Cas has been away so long and the reasons why…but I am glad he is home. And what a homecoming…saving the baby prince from drowning and attempted assassination! I’m glad his brother is still alive. You can tell he really cares about his brother a lot.

    1. Yessss, he’s one of my new all time favourite characters! ?

  55. Ok so it took me a minute to get into it cause the first 2 chapters had be me a bit confused as to what was going on. However, after I understood ya know… ghosts… it was a lot easier ?. It started to go a lot faster and I’m excited to see where the story takes us.

    1. I hope you’re enjoying it so far! ?

  56. So it took me until chapter 2 to get into this book, but once I was hooked, oh boy I was HOOKED. It’s been a while since I’ve found a book this easy to read.

    Anyway for this first part, I’ll admit I love the ‘going to hell? I’ll take you with me’ part of Cas more than I should. Poor boy has clearly suffered and has the scars to show it. it hurts my heart knowing he’s ashamed of those scars.

    Despite all this he still truly is a good person, burying an old acquaintance and saving horse thieves from infected lynxes and diving into lakes without a thought to save princes. Speaking of this horse thief, if we hadn’t seen the horse thief again I would’ve spent the rest of the book hating her. I mean he was what seems a days ride out from returning home after being gone for 3 years and this lady steals his horse? I’m still skeptical but she doesn’t seem to be a malicious person and had no idea what Cas had been through so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt until we see her again. Which we will because I still need to know where she was going that was so important it warranted ‘borrowing’ a horse lol.

    First 5 chapters and we already have our first assassination attempt. I will say that this book has a good balance of twists/action as well as more mundane actions (i.e. Cas getting his first hot bath at home after 3 years) that I find really interesting as I feel I don’t read about those details often. They’re just implied. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the book holds!

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