Year of the Reaper Readalong Day 5!

Gorgeous photo by @darkfaerietales_

It’s our final day in the world of Year of the Reaper, and after how we left everything yesterday, I don’t know if I’m ready.

A sweet cinnamon grump main character, an epic slow burn, impeccable plot twists. We’ve had it all so far. Are you ready for this ending?

Today, we’re reading from chapter 27 until the end.

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier from chapter 27 to the end of the book. Please only read on if you have finished Year of the Reaper!


“King Rayan had married the wrong woman” – strap yourself in, fairies. This last section is going to be intense. 

Queen Jehan, is actually Lady Mari. It was Queen Jehan who fell sick and was left for dead in the hospital, who was taken by the doctor, presumably killed him and ran free only to go on a rampage, attempting to kill her best friends baby, killing Abril, nearly killing an innocent boy, murdering her own nursemaid. Because Lady Mari stole her life, married the King as she should have done, had a baby with him. Took her future from her.


So many secrets. Soooo many.

In a fit of panic, Cas attacks Bittor to get the box back to try and destroy it to protect his brother, his Queen (his Queen that was never actually meant to be the Queen!)

Bittor knocks Cas out cold and when he wakes, he’s chained Cas to the wall. They left him. After his false imprisonment, the torture he faced, and Lena KNOWING the torture he faced, seeing his scars, she left him. 

Wait, Lena came back! She didn’t know what Bittor had done and came as soon as she found out (although I’m a little mad she went to the hospital first instead of coming directly to him). Cas is mad, understandably so, he’s been thrust back into one of the most torturous times of his life. Cas tells Lena she’s helped enough (and calls her Lady instead of Lena, he’s REALLY mad) and tells her not to come near him again. Surely he doesn’t mean it though? Right?

Cas returns to Palmerin to find a weird note from Ventillas, it honestly sounds like he’s made a run for it. Captain Lorenz reveals that they’re to wait for orders from Cas and Cas reveals Ventillas has broken his oath to the king.

Ever the sweetheart (even after being quite mean – he’s grumpy sunshine all on his own) Cas waits in the dark to see Lena got home safely and replays the nasty words he told her, wishing he could take them back.

Bittor comes to see Cas. Cas apologised for, you know, trying to kill him. I do think Cas deserves an apology too, though, just saying… Bittor hints that Lena may have gotten hurt on her lonesome ride from rescuing Cas. I really hope she’s ok!

So, Lena is fine and Bittor was just winding Cas up, but she’s very cold. Gone is the Lena that cried to Cas that she’d cut her hair, that cried in anger for Cas when she saw his scars. Only coldness. 

We rejoin Cas as he meets with the King and swears he did not know who Queen Jehan really was. Cas manages to bargain with the King, Ventillas will be sent away for five years for the treason he committed against the crown… Ventillas staying in Palmerin, amongst all the skeletons of people he knew, including his presumed former lover, drinking himself silly and slumping into depression has seemed like more of a punishment. Part of me thinks the time away will do him good, to escape it all for a bit. 

Cas speaks with Ventillas and we discover Queen Jehan ASKED Lady Mari to take her place, Lady Mari didn’t step into the Queen’s shoes of her own accord. So why is the real Jehan so hellbent on revenge when she begged Lady Mari? Ventillas makes a good point that while her body may have healed from the plague, her mind has evidently not.

As suspected, Ventillas is quite glad to go and get some space from Palmerin 

Am I crying at Cas leaving his horse for Lena? Quite likely, yes.

And so, Cas is heading south with the Queen who isn’t really a Queen. Something strange is certainly going on though, what with the ghost Cas can see and the Commander’s shiftiness. Someone has blown up the bridge that they were intending to cross, hmm, I don’t like this. Bittor’s love, Esti, the Queen and baby Ventillas and Cas are all huddled together. Esti lets out that Bittor didn’t just lose his sister to the plague, but his entire family.

They’ve turned around, taking another route, then Cas finds the Commander crying, burying something in the ground. Cas is not one to let things lie, so naturally goes back afterward to find what the Commander buried… and it’s a finger! Gross.

And then, the Commander’s wife doesn’t appear to Cas again.

Someone has veered them off course, they’re not on the right path and the three of them, Jehan (Mari), Cas and Esti wake up disoriented. And then… a voice.

Mari (Jehan) is here!

She abducted the Commander’s wife to make him lead the carriages off course. When he asks where his wife is, he’s shot! Ohhh I don’t feel good about this!

Jehan (the REAL Jehan) reminds Mari (the queen) of their former plans, that their children would grow up together and if one had a son and one had a daughter they would ensure they married so they could be real family, Mari hasn’t forgotten. Jehan says she can’t have children, the doctor took that chance from her. Jehan was the one who was tortured and had her womb removed as an “experiment”. Anyone else starting to understand why Jehan is the way she is a bit more? I certainly am. I don’t condone what she did, attempting to kill and actually murdering people over and over, but she’s been through a lot!

But she’s asking to hold the baby, Prince Ventillas! Mari says no, obviously, but that angers Jehan and she loses her composure completely, so does Mari. Jehan says Mari stole her life, her king, her CHILD. When Mari lashes out to protect the prince, Jehan stumbles and her dress catches fire! Ahhhhhh. Has the queen unintentionally just drawn this whole thing to a close?

Cas and the queen are on the run now, running from the fire with the baby, and Cas is hurt! But he’s smart. He’ll be ok right?

They climb up the arch of an aqueduct where they’re safe from the fire. Even in the darkest times though, they find laughter… when the queen takes the prince from Cas, he’s “wet” all over his tunic!

Oh, but Cas is a lot more injured than he let on. He’s drifting out of consciousness and the queen’s trying to keep him awake, and in his delirious state he asks the queen if she thinks Lena will keep the horse. I’m not crying, honest, I’m not.

Ok, I’ve taken a minute to compose myself. I’m good! Let’s carry on…

HOOFBEATS!!! Forgive my outburst, but CAS IS GOING TO BE SAVED!! AND LENA’S THERE, WITH THE HORSE. I might be crying again…

Cas wakes up in the palace in Elvira, with little Clara tucked under his arm and Lena sat cross legged on the bed and she’s holding a sleeve of a dress…

They found Cas and the queen all because of a sleeve and Bittor’s good sense to take it to a dressmaker! That’s how they tracked down the town Jehan was staying in, and Esti’s ok!!! Despite the deceit, King Rayan is obviously deeply in love with Mari, and went with Lena and Bittor to track down his wife and their child.

Lena is home, and Cas will be going back to his home in Palmerin soon. I’m so glad Lena has forgiven Cas, whether they get together or not, they balance each other out so well and I’m relieved that they’ll leave things on good terms.

(I’m lying, I’m completely and utterly bitter because that moment where he just kissed her hand? No. That was A MOMENT. They have something special and I am a hopeless romantic.)

So, Cas is officially being named a queen’s man! I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. 

Ventillas did not go to Coronado as intended, and Cas isn’t surprised! Neither am I to be honest. I think Ventillas truly needed to get away and just be for a while, let himself come to terms with the loss and find himself anew. 

On his way back to Palmerin, Cas stops at Patalon, he sees no sign of Princess Jehan’s spirit, meaning hopefully she found peace, but being the good person he is, Cas brought a shovel with him, and despite all she did, he buries her and the man who loved her and set the coins she had commissioned on top of her grave.

Five months on, Cas returns to Izaro’s grave with Father Emil so that he can say a prayer for Izaro, as he had asked Cas to do so long ago.


He finds Lena removing stones from the mare’s hoof. She’s wearing Palmerin colours (and put ribbons of the same colour through the mare’s main, so cute).

The mare has a name now too! Lena let Clara name her and she named her….


So it turns out, Cas wrote to the guild to request a historian, and we all know who he had in mind! But they refused unless they could come to a compromise… Lena isn’t alone! Her family has come too.

Lena won’t finish writing her grandfather’s history, but she will log Palmerin’s history, with Cas by her side.


What an ending!

Thank you all so much for joining me in this readalong! I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have, and be sure to share your photos on Instagram to enter the readalong giveaway and to celebrate reaching the end!

We’ll be back soon with a readalong for our next book, so be sure to look out for more.

In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend! 



46 thoughts on “Year of the Reaper Readalong Day 5!

  1. This book has been such a hearth felled one it had everything I love a bit of mystery a lot of crying moments but most of all it had

    Our beloved Cas such un amazing character for someone who has gone through soo much hardship he staye true to himself and kind to other relly wanna pull hit out of the book and have him for mayself in real life but I am glad he ended up with Lena soo amazing and yaaaj moment

    Ooo poor princess Jehan she did not deserve to have her uterus removed and robbed her of having a chilid and feeling like a woman no wonder she got mad but hopefully she is at peace now

    I hope Ventillias finds inner peace soon and can leave happily from than on

    I liked the book the only thing that I am a bit upset about it that this book does not feel like a fantasy book to me

  2. Wow, this was such a beautiful book. I especially loved the ending where Lena just gave him some time to settle without her interference even when you could tell it was hard on her to let him leave, it was so touching when they reunited.
    I do feel bad for Jehan, what she went through was awful, but in the state she was in she could have hurt little baby Ventillas and i don’t blame Mari for wanting to protect her child. That scene really got me

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! 🖤

  3. I wasn’t expecting that twist at all! I mean I knew something wasn’t right but I didn’t think Queen Jehan was actually Lady Mari. I kind of feel bad for Lady Mari though because she did love her friend but I guess things really changed! I’m glad Lady Mari wasn’t punished too badly though you could tell the kind genuinely had feelings for her!

    Cas was a big softie really all the way through this book with the way he was with Lena, Clara and the cooks boy. I kind of wish that Cas and Lara’s relationship was more of a thing at the end even though it was implied!

  4. Wow! So much packed in at the end that I ended up finishing the book at 3a. (Sleep be damned! Lol.) I wish the end had said something more about Ventillas, but otherwise, it seemed to wrap up well enough. I really enjoyed this read.

  5. I really liked this book! I saw someone say they thought the plot twists were predictable but I really didn’t see it coming! So glad I read such a great book for my first Fairyloot Readalong

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for joining us🖤

  6. The book was amazing! Boy, did I experience a roller coaster of emotions though!

    I enjoyed the whole book throughout, which doesn’t usually happen for me! I always hit a wall that I find boring. But NOPE, not this time!

    I loved all of the characters. Cas and Lena had a beautiful relationship which I found refreshing to read, they were both funny and exciting to get to know.

    I didn’t expect to have so many different emptions about a few of the characters, like Queen Mari ( I was going to call her Jehan, but thats not her name anymore). I wasn’t sure I liked her at first but at the end, she was one of my favorites.

    Makiia has done a wonderful job in creating a book that is completely different to anything I’ve ever read! Her character and world building is exquisite. She had a little bit of everything… romance, action, comedy and I can’t forget the gore!

    The only downside I have, is that I would have loved to read more about Cas’s ghost seeing ability…. hopefully once Ventillas’s 5 year scholarship is up, we will have another book which explains it all. *cough cough, hint hint 🤞🏻

    Thank you Fairyloot for giving us this wonderful book! 🧚‍♀️

  7. I feel like so much happened in the last section! I love that Lena came back and that her family came with her but at the same time, I felt like a lot of things were rushed. I think it could have benefited from being a bit longer. As some of the questions that I had throughout weren’t answered by the end. I gave it a solid 3 stars but in the end, I just wanted more

  8. My thoughts, by chapter:
    Oh no. No, no, no. This took a hard turn for the worse. 😞 I expected Cas to put up a fight but I didn’t see it escalating that quickly. The trauma of being locked up was definitely triggering. Will it cost him his entire relationship with Lena? Now I’m worried what the King will do. He should be angry at the deceit. But will he break the alliance knowing the real queen is completely murderous and insane? Will he give up his son? Mari as Jehan is a liar but seems like a good woman. How did she gain Ventillas’s allegiance? So many questions!

    I’m so sad for Cas. After all he’s been though, he’s now going to be shut out and ignored. Not cool. I think Lena will forgive him once she gives him the cold shoulder for a minute…I hope.

    Cas is an exceptional brother. And man. The king is a good man too. I hope he finds some way to heal. I am glad Cas was able to negotiate for his brother’s life and a much shorter sentence. I’m so sad for all the pain everyone is suffering though. What will happen to the real Mari and the prince? I wonder if the real Queen Jehan will succeed in killing Mari, make herself known publicly or if she’ll be taken out. It’s such an impossibly difficult situation. I feel for all of them, especially Jehan. To nearly die during a plague, to give up your title and future and to miraculously live, only to suffer years of horrific abuse at the hand of a madman. It’s too much. She didn’t deserve anything that happened to her either. 🙁

    Commander Terranova is acting weird. Something is up. Did the guards find out the truth? Will they kill the queen? Do they have orders to?

    The bridge collapse cannot be a coincidence. Jehan is trying to get her revenge but to what end? Until Mari is dead? Until all of Oliveras burns? Or just the current royalty?

    I’m liking Bittor more and more.

    Oh no. A finger. Was Terranova’s wife taken for ransom? Is he leading them to Jehan? Did he think she’s still alive? 😞


    33- end

    What an interesting time to be reading about a plague sweeping through the land, indiscriminately. Opportunists taking advantage like they do. Then, at the heart of it, the few people who chose to do the right thing, to fight, to save life, to live and let others live. This is a breathtaking story about overcoming hardship, what you do in the face of impossible circumstances and really learning the value of life. It has moments of deep sorrow, infectious laughter, stomach dropping betrayal, tears of both joy and pain. It’s my favorite of the year so far, and that’s saying something because they’ve all been so good! I think the characters were written with so much love. I feel it. Cas is a perfectly imperfect main character. Grateful for such a beautiful story.

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! 🖤

  9. I enjoyed the ending, although it felt maybe a little bit anticlimactic with the final battle kind of scene and Cas sure did lose consciousness a lot…

    Overall, I really enjoyed this choice and am glad it was featured in the box otherwise I probably wouldn’t have read it.

    Thanks for hosting the readalong 🙂

    1. Thank you for joining us! 🖤

  10. Ahhh loved this so much more than I’d expected to to be honest!!! Lovely little hidden gem of a book, that plot twist tho!! Caught me so off guard, I loved it.

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! 🖤

  11. I finished the book when I should have been working. The ending was everything I hoped it would it be. Lady Mari and Princess Jehan meeting again and Mari empathizing with what happened to Jehan but still knowing how dangerous she was. Ventillas attempting to forge a new path to work through his grief. King Rayan knowing what could occur and choosing to follow his queen after he sent her off to exile. That was definitely a groveling that needed to occur.

    And Cas’s healing and the final message of living again.

    5 stars all the way.

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you liked it! 🖤

  12. This was my first ever readalong and my first ever FairyLoot box too! I really loved taking part in this readalong and having some more structure and focus to my reading throughout the work week! Not to mention I loved this book way more than I thought I would! Reading such a beautiful FairyLoot edition was the cherry on top of the cake! I can’t wait for the Jan box and readalong! 🙂

  13. BEST ENDING. I absolutely love how much info we get after the climax. I feel like I’ve read a lot of books lately that end rather abruptly or have so-called “open” endings, but all it feels to me is like the end of the story was cut off. I love these final slow (but still very impactful) chapters where we get a bit of closure with each of the characters. It’s still quite open, but it’s an ENDING. I especially loved Cas having time to heal and grow and THEN getting his happy ending.

    The actual climax was really great too, but it was what came after that stuck the landing for me.

    I would never have picked up this book on my own. Even reading the description it didn’t sound like something I would enjoy. But I totally loved it. Thank you FairyLoot!

  14. And so I have my first 5 star read of the year!

    Everything was just amazing – the world, the characters, the relationships, the writing…just perfect.

    I will have the worst book hangover after this and that’s okay. For a book this good it’s worth it!!!

    I know it’s a standalone but I will forever keep hoping that it will turn into a series so that the story can continue. I want to know what happens next!!!

    This book was a roller coaster ride in the best sense!

    Thank you for making me find out about it and read it! ❤

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for joining us! 🖤

  15. Hi everyone, I love this book!!
    I’m sorry it’s finished now 😢
    I would’ve loved to read more about Cas and Lena, Ventallias, master Jac, Clara, Bittor……well I guess about everyone 🤷‍♀️😊
    I really liked the ending, Cas who took the priest to say a prayer for Izaro and that Izaro’s spirit was still around. Lena who came back with her family! The queen and King Rayan back together.
    I really enjoyed myself this read along.
    Special thanks to Shannon for hosting it and maybe I’ll see you next month for another read along 🤗

    1. Thank you for joining us, Sandy! Hope to see you on another readalong soon! 🥰🖤

  16. Will there be a sequel? Please let there be one! I loved this ending, this book💕

    1. It’s a standalone I believe! I’m so glad you liked it! 🖤

  17. Absolutely adored this book. I loved Cas as our protagonist – I typically read a lot of ya fic from a female perspective, or alternating-perspectives so it was really refreshing to read Cas’s story and be in his head! I want to check out other books by Makiia now, she really wowed me with this one.

    And Lena wearing a Palmerin-red cloak at the end, aww ❤️

    Thanks for taking us on this read-along journey, Shannon & everyone! I really enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts ❤️😊

    1. Thank you for joining us! 🖤

  18. Wow the last few chapters were so fast paced! I am not sure if the last few chapters but it was a good book.

    Thank you so much Shannon for the Readalong! 😊

    1. Thank you for joining us! 🖤

  19. Just managed to get the book finished today with an hour to spare, phew! Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for my very first FairyLoot readalong and I can’t wait for the next one x

    1. Thank you for joining us! 🖤

  20. I’m so glad I joined this readalong. I really enjoyed the book: I really like the relationship between Lena and Cas and the fast pace has kept me hooked! I really enjoyed the mystery component and I only wish there was more romance. I loved Cas and Ventillas’ relationship… it’s obvious they care about each other and they are helping each other cope with everything that has happened. Also, the plot twist was really unexpected! I did suspect something had happened on the journey to get Jehan married to King Rayan, but I couldn’t guess what. Overall, I’m quite happy with the ending! I’m so glad Queen Jehan was not exiled!

  21. These last chapters, this book… I thought my heart would explode with so many emotions!

    The plot, the characters, love it all. I never thought this book will be this good!

    Cas is now in my top favorite characters. He is a grumpy cinnamon roll and I love him. And Lena too. And the queen and Ventillas. I will miss them all!

  22. What a journey this book was!!
    I’m soo happy that Cas could find his happiness in the middle of so much death, mysteries, and family problems…
    I believe happy endings are the best and this one was really amazing!
    I would love to learn about Cas and Lena’s life a few years later (and to know if Versillas really will be back and how he’ll be) But I guess we’ll never know since Year of the Reaper is a standalone… 😭😭😭
    Despite being a person who spent 3 years of his life in prison, enslaved and who survived the plague Cas is an amazing character! (He always shown himself to be good to people)
    Also loved Lena and Clara, this little one was so cute and brought out the more gentle side of the other characters.
    I guess we’ll also never learn how did Cas has the ability to see ghosts, but I guess being near death is the reason…

    See you soon FairyFriends!
    Stay safe!

  23. Overall I loved this book and gave it a 4.5 stars!

    The slow burn was perfect! The kiss at the end just wrapped it up exactly how I wanted. I’m usually not into drawn out slow burn for that long but really think it worked for this book.

    My only complaint is i wish there were a little more answers at the end. Like why was lady Mari (real jehan) that angry with her friend and willing to kill so many people because of it? I know they said she must not have had a sound mind but then what about Cas considering he recovered? I Think this could have been explored more since it was a big plot twist!

    I’m glad I joined this read along and I enjoyed this story 😊

  24. I loved this book. What a lovely ending!

  25. I really liked how Cas’ knowledge of the aqueducts was woven throughout the story so that it wasn’t weird for him to suddenly know the knowledge that would save them. I’m so glad we got to see Lena come to Palmerin and reunite with Cas!

  26. oh this ending?!?!?! so much plot twists I didn’t expect!! I liked that Cas needs his time to heal and Lena gives it to him! The happy ending was amazing though!!! I did miss that we didn’t get explained how Cas can see gosts and why some do survive the plague while most don’t (luck?? something more??). Anyways this book will stay with me for a long time I’m sure!!

  27. I don’t know why, but I thought the story would be about the plague mainly. I was pleasantly surprised of how much I liked the story. I only have 2 complaints; the endings was rushed and I feel dissappointed Cass ability to see ghosts was not explained at all or important for the story whatsoever. It was just there and sometimes mentioned. I really loved the overal plot and characters. Did not see that plottwist coming….. Enjoyed the slowburn romance and the ending was satisfying. And the main character was a boy. That doesn’t happen often in YA Fantasy books. And Cass was a great person to read about. Would have loved to learn more about him and how he healed from his inprisoment.

  28. Overall, I thought this was a pretty great ending to a very engaging book.

    That scene when the carriage had been separated from the rest of the train had my heart RACING!

    And the hand kiss moment??? I had to put my book to one side and breathe for a sec.

    I thought the last chapter was very satisfying, and it was a full-circle moment. However, I do wish the kiss between Cas and Lena had been a little more drawn out, a little more detailed. But I’m so glad they got together in the end! Their characters really complement each other.

    I hope there’s a sequel; there’s so much more about this story and the characters that would be great to explore!

  29. I forgot to come back here and share my thoughts because I ended up binging the rest of the book.

    This is a really great YA fantasy standalone. I loved the characters and the bonds they all had. I still wish Cas’ ability was explored in-depth. I actually read an interview on a blog where the author says she chose to add Cas’ ability later on. For me that’s the problem, it seems like a second thought. As the book was a shorter one there was definitely room to explore this more.

    This was my first book by Lucier but it won’t be my last. I’ll be going back to read her other works because her writing is captivating.

  30. Wow, what an ending! I really enjoyed this book, more than I thought I would. I loved the characters, the mystery, the plot twists – it was such a fun read! I’m so glad this was my first Fairyloot read along!

  31. I loved this novel so much and forgot to participate in the final day’s thoughts. The ending was intense with the face to face between the real Jehan and Mari (Queen Jehan), the fire, and Cassia and Queen Jehan leaving….However, I love how it all wrapped up. Cassia and Lena do see one another again. It was such a great story and I adored several characters (especially Cas).

  32. this story ended up being shockingly soft for a murder mystery where many, many people died! mostly because Cas is the biggest cinnamon roll 🙂

    the romance was such a delightful slow burn and the twists and turns in the story definitely made this one I’ll want to reread to look for foreshadowing! this was such a fun experience.

  33. I really thought the ending was strong. And I didn’t see that twist, I felt for the Queen. I truly enjoyed the story but I wish we would have had more from the MCs rather than some of the smaller details about the “non characters” there seemed to be too much detail about the guy who opened the gate or a towns person that really had nothing to do with the storyline. I wanted more from the backstory and more about the ghosts. Overall, great book and it was a fun and fast read.

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