Book Review: IN A GARDEN BURNING GOLD by Rory Power

Title in white on blue medalion on gold
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - first book


Book cover for IN A GARDEN BURNING GOLD: title in gold on white in muddle of blue mosaic roundel on gold wire lace

Rhea and her twin brother, Lexos, have spent an eternity helping their father rule their small, unstable country, using their control over the seasons, tides, and stars to keep the people in line. For a hundred years, they’ve been each other’s only ally, defending each other and their younger siblings against their father’s increasingly unpredictable anger.

Now, with an independence movement gaining ground and their father’s rule weakening, the twins must take matters into their own hands to keep their family—and their entire world—from crashing down around them. But other nations are jockeying for power, ready to cross and double cross, and if Rhea and Lexos aren’t careful, they’ll end up facing each other across the battlefield.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


This book was absolutely a cover read. I didn’t personally get on with the author’s debut – but then again I’m not a fan of horror, let alone body horror – but this is adult fantasy with a stunning cover. However, I did like this one – and I think I would have loved it even more if I hadn’t read it in the middle of a reading slump.

There’s intrigue and magic and secrets to discover, and plenty of twists and betrayals. I saw one coming, mainly because otherwise a certain character didn’t have much point being the book, but the others were great and one in particularly caught me by surprise. I wouldn’t quite go as far as calling this a political fantasy, mostly because of Rhea’s half, but it’s definitely got some elements of it in there, which is always fun.

I liked how you could tell this book was both Greek-inspired but also absolutely not trying to be a “Greek book.” The inspiration is there, but then the world building goes further, makes it into something new and different to the stereotypical “Greek-inspired” books.

The family relationships are so complicated in this book, between the siblings and between them and their father. I like messy families in books, particularly ones where they love each other but it’s complicated, because it affects how much support they get, how much someone might try to talk someone out of bad decisions (and whether it will be listened to), and what they’ll do for each other. We get all of that here.

Because Rhea is away for much of the book, we just get a glimpse of her and them at the start of the book. Most of the family interactions are Lexos’ with his father, and some with his siblings. He loves and hates his father, and I really liked how that all came together in the finale.

It’s the first in a series, and this book wraps up the bulk of its story in such a way that it launches the sequel. I look forward to continuing this story.

Read my reviews of other books by Rory Power:

Young Adult:



2 thoughts on “Book Review: IN A GARDEN BURNING GOLD by Rory Power

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