The Fever King by Victoria Lee
Publication Date: March 1st 2019
Series: Feverwake #1
Blurb: In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
The Fever King follows Noam Álvaro, in the aftermath of a viral magic outbreak that left him the only survivor. When he wakes up he is a witchling, a part of Carolinia’s magical elite and is brushing shoulders with people that he and his family have spent their whole lives fighting against.
It’s there Noam meets Lehrer, the enigmatic Minister of Defense and one time king and Lehrer’s son, Dara. Though Noam sets out to use his insider knowledge to bring down Chancellor Sacha’s government his situation becomes precarious as his loyalties are tested and the line between right and wrong become increasingly blurred.
“His body had fought magic and conquered it.”
The Fever King was an amazing, intense and wonderful ride. For the first part of the book I was leaning towards a solid 4 stars but as the web was woven tighter and tighter around Noam, with all his fire, the intensity and the stakes get higher and higher. I’m obviously keeping this vague given it’s not out for another four months but people you are in for a treat. The last third in particular is relentless in the very best way.
It’s the three main characters that truly shine here. Noam, Dara and Lehrer are so well realised they come to life. Of course this also means you are in for a world of pain as Victoria puts Dara and Noam, my sons, through the ringer. If you have have a weakness for angry boys and softe boys and boys that REALLY need to work on their communication skills (honestly 😅) prepare to fall in love.
And Lehrer is truly fascinating and magnetic. At 120 something years old he is the most powerful witchling to walk the earth. He survived torture as a child, spearheaded the revolution, overthrew a country and was crowned king at twenty. Lehrer has taken an interest in Noam and Noam wants to trust him but Lehrer’s motives and actions are shadowed.
“All of it – it’s all random chance. The universe. Us. An infinite cascade chaos. A series of impossible accidents is the only reason we even exist.”
The Fever King is a must-read and a powerful debut from Victoria Lee. The characters are complex, nuanced and wholly human. It makes you think about just how far you would go to do what you think is right and the consequences of such actions. The way these people have been shaped by their experiences, the trauma they’ve suffered and how they’ve pulled themselves through the other side. Though there are characters that have committed terrible crimes, Victoria excels at writing them in ways that it’s hard to categorise anyone as wholly evil or wholly good, they just are.
Also, Dara my smol son let him sleep.
Is The Fever King on your tbr? Because it most definitely should be!
Trigger Warnings: violence, intergenerational trauma/genocide, immigration, abuse, mental health and suicide, slut-shaming, drug and alcohol abuse, emetophobia. You can find an expanded explanation on each trigger warning here (there are minor spoilers in the list by necessity).