This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using that link, a small commission is made from the sale. There are no additional costs to you. Thank you for your support!Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury
Published by Scholastic on February 26, 2019
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: ARC, Physical
The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.
Sixteen years ago, rebellion swept the galaxy known as the Belt of Jewels. Every member of the royal family was murdered--down to their youngest child, Princess Anya--and the Union government rose in its place. But Stacia doesn't think much about politics. She spends her days half-wild, rambling her father's vineyard with her closest friends, Clio and Pol.
That all changes the day a Union ship appears in town, carrying the leader of the Belt himself, the Direktor Eminent. The Direktor claims that Princess Anya is alive, and that Stacia's sleepy village is a den of empire loyalists, intent on hiding her. When Stacia is identified as the lost princess, her provincial home explodes into a nightmare.
Pol smuggles her away to a hidden escape ship in the chaos, leaving Clio in the hands of the Union. With everything she knows threading away into stars, Stacia sets her heart on a single mission. She will find and rescue Clio, even with the whole galaxy on her trail.
Last of Her Name hits the ground running.
Khoury’s takes us on an adventure through the Belt of Jewels when the Direktor and the Union shows up on Stacia’s planet and she is accused of being Princess Anya Leonova, a member of the royal family supposedly killed years ago by the Direktor. With the help of Pol, Stacia escapes from the home planet she’s known throughout her life, leaving Clio behind with the others to be taken away.
I love the childhood friendship between Pol, Clio and Stacia told throughout the book with various memories as Stacia makes it her one mission to rescue Clio from the Direktor no matter what it takes among the chaos her life becomes. I enjoyed the backstory and learning more about them, and felt the memories were a great balance with the fast-paced action of the book in addition to being a driving force for Stacia.
While Last of Her Name primarily focuses on the strong friendship already developed in Stacia’s childhood, Stacia and Pol create new friendships on the run as well. The two cross paths with Riyan shortly after escaping, a tensor from a distant planet who is also searching for someone he cares about. Although the three of them have a rough start, they develop a bond throughout the book.
Stacia goes about her life normally until the Direktor shows up, forcing her to run away from all she knows. As she and Pol get chased across the galaxy, Stacia is trying to figure out who she really is as a person: is she Anya or is she Stacia? How can she accept a new part of herself without losing the self that she has always known about? In addition to figuring out who she is, Stacia is also battling her growing feelings for Pol, and those two are simply adorable as they circle around their feelings.
This is why I have a soft spot for friends to lovers tropes I’m just saying.
Family and Community!
There’s not much I can say about family and community without giving spoilers away (can’t have that!), but I really appreciated some of the gestures from Stacia’s family and community. But there is so much different family drama, I would have had one too many popcorns if I could just watching the whole story unfold and come together. SO. MUCH. TEA. 🍵 (I loved it, though.)