Review: A Bid to Rule by Novae Caelum

Posted January 5, 2024 by Lola in Review, Sci-Fi / 6 Comments

Review graphic

A Bid to RuleA Bid to Rule (The Stars and Green Magics #3)
by Novae Caelum

My Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Science Fiction
Age Category: Adult

While this book happens 23 years before the main events of this series, it contains characters, events, and context needed to fully enjoy the rest of the series. This is the preferred reading order, but it can also be read any time before, during, or right after books 1 and 2.


Homaj Rhialden has lived his whole life knowing his older sibling, not himself, will rule his interstellar kingdom—and as a court rake, he’s perfectly okay with that. But when his parents are assassinated and the Heir goes missing, Homaj is suddenly thrust into power. All evidence points to an inside job, but who among his father’s trusted advisors are his enemies?

Determined to track down his parents’ killers and prove himself in an increasingly hostile court, Homaj hatches a plan with his servant cousin, Iata, to use their shapeshifting abilities to switch places: while Iata impersonates him and rules the kingdom as a willing target, Homaj searches for the Heir in the capital city.

But in a kingdom ruled by shapeshifters, anyone can be anyone, and not even your own identity is safe. When lies run deep enough to shatter a kingdom and family is hardly friendly, can Homaj protect both his kingdom and his identity from crumbling around him?

A Bid to Rule is a fast-paced royal thrillerwith a genderfluid lead and glittering court intrigue! This book was first published as The Seritarchus in serial form on Kindle Vella.

My Review

I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily review it.

I love this series and was happy when this book released. Although I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of this one and was a bit worried I wouldn’t enjoy this one as the other books as this one goes back in time and shows how Homaj became the Seritarchus and I was more interested in what’s going on now. Luckily this book quickly proved my worries were unfounded as I quickly got sucked into this book and really enjoyed it.

A Bid to Rule is told from the perspectives of Homaj and his bloodservant Iata. It takes place back in time compared to the rest of the books in this series, but I definitely think this book adds a lot to this series and reading this after book 2 is probably the best place for it. If you read it as a prequel it will spoil some surprises and in this place it adds depth to the story and characters without ruining any reveals.

I thought the start of this book was a bit slow, but I got quickly pulled into the story. I wanted to know how Homaj’s parents died and who killed them. As well as how he ends up becoming the Seritarchus. It was fascinating seeing it all play out and I felt the additional understanding I gained about the characters and their past adds so much to the story and the world. There were so many events and things that happen that I saw in a different light now after reading this book. And I am just really glad I read this book as it was not only a great story, but also adds a lot of depth to the characters and story.

Like what I’ve come to expect from this series there is plenty of political intrigue. There is a lot happening in relatively few days and there is so much mystery and intrigue. It kept me guessing and trying to figure out what had happened. There is a lot about Change and how Truthspoken can be other people and I felt that got explored a lot more here as well. I also grew to like both Homaj and Iata more thanks to this book now that I read more about them and understanding their characters even better.

To summarize: This is an excellent addition to this series. It goes back in time to 23 years before the other books in this series, but I felt like this book really adds a lot to this series. I grew to like Homaj and Iata more, understood more about Homaj became the ruler and this backstory really fleshed out the world and characters more. And besides that it was just a great story to read too, with plenty of intrigue and mystery as Homaj and Iata try to figure out who killed the previous ruler. I enjoyed reading this book and seeing it all play out. I can’t recommend this series enough if you like scifi books with intrigue.

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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6 responses to “Review: A Bid to Rule by Novae Caelum

    • I was quite pleasantly surprised with this one and how good it was. Having more knowledge of the past events really adds to the series.

    • Thanks! I was a little worried when I started it that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much, but it was great and just as good as the rest of the series.

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