Vesselless: Cortney L. Winn *Review*

Cover image of Vesselless by Cortney L. Winn is in the centre of an image of a blue background with gold sparks. Added text: Nizzara is on borrowed time...

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy, NA Fantasy | Release Date: 23 March 2024 | Series: The Merciless Realms | Series Book: #1 | Pages: 505 | Indie Author | Review

“If I am to die, I will not die on my knees.”

Cortney L. Winn


When I first dived into Vesselless, the dark romantasy by Cortney L. Winn, I had no idea just how obsessed I was going to become with this tale. But this romantic fantasy has so much packed within it, I could *not* put it down! And am I already desperate for book two in The Merciless Realms series? Of course I am! How could I not be, after reading this?! But before I fangirl too much more, let’s give you an overview…

Although Nizzara is heir to a throne, her life has always been dictated by the whims of her father. Not content to have killed the last King of Zarr (Dagen), Nizzara’s father continues to push for more power. So what’s one more decree, which would see her wed to someone he’s chosen? Determined to end the betrothal, Nizzara enters a tournament which could overturn her father’s latest ruling. But the duels are deadly, and Nizzara is afraid of the magic she possesses which could see her rise to victory. When Dagen (now a half-ghost), attempts to team up with her to see her survive this battle, little does she realise the reason behind it; Dagen has been offered a chance to reclaim his own freedom… But only if he gives his keeper Nizzara’s soul. Has Dagen chosen a path which will see him condemned for eternity? Or will Nizzara freely give him her soul by the end of this tournament? And what happens when Nizzara’s father loses all sense of right and wrong?

Cover image of Vesselless by Cortney L. Winn is to the bottom left of an image of a blue background with blue glittery circles. Added text: Dagen must steal Nizzara's soul... But what happens if he gets too close?
What have you done to me, Vesselless…

Happiness Boost:

No word of a lie, when I finished Vesselless it took me a while to process all of the emotions I was feeling! Cortney tangles a reader’s heart with this tale of a sassy, desperate heroine and sarcastic hero. And the secondary characters?! You know you’ve done something magical when I’m just as desperate for their wellbeing as the FMC’s. The emotion wrung out of me was one for the records, and I adore how much heart is within this romantasy… I couldn’t help but be torn in different directions for a while there, and it’s a mark of great writing when that happens.

The world building is extraordinary in Vesselless, but it doesn’t come at the cost of a brilliant plot! It’s like epic adventure meets murder mystery, with a dash of sorrow and romance added to make the tale that much more potent. I was gobbling up this story as if it was my final meal. And that ending?! Excuse me Cortney, but I’d like a giant bandage for my heart now, please and thank you. That was a harsh experience, even though I love this book!

I love how stories can still surprise me, and Vesselless is no exception. The idea of spirits protecting others, having a vessel through which people can use powers, is a spooky one. Did I lap it up like a cat devours milk? Oh glitterbugs, you bet I did. And the amount of secrets in this romantasy? How?! What a tangled, glittering web you weave, Cortney. It’s magnificent. Is it too much to say a work of art?What can I say, I’m still riding the high of this bookish experience, okay? I can’t come down just yet, it’s too good!


Aside from feeling quite despondent over the necessary wait for book two, I have no downside! This is a beautiful, intriguing tale.

Final Thoughts:

Vesselless by Cortney L. Winn is a dark romantasy of desperation, sorrow and a number of terrible bargains. I am so in love with this beautiful book, and aching to know what comes next for these characters. So if you like what you’ve heard from my review? Just click on the link below to order your copy and then tell me what you think of it! Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can order Vesselless via this link: Amazon

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