This book has been flooding my social media feeds for the last month. It seems like everyone has been reading this new YA series. So naturally I needed to see what all the fuss was about.
And really, how can you ignore this stunning cover? I’m in love with it….yes I am totally judging a book by it’s cover right now.
Princess Lia is a First Daughter of Morrigham and with her regal status comes obligations. One of those obligations is to marry.
Her father arranges a marriage with a prince from the neighboring kingdom of Dalbreck to secure a much needed peace in the realm.
As a First Daughter, Lia is also supposed to have The Gift. That is another reason for the marriage…..but she doesn’t have it. This isn’t the only issue….Lia has never met this prince and how can she marry a man she barely knows let alone love him?
On the day of her wedding she makes a rash decision–she runs like hell.
Lia and her servant and friend Pauline make a mad dash for a distant region known as Terravin. Lia plans on casting off her royal identity forever and living a quiet life in Terravin as her father has surely put a price on her head.
Back in Morrigham, the jilted Prince of Dalbreck means to track down his runaway bride so he can see the women who has the courage to do what he so wanted to but couldn’t–runaway.
But he isn’t the only one hot on Lia’s trail….an assassin from Venda, the barbarian region, is hired to kill her.
They both track Lia to Terravin but when they meet her, she isn’t what they were expecting. She isn’t the spoiled bratty princess they were expecting. She is kind, strong, and independent–not to mention beautiful.
To Lia, the two men she meets in the tavern are just Kaden and Rafe…..she has no idea who they are and for the matter neither does the reader.
For most of the story, their identities are hidden and the reader must try to figure out which is the deadly but sexy assassin and which is the dashing prince.
This book was very unique and quirky. I loved it! It has so much promise as a series. I am really looking forward to reading the next book/books. I can see what all the fuss is about–it’s AMAZING.
I loved how we didn’t know which man was the assassin and which was the prince. It literally kept me guessing up until the last minute. I really really liked that approach.
One of the things that I thought set this aside from some YA series that I have read was the sex issue. I liked that teen/single parent pregnancy was addressed in a tasteful manor.
Without giving too much away, I liked how Lia and one of her suitor have implied sex. It doesn’t need to be spelled out in graphic detail in the novel, but I loved how the author wasn’t afraid to go there. Sex is a reality for many teens and I think a lot of YA novel shy away from it and put the focus on the true love perspective.
This novel still focuses on the idea of true love but then there is the reality of sexual desire and the consequences of those actions….I loved love loved that about this novel. It made it much more real for me as a reader.
I also loved that the author and the love interests don’t ‘gush’ over Lia. I don’t even think that her physical beauty is mentioned really in the book either. They were purely drawn to her personality and spirit. It was refreshing to see this approach in literature, and I think that a lot of young female readers will like this approach to her character……brains over beauty.
The only thing I struggled with while I was reading was the lack of background on The Gift and the overall layout and political climate of the country.
This is a high fantasy novel and as such I expected a little more development and explication about how things work and what regions are at war and how the politics of the land are.
I felt a little lost in the world. Toward the end things started to come together but it was almost a little too late. Adding the texture of the realm I think would have helped strengthen the novel as a whole.
The biggest thing that I felt was lacking in the novel was an explanation of how The Gift worked as well as who the Remnants were. From what I gathered from the story, The Gift is of sight and can see the future but I am not quite sure. We get bits and pieces but I don’t recall anything concrete but perhaps other books will fill in the gaps.
Overall though it was still a wonderful story and I loved its potential for growth! There were many many things to like–romance, a strong protagonist, fantasy, adventure, and political intrigue. I would highly recommend this book….so much to love!
ebook, 496 pagesPublished July 8th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
- Review copy provided by: Personal collection
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 4.5 out of 5
Genre: YA, fantasy, romance, high fantasy
…and if one can’t be trusted in love…one can’t be trusted in anything
Some truths refuse to be hidden
The truths of the world wish to be known, but they won’t force themselves upon you the way lies will.
I knew he believed what he was saying, but that still didn’t make it true. There are always choices. Some choices are just not easy to make.