A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.
Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king’s army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince’s guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can’t prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.
The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she’s sworn to protect?
You know, when I first saw this book I thought, Oh. It’s a love triangle. But I still couldn’t stop myself from reading it. I’ve read a lot of good books with love triangles, but I’ve read plenty more bad ones. Believe me when I say it, this is a good one.
I was afraid that I wouldn’t like Alexa. My first impressions of her was that if Harlequin came together with Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore, the heroine would end up being Alexa. The longer I got to know her though, the more I got to see traits to her that don’t belong in Alanna or Katsa, and while I didn’t like her as much as the first time I read about Katsa, I really did like Alexa. I admired her bravery, her strength and the way she made the decisions she needed to in the end of the book; how she came to live with herself.
What I didn’t like about her, however, was the way she kept blowing up at Damian for keeping secrets from her. It was annoying and bratty and while I can understand why she did it, it came off to me as her being a jerk to him. You have to understand the guy, his personality and his space, especially if she likes him so much.
Beyond that though, I truly enjoyed this story. It was a lot of fun and I think it has a lot to bring to the YA crowd. The twists and turns to this story were great, and kept me guessing at what was going to happen next. I loved the ending to this story, and I’m eagerly awaiting the second book in this series, even though there’s a burning hole in my gut right now, one that appears every time, oh, I don’t know. EVERY TIME GOODREADS STATES THAT THE NEXT BOOK IS GOING TO BE RELEASED NEXT YEAR. But no matter. There are certain books worth waiting for, and this is one of them.
This is an amazing debut from Sarah B. Larson and I look forward to reading her books in the future. 4.5 stars.
pg count for the kindle edition: 336