This is a wonderful book that I read many times when I was in my early teens. The adventure, the overcoming of fears, and finding the strength in yourThis is a wonderful book that I read many times when I was in my early teens. The adventure, the overcoming of fears, and finding the strength in yourself made this book meaningful as well as entertaining. This was more than just a fantasy novel, this was a lesson in life that all girls should experience. Life is an adventure and you can't live it if you don't break out of your shell! There is more strength to the human spirit than any fear can break.
Princess Addie was a brilliant heroine in this novel, a stark contrast to many others. Typically the lead female is either brave and gets braver, or weak and whines throughout the book. Addie, however, was the sheltered princess afraid of her own shadow and had to fight her demons (as well as the monsters in real life) to save her sister. Her determination conquers all and she learns that she is far braver than she'd ever thought possible.
Princess Meryl was the typical lead female I enjoy, feisty and strong, so it was a nice change to see her as a side character. What was different, however, was the subtle jealousy that was underneath the surface of her worry for Addie. I really liked that, it added more depth to Meryl's character and made me love her even more to see that she's not the perfect little warrior princess. Her ending, which I won't spoil, was perfect for her.
The other characters were great and added a lot to the world around the two princesses. Her father...I wanted to slap him, so he was definitely written perfectly. Rhys added wisdom and Drault added strength, making for two dashing male leads. I fell in love and actually felt conflicted about the dragons in this book, and the others were memorable and fit perfectly into the world of Bamarre.
This book was written wonderfully, had excellent world-building that seems lost these days, and the characters had depth beyond measure. I look forward to reading more from this author!...more
Rating: 4.5 but well worth the extra .5 stars here on Goodreads!
Charlaina and her friends were born into a world far into the future, the remnants ofRating: 4.5 but well worth the extra .5 stars here on Goodreads!
Charlaina and her friends were born into a world far into the future, the remnants of our society. They are governed by a matrilineal queendom that has ruled for ages which forces them into a caste system restricted by both position and language. They are brought up to believe that the Queen is their savior and that the system protects all of them, leading to a sort of pseudo-utopian outlook on the world around them. They are safe, they are protected, all under the Queen's guidance and ruling. Not all is well, however, and like many civilizations before them, like our own, an uprising was brewing. It hadn't worked in the past, the queendom's own history, but this time there is something different...a legacy. A pawn that is about to be traded in for a queen.
When tensions rise in the country and their happy little--albeit segregated--world is threatened, Charlaina and her friends must do what they can to protect themselves and those they love. Gifts are discovered, secrets are revealed, and love blossoms as Charlie finds herself forced into a situation she was never prepared for much less wanted. With her friends at her side and new faces fighting for her allegiance, the young woman must carve her own path and discover which side, which journey she must take to save the world she thought she knew...and the family that she ardently loves. (view spoiler)[In this fast paced tale of murder, mayhem, and mystery, we are also given a coming of age story and get to witness the transition from teen to queen. (hide spoiler)]
Although the plot is generally predictable, Derting does an excellent job of creating meaningful characters that are filled out. Not one character, aside from the darling little Angelina, is perfect and trust and love for all the characters fluctuated throughout the book. It kept me interested and looking to read between the lines, searching for hints that would possibly reveal more secrets behind the characters. Derting even made the queen out to have a soft spot, not the ice cold villain most fantasy books have. I was rooting for the heroine the entire time and not once did I question her emotional reactions to situations.
Charlaina was perfectly written as a teenager with real emotions and real feelings and real lust, much of which she'd never had experience with before. As for the other characters, like I said before: their meaning fluctuated as more information was revealed. Trust faltered. Reading for Charlie's point of view, I was able to get into her head and see the situation her way without my own nagging reactions dragging me down. The book kept me pleasantly intrigued despite the well worn (and well loved) template of a fantasy-romance novel.
The writing was excellent and the occasional shifting between points of view weren't jarring and added more perspective than most other first-person novels. We were able to see--briefly--what other characters were seeing that Charlie wasn't present for, and that made the story more rounded. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to reading other books by Derting, even if they are outside my typical favored genres.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more