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A SERVANT blackmailed into becoming a princess’s decoy.
A BODYGUARD determined to keep her alive.

A PRINCE forced to execute his father’s brutal laws.
A PRISONER used to keep him compliant.

A WORLD on the brink of war.

In one horrible night, Clare goes from kitchen maid to royal decoy. She has three months to become the princess's perfect double so she can ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard. The danger increases when a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, intent on ending the tenuous peace.

Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. He carries out the king’s harsh orders because the one person he cares about is his father’s prisoner. Grayson's silent obedience is tested when his father plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die.

The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos.

370 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 2020

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About the author

Heather Frost

12 books287 followers
Heather Frost is a #1 Amazon Bestselling YA author who loves epic stories with breath-stealing romance. She is the author of the Seers trilogy and the Fate of Eyrinthia series. Her books have been Whitney Award Finalists and Swoony Award Finalists. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and call it homework. When she’s not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and re-watch Lord of the Rings. She lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains in northern Utah. To learn more about Heather and her books, visit her website: www.HeatherFrost.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 126 reviews
Profile Image for Julie - One Book More.
898 reviews154 followers
September 30, 2022
Royal Decoy is an intense and intriguing story and the first in the Fate of Eyrinthia series. I loved it! A young adult fantasy with layered characters, wonderful romances, great friendships, and many jaw-dropping moments, the story hooked me from the very start.

The story switches between two different perspectives. Clare is a servant who, after witnessing an attack on the princess, is blackmailed into being her decoy. Grayson is a prince from another kingdom tasked with enforcing his father’s restrictive and unfair rules. Their stories are very different, though equally dangerous. I like that it switches points of view, as Grayson and Clare are both compelling characters in high-stakes situations. I have a feeling their paths will cross in future books in the series, and I’m excited to see if they become friends or foes.

Grayson’s life is very dark, and he spends much of it as his father’s puppet. Known for his violent and vicious ways of enforcing the law, Grayson is feared by the people of his kingdom. If only they knew the person underneath this cruel façade, but the only person who seems to know and care for him is a prisoner named Mia. The relationship between Mia and Grayson is lovely and the one bright spot in both of their lives. They are pawns in other people’s games, and they find solace and peace with each other from a young age. They have some wonderfully tender moments, and it was so heartwarming to see Grayson let his guard down, as he can do with no one else.

The love story between Clare and Bennick, a head guard, is positively swoon-worthy, and I love the small ways Bennick shows how he cares. Clare is in an impossible situation and is forced to act as a decoy, but she finds a friend in Bennick. Eventually, she realizes the friendship has turned into something more, and it was fantastic!! Like Grayson, Clare finds a bright spot in her otherwise terrifying situation. Her budding romance with Bennick is angsty and brooding and slow-building swoon-tasticness.

The plot is super intense since Clare’s life is in constant jeopardy as she pretends to be the targeted princess. It seems like she must always watch her back, as nowhere is safe, even the palace. Attempts on her life grow more and more dangerous, and she doesn’t know who she can truly trust. Political intrigue, social unrest, and so many other complications force Clare to embrace the life of a Royal decoy, and she knows that her life is not in her hands. Grayson’s story is equally suspenseful as he deals with unrest in his kingdom as well as threats from within his own family. Both characters lack control over their own lives, which adds to the intensity and suspenseful tone of the story.

The settings are also interesting and immersive, and I like how the two kingdoms contrast each other. From the landscape to the way the leaders rule, the juxtaposition is intriguing and well-crafted. I also like the many different relationships in the story. From romances to friendships to a variety of family relationships, many of these contrast each other too. Clare’s relationship with her younger brothers, for example, stands in stark contrast to Grayson’s connection to his siblings. You see the detrimental effect of toxic and abusive relationships and the benefits of loyal relationships built on respect and love, and I’m looking forward to seeing how some of these connections grow and change as the series progresses.

This was the first book I read by Heather Frost, and I now need to binge every book she’s ever written. Royal Decoy captivated me from beginning to end, and I’m eager to continue the series even though I have a feeling a couple of my favorite characters might break my heart. Talk about fantastic storytelling! Frost is a skilled writer who engrossed me from page one and made me so emotionally invested in the compelling protagonists and the suspenseful plot that I couldn’t put the book down until I finished.
Profile Image for Stay Fetters.
2,013 reviews117 followers
May 26, 2020
"Life isn’t predictable. Tragedies happen, and there are consequences beyond our control. But we choose the people we want close to us. We choose to be lonely, or embraced. Don’t choose loneliness, my dear.”

Reading a new (to me) authors work is always exciting because you don’t know what to expect. It feels like waiting for that jump scare in a horror movie. Heather Frost is an author that I definitely want to keep on my radar. She wrote a book that not only was mysterious and blood pumping but also something that made me have serious trust issues.

Clare is a kitchen maid for the Royals. She works hard to take care of her two younger brothers because she would do anything/everything for them. While leaving her shift one day, she comes across the Princess and her guards. What should have been a momentous occasion turns into something dreadful as assassins come out of hiding to attack the Princess.

Clare freezes as fighting ensues. That is until she sees someone trying to sneak up behind the Princess. Then she quickly steps into action. She throws herself at the Princess to save her but winds up becoming a prisoner. They think she was out to harm the Princess just like those assassins.

With Clare locked up, she is offered two options. She can stay in the cell and await her disastrous fate or go undercover as the Princess as a decoy. Danger is lurking around the Princess and they want to protect her at all costs and also figure out who’s behind this madness.

Clare decides to become a decoy and begins training immediately. What she assumed was going to be an easy but grueling task becomes something more as she catches the eye of the guard who is supposed to protect and train her, Bennick.

Prince Grayson disobeys his father every chance he gets. He knows his father is a cruel and unfair King but somethings just can’t be helped. The Prince must obey the ways of his father because he knows that he’ll kill the one person he loves most in this world. The King uses the Princes love as a pawn to get him to do his bidding.

The King wants to put a stop to a marriage alliance between two of his greatest enemies. The one thing that will help him get his way is for Prince Grayson to end someone’s life. The Prince has a choice, he either spills the blood of many innocent people or the woman he loves the most will die.

Will peace be brought forth? Or will Eyrinthia erupt in war?

This book was superb. This was a well thought out story that was action packed. When the action hit, it was like a bomb going off. It was amazing. The characters were developed really well and were all lovable in their own ways. Bennick was my favorite and I hope there’s a lot more of him to come.

Royal Decoy was a fantastic read that made me read it in one sitting. I was glued to the story that developed. It was easy for me to get lost in this mysterious and heartfelt read. Heather Frost will be an author that I keep on my radar from now on. Can’t wait for book two!
Profile Image for Kathy.
2,043 reviews568 followers
January 19, 2021
Just did a buddy re-read of this one, just as good the second time around! Loved it!

The story follows Clare, a kitchen maid who becomes the royal decoy for the princess. Clare is a fun character to follow, very likable and her motivations (protecting her brothers) rang true, over time she begins to enjoy her role. Even though her life is put in danger time and again. There is a a fun cast of characters surrounding her, particularly her handsome bodyguard. I look forward to following her story in future books.

Meanwhile, a parallel story is taking place, following Prince Grayson. He lives in a neighboring kingdom. His story is quite a bit darker, when we switch to his POV the story does become heavier. His parents are simply put... wicked. His brothers are equally evil. Grayson has become feared throughout his kingdom, having to carry out any deed his father commands, and although he hates his role, he does it to protect the one person he loves. I actually really enjoyed when we'd jump back into Grayson's world and seeing what was going on with him. I'm really looking forward to seeing where his story will lead.

I thought the worldbuilding was well done, despite following two different storylines, they take place in the same world and it helps to build an overall feel for the world. Normally, I am not the biggest fan of so many different POV in a book, but I thought it was handled really well here. I am very much looking forward to these characters, Clare and her crew, meeting Grayson and seeing how that all plays out.

I also learned that this is the start of a six-part series. I normally shy away from long series, and typically don't start a series until the whole thing is complete. But, something about this one called to me and I am glad that I jumped in. I really enjoyed Royal Decoy and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series. Crossing my fingers the rest of the series will be as captivating as this first book!

Content Rated PG13 for violence
Romance: just kissing
Language: None, made-up curses
Violence: Moderate - quite a bit of fighting and death. Grayson's side of the story was a bit more violent

Fate of Eyrinthia Series
Royal Decoy (Fate of Eyrinthia, #1) by Heather Frost
Profile Image for Aimee (Getting Your Read On).
2,931 reviews242 followers
June 1, 2020
I've been so excited about reading this book. From the blurb alone, I knew this was a book I wanted to read. I've been craving a book like this.

This is a story that completely captured my attention from the very beginning and didn't let go the whole way through. The pacing is fast and exciting, the plot is full of intrigue and danger. There are a lot of characters in this book but the author did a great job of bringing everyone to me in a natural way and giving them all very distinctive personalities and roles so I could easily remember each one.

There are two developing plot lines completely separate in location and with different characters but I can see they are going to collide at some point. It makes me anxious and excited.

Clare. Poor, brave Clare. I love her. How can you not love her? The author did a fantastic job of creating characters that care about and like. Clare is easy to love. She is the definition of love and sacrifice. She is also kind. I am a big fan of kind characters.

Grayson is a more complex character and my heart nearly wretched out of my chest for him. His tale is a sad one but somewhere in there I have hope that something good will come to him. Please, please, please.

I was so sad to get to the end of this book. Obviously this is a series and more books will be coming but not nearly fast enough for me. I wish I had book two right now. Sigh. Waiting is going to be hard.

Content: violence is high in this book, some graphic in nature. Peril, kissing.

This book is on Kindle Unlimited if you have that.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but have since bought my own copy.
Profile Image for Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa).
2,182 reviews169 followers
May 26, 2020
This book has just about everything! It is set in a fantasy fictional world. The time would be roughly medieval.

It was easy to become captivated by the two stories taking place in this book. Clare happened to be at the wrong place at the right time and finds herself caught in a trap. In order to stay alive and protect her brothers, she must put her life on the line and be the decoy for the princess. There are assassins who would do anything to stop the political marriage between the Princess and an enemy Prince.

Grayson is a Prince from another enemy kingdom who has to obey his father's decree. His heart isn't in enforcing his father's laws, but there is a sweet girl who he would do anything to protect. His story is heartwrenching. His family is terrible. He really is caught in a bad situation.

The intrigue is fantastic. I love a book with intrigue! You don't know who the bad guy is, and there are so many political adversaries and plots that it kept me reading and wanting to figure everything out.

This is a series that is worth reading. I will anxiously await the next installment to see what happens next and if the good guys will win in the end.
Profile Image for Christine .
513 reviews87 followers
June 17, 2020
I absolutely ate up this story! I know the whole point of reviews it to use your words…But, sometimes, when I love a story, it’s difficult to come up with the right words–if that makes sense. So, I’m going to do my best.

The story starts with Clare, a kitchen made in a royal castle. We don’t know much about her, but in the first chapter we do learn that she’s brave. Without giving spoilers, I’ll just say Clare does a wonderful thing and suffers for it. And my heart just breaks for her.

From this point on, we go back and forth between what Clare’s experiences are as a decoy and Prince Grayson–from another kingdom.

While Clare’s story is full of intrigue, suspense, and romance (oh, Bennick, how I love you!)…

Grayson’s story is slightly colored by the fact that he’s the epitome of the anti-hero. He does bad things, for a good reason.

I really loved each and every character in this story. I loved how everything came together in the end and seems to be progressing into a deeper story.

I’m really hopeful that at some point Clare and Grayson’s paths will cross. I can only imagine where Heather Frost is going with this! And, truth be told–I can’t WAIT for the next installment!

Profile Image for Renee Dugan.
Author 9 books94 followers
April 23, 2021
Such a wonderful book! I'm so so glad I found it, it's one of my new faves! Fantastic plot, amazing characters, lovely worldbuilding, great mystery, AMAZING ROMANCES. I can't wait for Book 2!!
Profile Image for Meli Montes.
390 reviews5 followers
June 5, 2021
4🌟
Objektive gesehen ist dieses Buch nicht perfekt aber mir hat es echt gut gefallen 💪 es gibt besonders am Anfang viele Infodumps und die Bösen sind bisher sehr eindimensional (haben keine wirklichen Beweggründe für ihr Handeln/sind böse um böse zu sein) aber abgesehen davon mochte ich alles andere 😂 Clare hat mir gut gefallen und auch ihr Loveinterest war gut, die beiden haben meistens offen miteinander geredet und sich direkt entschuldigt wenn wer was falsch gemacht hat (wobei ich finde dass viel Zeit übersprungen worden ist in der sich Gefühle entwickelt haben)💪 und Grayson ist natürlich sowieso ein Baby was um jeden Preis beschützt werden muss 😅
Profile Image for Sabrina.
138 reviews2 followers
April 30, 2022
Amazing. Gripping. Un-put-downable.

This book was amazing. I don't know what else to say about it. It was grippy, full of action, with plenty of uncertainty that kept me needed to known more.
The plot twist were fantastic.
The characters lovable.
The story enjoyable.

It was perfect 💖
Profile Image for Jessica Cantwell.
Author 6 books30 followers
January 9, 2022
No words

I hate writing five star reviews because I feel that nothing I say can truly express how much I love the book. I’ll start by saying, if I could rate this book higher I would. Frost has a true gift. I was instantly captivated and pulled into the story. I devoured every word and hungered for more with each turning page. There are characters you will empathize with, characters you will fall in love with and characters you will loathe so much, you’ll want to reach your hand through the book and strangle them! I am instantly on to book two. Do yourself a favor and read Royal Decoy!
20 reviews1 follower
March 8, 2020
I was able to read an early copy of this book and fell in love with this story! It is very well written and has everything I want. Action, romance, mystery, and intriguing characters that you really get attached to. I especially loved Grayson's storyline. His character really goes through a lot and I was rooting for him from the beginning. Then again.... I also loved Clare's storyline. (More Bennick please!! *Sigh*)
Overall, it is a fun, fast-paced story and a great beginning to a series.
Can't wait for book two!

Profile Image for Sheila.
1,079 reviews33 followers
June 3, 2020
Royal Decoy is a YA Fantasy that has a wonderful story. The novel has two separate storylines going on but it is so easy to follow. I love a novel that goes along at a fast pace with a lot of mystery, action, and great characters. Clare is a poor peasant that goes from a kitchen worker to living in the palace. She is likable and easy to cheer for as her life is always in danger as the decoy for the princess of her country. In the second storyline and another country, we meet Grayson a son of the King. Believe it or not, this is another wonderful character that I grew to like immediately, even though he is feared by his people as a vicious killer. He is known as the Black Hand. Grayson has a great love that he needs to protect and can only do this by his obedience to his father. There is more violence in his chapters, but it fits the story and circumstances.

This book grabbed me from the first chapter and is easily read. It really is hard to put down. I didn't figure out the person behind the threats until later than I usually do. This first book does a lot of building up of the world and its characters and I can't wait to read more about them in the next book. The romance is beautifully built at a slow pace but it is sweet. I have to say I think Clare and Bennick are so good together, but I also have a soft spot for Venn.

If you are looking for a good read with royalty, mystery, intrigue, spies, war, and romance, this book has it all. Heather Frost certainly delivers a great read with Royal Decoy.

Profile Image for Silvia.
314 reviews59 followers
October 13, 2021
You know what I love? Fantasy. You know what really thrills me? When a story like this one works its magic on me in a way I still feel its power after finishing it.

I’m not even going to pretend my initial excitement for this book wasn’t all about the decoy. Guys, a decoy! What a refreshing theme, and what a great read. My enthusiasm considerably intensified when I was just one chapter in. You heard that, one! That is all it takes for Heather Frost to captivate her readers and drag them into a dangerous world they won’t be able to escape from . . . Then, ‘escape’ is not a word any of us ever contemplates when we find two main storylines equally powerful and a plot that thickens with every chapter, right? I’m not exaggerating when I say every single chapter is compelling and provides food for thought, so much that doubts might instill in you about everyone . . .

Full of action, conspiracies, exciting twists and turns, charismatic characters, and hearth-warming moments—I demand my own Grayson!—this first instalment is a fantastic opening to an irresistible journey readers won’t easily forget.

I received a free copy of this book from the Author for an honest review. This does not affect in any way my opinion of the book nor the content of my revieworiginally posted on Darkest Sins.
Profile Image for Sydney.
944 reviews106 followers
June 5, 2020
Author Heather Frost has written a magnificent young adult fantasy romance that readers will absolutely love. The turn of every page is jam packed with fast paced, thrilling and adventurous twists and turns that will keep readers guessing and wanting more. The plot thickens with plenty of danger and intrigue. Told from multiple points of view, Frost eloquently brings to life the many characters and their stories. Each character plays a vital role in moving the fast paced story along. Readers will be sad to see this story go, especially with the cliffhanger ending and will be anxiously awaiting the second story in this exciting new series from Frost.

Series: Fate of Eyrinthia
Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance
Publisher: Indie
Publication date: June 18, 2020
Number of pages: 370

Other books in the series:
0.5-The Prince and the Prisoner

Disclosure statement: A complimentary review copy of this book was provided from tour groups, publishers, publicists, and authors, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, Or borrowed from Kindle Unlimited OR pre-ordered/purchased for review. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Deborah.
618 reviews39 followers
January 23, 2021
Heart pumping! Head swooning! Holy heck where has this book been???

I don’t even know how to review this? It had the perfect amount of action, love and tension. I loved Claire. From the very beginning I was all in for her character. She was put in an impossible situation and yet still clung to who she was. Bennick is right up there with my favorite Hero’s of all time. The author could not of written him more perfectly. He was tough as nails and soft as silk. ❤️. The rest of the characters in that POV were great. I was also totally shocked by the ending. Wow!

Grayson was a complex man with a dark life. I was rooting for him every step of the way. His POV however was hard for me to read at times. The sheer evilness of his family made my stomach want to hurl! The light in his life was Mia and oh did I feel the light. Their story was beautiful and captivating. Love is a powerful thing and it truly can shape our decisions.

Read this book, you won’t be sorry!

*another amazing buddy read!
Profile Image for Mindy.
786 reviews76 followers
June 4, 2021
Royal Decoy is a captivating, page turning adventure. There were many times while reading this book, I had to hold my breath, waiting to see what would happen next. Well written and excellent characters and I appreciated the author giving them a voice by switching point of views throughout the story. And wow, there are some evil things going on. I really loved this book, but be prepared, it is contains some violence, but I felt it fit in the story because of all the craziness that is taking place. Clare is a strong girl who is thrown into a very hard situation but adapts well with those around her who care. I appreciated one relationship especially, I hope it develops more in the next book. (I can’t say who without spoiling).
Profile Image for Michalla.
301 reviews1 follower
March 25, 2020
I was an early reader for this book and can I just say how much I love this book. Wow. Just wow. Heather does not disappoint ever!! This book, all of the characters (especially Bennick), are amazing and so well developed. I found I could not stop reading it and finished it quickly. This book is amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone who needs a new book to read!
Profile Image for Erin.
508 reviews26 followers
March 2, 2022
Holy crap. That was so good. Just WOW. This was fantastic!! One of my favorites. I’ve been addicted to this book since I started it. It’s 1am and there was literally no way I was willing to go to bed without finishing it.

Plot- excellent. Believable premise. Edge of my seat engaging. I was fully invested and was rooting for the characters.

Romance- 2 for 1! And both were incredible. Chemistry through the roof. The author did a great job with scenes because she puts meaning in every look, every touch. You know what I’ve noticed with well written books? The author describes not just the different facial movements, but also where the characters’ hands are. It adds a lot of depth to the scenes.

Characters- well-rounded, fleshed out. I loved the MC, Clare. And Bennick was ah-maze-ing. Grayson was the perfect scarred, tortured hero (my favorite kind), and Mia was the sweet supporting character that balanced his bleakness. (Oh, I also loved the diversity in the book with a bunch of characters with all different skin tones. And there were no prejudices at all, between them or even culturally.)

Writing- this is where the novel shined! The writing was phenomenal. Truly, SO many scenes were poignant, action packed, or had thick, delicious, toe-curling chemistry. The author has perfected the art of using the characters’ body movements (and hand placement) to express emotion. Not just in the swoony scenes, either. Like in that one scene when Bennick was tormented with something from his past and had his arms pushing against the castle wall, his hands flat on the cold stone, with his head lowered between them. It was just such a perfect visual. There were lots of great visuals like that. (Oh, also, I really liked the third-person point of view used in this novel.)

There were opportunities for massive misunderstandings to tear the characters apart, but instead they immediately told the truth. It was such a relief! I never had to scream, “JUST TELL HIM!” because the author had the main characters do it right away. I LOVED that the author didn’t have to rely on misunderstandings to propel the sexual tension. And the author fully capitalized on those scenes - wrote them just perfectly to draw out the emotion as they COMMUNICATED. (Communication. It works. Who knew?)

This ended with a pretty big cliff hanger, but it’s still “happily for today”… with danger on the horizon and I’m not sure how either couple will find a way to be together.

Can’t wait to get my hands on Book 2. I will DIE THE DEATH if it’s not released yet…


Content:

Language- no swearing. I liked that the substitute swear word sounded totally legit: “Fates”

Sex- no sex. No talk of sex. Some kissing. Tons of chemistry, still. This book is proof that you can have amazing sexual tension without relying on sex.

Violence/abuse- tons of familial emotional abuse and manipulation. It seemed like all the families depicted were torn apart either from distrust/betrayal or having parents killed in brutal, traumatizing ways. Lots of violence. Lots of blood. But not to the point that it took away from the story. Well, I mean there were a LOT of attacks, definitely over the top, but it made for great action and awesome scenes so I didn’t mind.

Cover- good.

I read this on Kindle Unlimited


**BAD NEWS: apparently there will be 4 books in the series and the 3rd isn’t due to be published for a few months, and it appears to end on a cliffhanger. So I have a long wait! *crying*
I’m quitting the series until all 4 have been released.
Profile Image for Stephanie -BooksLessTravelled.
889 reviews113 followers
November 10, 2021
*I received an early ecopy from the author. (I have since also read this in KU.) This does not affect my review.*

Original Review:
I've been excited about this one for a little while now, and upon reading it, I am so happy I found this story! Filled with intrigue and danger, questions of fate, and a dash of romance, this book had a little of everything I want in this kind of story, and I can't wait to see what happens next in this series!

This book focuses on two stories, that of Clare and of Prince Grayson. Both are caught in a fate that neither of them wanted. Clare gets caught in an assassination attempt on a princess, and while proved innocent Clare is forced to act as a decoy for the princess, or face assured death. Grayson is in one of the enemy kingdoms mentioned, forced to deal with his horrid family in an attempt to protect the girl he loves. Both stories are thrown together in the aftermath of cataclysmic events! Filled with twists and heartache, this story kept me hooked from the start, and I loved all the new turns as the story progressed!

Updated Review:

While all the above still stands, I wanted to share a little more about my thoughts and what I enjoyed about this one. Royal Decoy has been on my TBR for a while, and I'm so happy that I can finally read the sequel as well, as I've wanted to catch up on this series since Royal Spy was first released! I honestly picked Royal Decoy up a few times recently, and yet over the last couple months I always seemed to be pulled away and ended up only reading a couple pages, then restarting each time as I never really got far enough to be pulled in (I honestly never left the first scene each time!) and wanted to bad to read it but was never free to enjoy it as life always kept me too busy to focus on the story. Ugh, fun times, haha!

So I was thrilled when I finally actual has the chance to sit down and enjoy this one, and I know now that this time was the right time for this one! I've been rather listless about reads lately, enjoying a few good ones each month, then realizing I have finished (or caught up) on the series and if there are sequels, they aren't out yet. So I finally circled back to this one after another such series, and while I knew the basics about this one, knowing about the princess's decoy, the the warring/enemy kingdoms, I didn't know much of what to expect from the story and characters themselves! And actually, I liked it that way. This one plays heavily on mystery and 'reveals' throughout that push the plot forward as new info or details are presented, so I won't say much there.

I can (and will) say that I was surprised by how quickly I came to like some of these characters, as well as the odd feeling of 'I really like you...but don't fully trust that your (either A: who you say) or (B: Not just there trying to kill XYZ) which, okay I'm weird and may be alone in this, but I love when stories do that! Too often I can guess or predict plot twists and even from the moment I met them I often can tell if a character is friend or foe, and if they are hiding something or flat out lying. So it's rare that I like them, but end up unsure as to where they stand, and I had that happen several times in this one, with a handful of different characters! (Sure I also pegged a few exactly, but know what? I'm cool with that too! :)

I also really enjoyed the fact that not only the MCs and POVs we see in this one (there ends up being 4 POV characters by the end of Royal Decoy) but also their friends/companions also had interesting personalities and even a couple who were clearly driven by more than 'I'm just here to fill a gap' but actually had their own thoughts and additions to Clare's story and to the story overall. A kind word or act from one of Clare's guards, a word (or threat) from one of Grayson's rivals it didn't have to be much but the fact that these little gestures and extra thought was added to the details in the story, and I loved the feel and time taken to really breathe life into this one! It's one of those stories that I could picture as the scenes played out, and almost picture myself there, standing next to Clare as she's being fussed over and trained for her new role, or as a spectator while she spars with Bennick, or with Grayson while he fights to survive all his never ending battles.

I loved the mystery and intrigue, the friendships and the betrayals, this story had a little of everything, and I'm so excited to read Royal Spy and find out what happens next!
Profile Image for Watch Jamie Read.
754 reviews2 followers
June 11, 2020
“A woman’s heart should only be able to break once.”

I loved every minute of this journey! I can’t wait to see where this adventure takes us! Clare and Greyson are on converging paths and I can’t get enough of their stories and what fate has in store! I fell in love with Bennick ridiculously fast and I can’t imagine a world without Venn! The tortured world of Greyson and his brothers is tragic and empowering. My heart breaks for Greyson and what he has had to endure. I hope Liam proves an ally down the road. The pace of the book was perfect! It moved along quickly enough to not lose interest, but it went slowly when needed to enhance the story. Great read! Don’t make me wait too long for book 2!
Profile Image for Michelle .
1,990 reviews221 followers
May 16, 2021
Royal Decoy is the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Fate of Eyrinthia by author Heather Frost. Man, I loved this book! It made me so excited and antsy for the next book in this series. It honestly had everything I look for in a fantasy novel...great characters, an interesting complex plot, fantastic world building and plenty of awesome political intrigue/court politics and secrets to keep readers guessing and riveted to the story. 

Royal Decoy is told in multiple perspectives and follows two separate plotlines in two different kingdoms. Not only did I love the different stories, but I was dying to figure out how they would intersect with each other because we really have no idea at the start of the book. Our main character Clare (in her plotline) is a kitchen maid that finds herself as a more than bystander on an assassination attempt on the princess. After that, she is basically forced to become the Princess' decoy. Through this timeline we meet the royal family of Devendra. Devendra has two major enemies- Mortise and Ryden. 

The other plotline is told from the point of view of Prince Grayson of Ryden. I enjoyed seeing how different the kingdoms were. Ryden is very bloody and violent. They rule with an iron fist and would very much like to inspire fear in their people. Grayson seemed to be cut from a different cloth than his brothers and father and I very much liked seeing his point of view, and seeing Mia the girl he was infatuted with. I will admit that I wasn't really ever sure about Mia, and I think because of that I preferred to read Clare's timeline because it was easier for me to connect with her and the guards she was training with. (plus, I loved Bennick) 

Royal Decoy is an immensely readable story. Once I picked it up, I was done for. I couldn't put it down for anything. I completely fell in love with Clare and the story. Heather Frost did a fantastic job with this world. I felt the complex pull and tug of the different kingdoms. I felt Ryden not wanting MOrtise and Devendra to allign, I felt all of their desperation to avoid attack, all the while the whole world sits poised at the edge of war. It was all very powerful, even when it was simmering in the background. And in the foreground were fantastically developed characters, wonderful simmering romantic tension that I could not get enough of. I need the next book in this series right now! 

If you are a fan of fantasies featuring great characters and romance, an interesting complex plot told in multiple perspectives, fantastic world building and plenty of awesome political intrigue Royal Decoy is a book you will love! It releases next week, and I think this is a book that should be on your radar! It is one of my favorite fantasy reads of the year!

4.5/5 gavels
Profile Image for Thindbooks.
568 reviews32 followers
May 28, 2020
*This book was given to me by the author to give an honest review in return*

This book was super unique and the story is fresh. It's something that I have never read before. It was like a royal mystery novel! This book is about a princess decoy, Clare, falling in love with her bodyguard but has to protect her family. The author's writing was enjoyable and I loved how she included rare POVs of Bennick, the bodyguard, also some other special characters. The author's story flowed and I loved all the actions she added to this story. The book was well-paced of course and didn't end off in a cliffhanger.

The characters were enjoyable and I felt connected to them though there was a part where I thought Grayson's part wasn't needed in the book which I guess it will develop along into the second book. I loved the slow build-up relationship between Clare and Bennick because they are perfect for each other also they care so much for their loved ones. The author added a lot of information both personality and physical traits so it's not hard to imagine how the characters look like.

The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because of Grayson's part. Even though it will come in handy for the 2nd book, I felt like there were too many chapters of his story that could have been explained in 2-3 chapters. That is the only problem I had with this book but other than that I totally recommend this book to everyone especially those who want a fresh royalty read.
Profile Image for Rach W.
319 reviews1 follower
February 15, 2021
I loved the premise, the characters, and the world - the conflicts are super interesting. And normally I get annoyed with romance but this book did it well...man, was it smoldering. I also loved learning about the characters back stories - all of them are so fascinating! I especially love books that get me to think about the psychology of characters and their relationships, and this book was perfect for that! I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a very entertaining read.
Profile Image for Sheila G.
506 reviews97 followers
June 19, 2020
I'm excited to be a part of the ROYAL DECOY blog tour with The Fantastic Flying Book Club from June 12th - June 18th, 2020!

I received an ARC of this book from the author, Heather Frost in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.

description

All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

Content Warning: Attempted Assassination/Murder, Death
In that terrorized moment, reality had hit her hard. She was a decoy. Her whole purpose was to be in danger--to face death--so Serene could live.

In the land of Eyrinthia, four nations vie for power. Long ago, one of the previous kinds of Ryden tried to conquer Mortis, Zennor, and Devendra, but failed. The resentment from his actions never left the land and fueled rivalries between the nations.

It comes to no surprise when an attempt on Princess Serene’s life is enacted by rivaling Mortisians. Luckily for the Princess, bystander and kitchen maid to the castle Clare, saves the Princess’ life. Lowly in status, Clare is assumed to be one of the attackers and is held in prison and questioned by the King’s Commander Markam. Even though her innocence is confirmed by the Princess’ guards, Clare is still posed with a difficult decision: become the Princess’ secret decoy, or die.

Without any options and younger siblings to provide for after her parents passed, Clare decides to take up the risky position of a decoy for the brown-skinned Princess that she resembles greatly. Without any choice, Clare is thrust into a life of opulence, but also an untoward danger. Clare’s life is on the line when someone tries to poison or kill her several times over.
His scars were not just skin deep. The wrongs he’d committed in his father’s name stained him. He was the Black Hand. He’d killed.

The storyline is split between four characters’ perspectives--the main being Clare’s. There is also Prince Grayson, known as the “Black Hand” and son to a tyrant King, Bennick, and Eliot. Hating that he must do his father’s bidding, Grayson tries to defy him as often as he can. He cannot break free from his father, as he holds captive the one person that Grayson holds most dear. Either he carries out the tasks he is given, or she dies.
”You’re not your scars.”

Ultimately this story is about challenging the “fate” that one’s life has led each character down. Filled with romance, this story equally has it’s heart-wrenching moments between characters that are easy to appreciate. This read is for those that love warring nations, political movement, royalty and romance.

Vulgarity: Minimal.
Sexual content: Minimal - kissing only.
Violence: Moderate.

My Rating: ★★★1/2

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Profile Image for Kameo Monson.
Author 5 books14 followers
June 4, 2020
Within the first few pages, this book had me hooked. In fact, it was the word "hitched" that did it. Frost used the word this way: "hitched to her feet."

Hitched doesn’t mean stood up. It doesn’t mean rose up. But it works! I knew exactly what Frost meant, even though she’d changed the entire definition! I loved the way she used it.

But that isn’t all the author does well. Her understanding of how the emotion within both fast-paced action and love scenes made me bring my Kindle downstairs–on my birthday–to sit and read. I write and read regularly. When I want to relax while reading, I only choose books I’m totally invested in, and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next in this book!

I had no idea who the “bad guy” was at the end until the author divulged that information. The idea of this character being the “bad guy” hadn’t even crossed my mind. But it all made sense. She’d even dropped breadcrumbs. I just hadn’t studied them well enough. THIS IS RARE for me. I almost always guess in advance and correctly. By the time I reached the unveiling, I’d ruled out most of the characters I’d considered, dropped a major breadcrumb, and was totally off.

At one point while reading, I thought, "oh my goodness, everyone has a plan to destroy someone else!" This isn’t a book with one good side and one bad side. There are multiple groups with their own playbook. And I’m not entirely convinced I’ve run into all of them. This makes it hard to keep track of everyone. But I managed to do it, and I’m certain most readers can as well.
Profile Image for Caitlin Smith.
143 reviews16 followers
June 4, 2020
Thank you to Heather Frost for sending my an E-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Royal Decoy follows Clare, a young kitchen maid, who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. She goes from her safe position in the kitchens to being a decoy for a princess that is wanted dead.

Across the mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s strongest weapon. And he will do anything his father says, or the one person he cares about will be the one to suffer.

I don’t want to get to much into the plot because I went in not knowing much and found that I quite enjoyed it that way! I have to say, I thought this was such an amazing first book in a series!

Firstly, the premise of this novel was so interesting! It’s something that I’m fairly certain I haven’t read before in other books. While I did prefer Clare’s storyline over Grayson’s, I can honestly say that I enjoyed the book as a whole. I really enjoyed the cast of characters we had, I found them to be really interesting and complex, while still being very entertaining, I don’t think I could pick a favourite!

I didn’t really know what to expect from this book but I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this and I can’t wait to continue with the series!

Profile Image for Crystal Frost.
Author 2 books4 followers
June 2, 2020
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early copy of Royal Decoy. My reading time is severely limited, so when I come across a book that I finish in a day or two, I know it's a good one! Royal Decoy has everything I've been craving in a good book and Heather Frost did not disappoint. She is known for her believable, deep characters, intrigue, suspense, romance (always 100% clean!), and and she delivered on each of these areas with flying colors! Plus, the fact that it's medieval fantasy fills my heart with so much happiness. I'm part of the FoE (Fate of Eyrinthia) fandom already! I can't wait for book 2!
Profile Image for Shelby Hayes.
26 reviews
May 19, 2020
The book was good although it had some violent parts that I wasn't expecting. So if you are squeamish you are warned. I enjoyed the book because there were no vampires, demons, or fairies that made it unrealistic. It was just a story in a different time and different place. The land where it takes place isn't described much because most of the scenes we see are inside the castle walls. The main character Clare was enjoyable. She wasn't one of those ditzy characters where you wonder what in the world is she thinking. She was believable and likable. The part that I was confused about until the end was why there were 2 different stories going on at the same time. Grayson's story was much more disturbing than Clare's. He had some issues to deal with and I hated his family especially Tyrell. With Clare's story, it's still difficult to see who is the villain. There was so much going on and she couldn't catch a break. I felt sorry for her at times. The story was exciting and kept me turning pages into the middle of the night. I was wishing it was over because I was so tired but I couldn't put the book down because it was soo good. Of course, I kept turning pages and reading until everything became blurry. Then I'd start again when I woke up. Thank goodness my kids are older and don't need me much because I was no help lol. That's how hooked I was. One minute you'd be reading about Clare and the next thing you know the chapter would end on a cliffhanger. You'd turn the page and be reading about Grayson(that did drive me crazy though). In the beginning, it was difficult to remember who was who in each story but about midway through it stuck with me.
I am excited to delve into the next book to see how the two stories come together. I hope it doesn't take too long.
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