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Steel Maiden

(Divided Realms #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,330 ratings  ·  92 reviews
In a land where magic is banned and where cruel High priests rule, Elena steals the most valuable jewel in the Empire in the hopes to sell it and start a new life. But she is caught, and the punishment for stealing is death. And yet in that moment she is given a choice—death or to become one of the High priests' champions in The Great Race.

Elena is catapulted without
Kindle Edition, 342 pages
Published August 31st 2015 by Riverbend Press (first published August 22nd 2015)
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Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,330 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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Start your review of Steel Maiden (Divided Realms, #1)
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pnr-uf-sf, 2015
4.5 stars!

Really enjoyed this one. I need more fantasy books like this one!
Oct 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 40%

the writing is bad
the girl has feeeeeeelings for the guy who betrayed her to the enemy
Amy Liu (Bookish Amy)
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
A fantasy book, we follow the story of Elena who is caught stealing from the high priest. In order for her to not be prosecuted for her stealing and for the protection of her care taker, Elena agrees to participate in a race/competition. She also discovers secrets about herself.

Ok so I stopped reading a little before halfway through the book (42%) because it was not good at all.
To begin with, I felt like I was reading an inverted fanfic of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. The description for
Tabi Wares
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
....I am giving this book two stars, only because it was so much fun to relay to my friend as I was reading it.

Continuity errors! Please, someone, hire an editor over there and give this a once over.

That said, it was super predictable; the heroine came up JUST shy of Mary Sue-hood, the half-assed love triangle, the priest father... I liked the idea behind the story, and I did appreciate that the author didn't try too hard to be fancy. Although, that did mean bordering on 'unimaginative' at
Boundless Book Reviews
Elena is a young woman who is from the pit. Taken care of by Rose, who was sworn to protect her, after her mother had died. There's something about Elena, that she can't even grasp. She knows how to throw with high accuracy and hand to hand combat comes easy. Though, she has never been trained.

Elena makes a decision to go after a crown. One that could help her and Rose get of the pit. No longer have to starve and live in filth. They fear the high priests, who have taken over all the kingdoms.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ughhh. I really liked this book. I truly did. The story and characters grabbed me immediately. BUT...

(view spoiler)
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Funny this is my first review ever and I think that goes to show how much I really really wanted to like this book. I DNF-d at 43% because I honestly couldn't go on anymore. Elena, a skin-and-bones beauty (who somehow wields a dagger better than grown strong men) born in the Pit is too busy holding grudges AND simultaneously gawking at two handsome guys to worry about what she should... SURVIVAL! For someone with her upbringing, Elena lacks street smarts and grit.

Another problem I had with this
Julia David
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Elena is beautiful, she is special and she grew up in the Pit with all the other very poor people. Usually girls with her beauty are taken by the priests, but she was hidden for years by her mother's friend. Elena makes a bad decision, one that she thinks will get her and Rose out of poverty, and sets several things into motion. Elena believes she is betrayed by Mad Jack. She ends up in a race, is supposed to bring back a stone and then the high priest will spare Rose and all the people in the ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Despite Elena being a little annoying in the beginning, I did enjoy this book, and will read the next in the series.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Writing felt disjointed and forced at points. Was tempted to not finish it, but I'm a completist if anything.
Reader's Hollow
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
**We received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

Reviewed by Jessica J
4.5 Stars!

We start with Elena who is a naturally gifted fighter, especially with weapons. She's had no training and has grown up in a place called the Pit. As you can imagine, it's the pits. :P Lured with a chance at freedom, and a drive of hunger, Elena attempts a high-risk theft. This gets her, and her loved one (a grandmother figure) Rose in trouble.

Coerced to retrieve a stone by the evil Priests, Elena
Holly Ice
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was miles better than I expected it to be from the blurb. The plot is very well constructed and enjoyable, a magic-based, world-building tale.

I found most the characters to be believable and their actions always made sense.

The romance brewing throughout is at a steady simmer, rushing to boil near the finale. The main romantic interest is dark, mysterious and strong. Just my shot of bourbon ;)

The dialogue, however, could be better. In many instances it feels over the top or
Dora Okeyo
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I stumbled upon this book while going through free YA books on Kindle.
There is a story here. Elena lives a life worse than that of scavengers at a time when priests plunder and eat everything there is. She steals a crown to fulfill a dare and this gets here before the High priest who insists that she has to join a race to win a stone for their realm.
Like I said, there is a story here.
I am not a YA Fantasy buff, but I'm glad I had something to read during my work break.
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Good story, character development, action and romance. The main protagonist is a young woman with the special ability to heal herself. The land she lives in is ruled by evil priests. A race is run by nobility, peasants, royalty, and this special woman to obtain a special stone by overcoming drastic and overwhelming odds. The winner must return it to the high priest. The plot thickens from there.....
Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
just finished it and give it four and half stars, will have to get book 2 when it comes out to see what happens next .
C. J. Borntrager
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm normally a little wary of cheap books on Google Play, but when I checked the Goodreads reviews, I thought Steel Maiden would have something of substance to offer--I'm not someone who needs every book I read to be an epic, poignant tale, and I'm more than willing to dial the critical thinking down in favor of some fun. I thought Steel Maiden would be an easygoing, light summer read. Instead, it was just... bad.

The writing itself is bland. Based on the graphic violence, threats and
Mar 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
It's not often I read a book I don't like - and despite all the negative reviews I read, I still decided to give this book a chance. Sadly, it didn't prove otherwise.
Steel Maiden read like a first draft. There were plotholes, repeated sentences and the way the paragraphs were divided made me very confused who was talking, and there were just too many things that bothered me to remember them all. A summary: it all felt fake. While I wouldn't have wanted this book to last longer than it did, I'm
Jul 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Gottschalk
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lovers of romantic fantasy will probably really enjoy this book - even though it is fairly predictable.

Richardson has created a compelling, strong female lead character and the fast paced action kept me on the edge of my seat.

One of the problems with a book like this is that it did not really end. This is the first in a new series by Richardson which means that the characters are skillfully introduced but at the book's close things are worse than they were at the start.

I enjoyed this one enough
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story itself is interesting (luckily), but the writing is not the best. It seems like someone has tried to make a book of out a movie/tv-series. The heroine is supposed to be smart, but she seems quite dumb. Obvious things are said too much and obvious things keep happening. The writing is kind of akward and too simple. Seems like a children's book, but then it has some adult scenes. I feel this story has lots of potential, but.. Well... I am not an expert of writing, but I guess this book ...more
Natalie panda eyes
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nail biting action.

Gotta say I really enjoyed this one, fast paced action in the right places. A good introduction into a new world of magic. Elena is a strong character that refuses to break in a world that looks down on women. I love Mad Jack, it’s so obvious but she doesn’t see it. All the priests need to die ASAP.
May 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Did not enjoy the dialogue

If you enjoy a plot driven book full of action then this book will suffice. I had a hard time with the dialogue and how it was written. The words held no beauty or craftsmanship. I found the dialogue blunt and the use of contemporary slang annoying. It took away from the story the clumsy use of words and pushed me away from liking the characters.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoyed this and read this fairly quick.
This was a fast-paced read full of action and a magical storyline. The main character was very driven and determined which I loved throughout her journey in the story but it would have been better to see more interaction with the rest of the characters a little more so, other than that I recommend this story for readers that like YA Fantasy.
Michelle R
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Good idea - Bad Execution

Another eBook with a good premise but poor execution. It moves at a fast pace but in the process it loses important aspects of storytelling like character and plot development. The writing was mediocre. I started skipping pages just to get to the ending. I did like the cover.
Jared McMahon
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great New Series...

Great combination of different plots, lovable characters and action! Will read every one. Adding a new name to my "Must Read Authors List".
Lyn Mckenzie
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really adored this book, i seriously could not stop reading, it is an action filled fantasy that keeps you hooked through the whole story. I would highly recommend it to readers especially if you love fantasy.

I loved how imaginative this story was, as you are reading this book you genuinely don't know what is going to happen next and every surprise is a joy. The way the author wrote this book is so enjoyable, the way that she is able to create such a vivid and imaginative world with original
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was really not that good!!
The story has potential, but the writer can't seem to deliver.
And the odd romance just came out of nowhere at all, it was a bit wired!
1,5 stars ..
Deanna Lee
Mar 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Such a pity

This book had potential however it is clear that the author has taken majority of her ideas from books already written. A pity.
Ronda Wingo
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
I liked this book for the first half or so, but then it just suddenly felt very predictable or something and I lost interest.
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Kim Richardson is the award-winning author of the bestselling SOUL GUARDIANS series. She lives in the eastern part of Canada with her husband, two dogs and a very old cat. She is the author of the SOUL GUARDIANS series, the MYSTICS series, and the DIVIDED REALMS series. Kim's books are available in print editions, and translations are available in over 7 languages.

Other books in the series

Divided Realms (3 books)
  • Witch Queen (Divided Realms, #2)
  • Blood Magic (Divided Realms #3)