WOW! What an amazing debut from Sara Larson. This is exactly the kind of book this chick loves!
Here's the quick rundown of the book. The story is set in a jungle country called Antion. King Hector of this country has declared war against the desert country of Blevon. The King of Antion blames Blevon and its sorcerers for the murder of his Queen. The story is told by Alex a/k/a Alexa. A young girl masquerading as a boy in the Prince's personal guard. I won't go into too many details because I want you to discovery all the elements of the story on your own. I just want say how much I enjoyed this book. Again. While I will admit some of the aspects of the story were predicable, I still enjoyed it immensely.
The story mainly takes place in the jungle country, which for a fantasy novel is a nice change, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the story. While a portion of the story took place in the desert country, we were not given too many details of that country. I do wish we had even more of the jungle in the story but that is just because I don't see a jungle setting used in too many fantasy books and would love to have see it used more.
Our characters are all very likable. Prince Damain and Rylan are the two other main characters. While we see more of what makes Prince Damian tick and therefore feel more connected to him, Rylan is a great character and I hope to learn more about him in future books. Their are a ton of other great characters and I found them all very well written. Ms. Larson did an amazing job of connecting the characters and the readers emotionally. Our cast of characters have not had easy lives and we are drawn into their struggles and feel for them as they try to muddle their way through their dilemmas.
This story has it all. Action, intrigue, romance, good vs. evil, twists and no cliffhanger. I did not realize this was a series until I started writing this review. I am very excited to see the next installment.
The only warning I have for you is that there is a love triangle. Despite my hatred of love triangles this one didn't annoy me as much. I loved this story so much that I wasn't that bothered by this aspect of the story. At first I found it unnerving that in the middle of her country at war Alexa starting focusing on kissing boys. But then I remembered she is only 17 and that is probably what most 17 year old girls think about when facing swoony boys. Luckily she snapped out of that phase.
This is a great read and a fabulous debut from Sara Larson. I can't wait to read more from her.