A lot of new fantasy stories about knights, lords and ladies, and ancient lands feel like “Game of Thrones” these days, so if you’re into that kind of story but more for a YA audience, this book could be for you. With multiple characters’ points of view, you get a good cast to add depth to the plot. Also, the authors do a good job of creating a fantasy realm that feels familiar and unique at the same time.
That said, there were some things that bugged me. For one, the story is a very, very slow build. This isn’t entirely bad because this is a first book in a series and you want to get to know the characters. All the political intrigue makes for a good, suspenseful read. However, when the action finally takes place at the end of the book, it’s over really quickly and you’re left with a cliffhanger just when things are finally getting good. I also felt like some of the characters were a little blah or set up to be interesting but then didn’t live up to their potential. Duchess Isolda in particular is introduced as having a complex double life, but then nothing much comes of it. Oriana is a typical, boy-obsessed princess type. Terric’s subplot was good, but he was really selfish and kept screwing everything up in annoying ways. Bastian was easily my favorite, and his pet squirrel might be the smartest character. But Rixin and Marcus were vague and underdeveloped, and I didn’t care about Garrion at all.
The writing itself is well done. It was easy to follow the dialogue, and each character had their own voice so that their chapters felt like everything was definitely from their point of voice. The action was easy to follow. The descriptions were just enough to put a clear picture in your head without overdoing it.
If you’re looking for a lighter “Game of Thrones,” give this a shot.
See it on Amazon!