Release Date: December 11, 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Amazon Hardcover
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I admit I was a bit nervous about this book because I am not a big fantasy fan. I do love Game of Thrones but I can't think of any other fantasy shows or books I like. There is a large cast of characters that was a little confusing for the first few chapters but there is a very helpful map and character guide at the beginning. Once I got all the characters down, I was totally hooked. An exciting ride full of revenge, backstabbing, blackmail, and power hungry people desperate for more land, more power, no matter what it takes to get it. No one was safe. That was exciting and depressing at times. As soon as I started to care about a character they were killed! With so many characters it is hard to get into them but I'll outline a few things I liked about each one.
Auranos was my favorite kingdom and Princess Cleo was my favorite character. This is the wealthy land that all the other kingdoms are jealous of. Cleo makes a poor decision in the beginning but she does learn from it. She was also always willing to sacrifice herself for the people she cares about. Although she may be a somewhat spoiled and sheltered princess she never let that hold her back from doing her best for the people she loves. Her character had the most romance. She is engaged to Aron, an awful guy that is blackmailing her. Cleo begins to fall for her new guard and also has a best friend Nic who I adored.
Limeros had by far the most evil leaders. Magnus is heir to the throne and was an intriguing character but I just couldn't like him. I do think most of his actions were based off his horrible father but I was hoping he would stand up against him more. Magnus is in love with his sister, Lucia, which I know threw people off but they are not blood related and that is clear from the beginning. Still weird since they grew up together but I got over it.
Paelsia was the poor land where they struggle to get enough food. They have the best grape crops so they are known for their wine. But often the rich refuse to pay a good price for it. Jonas suffered a tragic family event and wants revenge. When this first happened I felt horrible for him but then I thought he took his revenge too far. Towards the end I think he began to have the potential to be a strong character and I think in the next book he will right his wrongs.
I loved the way the plot brought all the characters together. At times I didn't know who to root for with all the treachery and deceit but that just made it more fun. The language was some what modern which I liked. The ending left me wanting more. Not so much a cliffhanger but I am dying to see what these characters will do next. I am a new fan of fantasy!
"Even in the darkest and most cruel person, there is still a kernel of good. And within the most perfect champion, there is darkness. The question is, will one give in to the dark or the light? It's something we decide with every choice we make, every day that we exist. What might not be evil to you could be evil to someone else. Knowing this makes us powerful even without magic."
“You’re not just any girl; you’re the princess. It’s my sole duty now to protect you. So wherever you run off to, you can be certain of one very important thing.”
She waited, her breath catching at the intense way the handsome young guard watched her. “And what’s that?”
When he smiled, the look was equally menacing and enticing. “I will find you.”
“If this magic is evil—”
“It’s not,” he said firmly.
She frowned. “Witches have been tortured and executed for what I can do.”
“If a witch could really do what you can, she would never let herself be executed.”