Rating: 5 Stars
Published: July 2014
Genre: Young Adult // Fantasy
“Maybe there were a hundred different ways to fall in love.”
“But remember, child, we may all have our own story and destiny, and sometimes out seemingly bad fortune, but we’re all part of a greater story too. One that transcends the soil, the wind, time… even our own tears.” She reached down and wiped under my eye with her thumb. “Greater stories will have their way.”
Princess Arabella Celestine Idris Jezelia, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan or known simply as Lia has run away from her responsibilities and her kingdom. On her wedding day, nonetheless. Lia doesn’t want to be a pawn or a soldier in her father’s army. She wants to make her own decisions and fall in love. She’s jealous of her brothers who get to choose who they marry while she’s in the castle without the freedoms she used to enjoy. So she leaves. Her attendant and friend, Pauline, leave on horseback when she should be going to the wedding. They travel to a beautiful coastal town of Terrivan and become waitresses in a pub. When two strange men walk in, one an assassin, and one a the prince she left behind, her world will be changed forever. She just doesn’t know it yet.
While it may not be high fantasy, one should not judge what the novel is based on what it was categorized as, but instead on what it simply is. There are not enough “official” categories for books, which is why I have a million on my Goodreads profile. I love categories and I find the official categories for books tend to not do them justice.
At the beginning of the novel, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I didn’t entirely understand what was going on what Lia or why she so strongly wanted to leave. I also knew right away that since she kept calling her future husband ugly (without seeing him), I knew he would turn out to be young and handsome. Lia just had such a disregard for the tradition of her family and the heirlooms that was a little bit shocking. I liked that we got some chapters from The Prince and The Assassin, as well.
I loved that Rafe and Kaden chapters didn’t identify them as The Prince or The Assassin. Clues were left but it was up to the reader to determine as the story went on, which was which. I am happy to say that I correctly identified them before it was revealed. It wasn’t that hard, though. It was frustrating at first, I’ll admit, trying to decide who was who!
There’s a love triangle, but it’s not quite a love triangle. Or, I should say, it’s not a love triangle that bothers me. Lia cares for both Kaden and Rafe but I don’t think she loves them both which is an important distinction.
I loved the descriptions of the town of Terrivan and the festival and the vagabonds. It was all so immersive and lovely. I felt like I was there. I didn’t want to leave! And the caravans at the vagabond camp. Oh how I wish I could have lived in their camp for a week. It sounded perfect.
I liked the bit of magic, of foretelling, that was involved. It’s bound to get more intriguing as the story continues. I also greatly enjoyed the involvement of lines from The Holy Text and other documents from this world.
I thought Lia was a kickass heroine. She wasn’t afraid to work after her life of luxury. Growing up with brothers, she knew how to track and take care of herself. I loved her relationship with Pauline. With no sisters, Pauline is the closest thing Lia has to a sister. Ut was quite the engaging coming-of-age novel that I was not expecting. The prose was incredibly lovely and it’s just one of those books that you want to live in.
A lot of questions were brought up that were not answered. I’m sure we’ll know more in the next installment. The second book in this trilogy is due to arrive on July 7th, 2015. Titled, The Heart of Betrayal, it’s a novel that I will eagerly be awaiting.