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This is a Sherwood Smith book that I’ve had to read for quite some time. Previous to this I read Crown Duel and loved it, so I was excited to read another Sherwood Smith book! It starts a bit slow but ends up being a fun read. This is one of those “princess” type books; about princesses who are finding themselves and finding more purpose in their lives.
I listened to this on audiobook and the narration was okay. The narrator could have done a better job differentiating between character voices (many characters sounded the same). The narrator also could have done a better job with emotion; most of the time her reading is very flat sounding. This is one that I would have been better off reading in paper format.
The book starts very slow with us learning about Rhis and Rhis getting packed up to travel to Vesarja. Once at Vesarja there is a lot of “mean girl” backstabbing; that is until a princess goes missing and Rhis and some of her new found friends decide to rescue her. This happens about 50% through the book and at this point things get more interesting.
I did like that Rhis and her love interest didn’t really have insta-love….they developed their relationship over a number of years and made sure to take time to become their own people before becoming a couple. I also liked all the friendships between Rhis and some of the other girls. Additionally it was fun how all the friendships of these young princes and princesses shaped the kingdom of the future into a better place.
Overall this was a cute story and a fun read. It starts out pretty slow but picked up pace about halfway through. I would recommend to those who like YA princess stories with some adventure and a bit of romance. I didn’t like this as much as Crown Duel, but it was a decent read.
If you go by the audiobook you might not like it because the narrator is not a good fit. I couldn't stand her voice so switched to the ebook, which was really good. I don't like much in the YA genre but Sherwood Smith does an excellent job writing strong, smart female characters and an interesting story.