A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle. Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alexa uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alexa, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory. The longer Alexa is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alexa finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?
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Could have been a great story
The first third is well written with a spin off 'Twelfth Night.' But the whole middle is muddied by gushy overstated imaginations of romance, with overuse of the body's temperature, "heat rushed up my arm"... "heat exploded in my stomach"... heat here... heat there. Stop already! I had to turn it off. But after I cooled down, I realized the plot finally reached a turning point - it was probably going to start moving again. The last half continues with the adventurous climax we anticipated, but sadly the heroine's character is scared by the over-drama of the middle. The ending tries to take itself serious, but I wanted the heroine to have changed a bit more by the end.
The narrator was good, but the over dramatic emphasis on certain words started to be noticeable and exaggerated the moodiness of the heroine.
Not recommending it.
Strong beginning... Fell.so.short.
I probably would be wary to try another one of Sara B. Larson's books.
She had such a good start, great story background, great ideas, but instead of focusing on those great ideas Sara decided to focus on the weak character connections.
Great concept !
- Ashley Dowd