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?
©2014 Sara B. Larson (P)2014 Scholastic Inc.
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.
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 !
EOD wife and loving mother!!!
I did like this book however, I felt like the character went from a stone cold fighter to an over emotional teenage girl. By the end of the book there was someone crying in every chapter and it was usually the main character. It felt like the author was trying way to hard to make this book sappy by the end. I'm hoping there will be a little less of that in the next book.
I really had high expectations for this story, and it didn't disappoint. Magic, old kingdoms, secrets, a girl pretending to be a boy and who is in a love triangle - everything a lover of fantasy could want!
Except the narrator. Holy. Night. Until the very end it sounded like she was super ticked off at everything. Alexa's voice was deeper than both Damien and Rylan's voices, which weirded me out. Her narration was clipped. In fact, I'd say most of the characters had an edge to their voice. It definitely distracted from the story, in my opinion.
Will I be reading the sequel? Yes. But I Am staying far, FAR away from the Audible version and purchasing it on my kindle.
Highly recommend for kindle!!
I would not relisten as sections get very slow, but overall, the story was good and perhaps the point of the slow parts were to give lots of backdrop for a series? It did finally wrap up in the end to a decent story, just slow getting going.
I wouldn't recommend - it starts off good but as it gets going it just gets really cheesy and cliche. Alexia constantly getting worked up because a prince she just barely started to get to know hasn't bared his soul right away. It could have been good
She was over dramatic in parts and it detracted from the story
This book didn't capture me like some others, but it was entertaining enough that I'll buy the second.
The author had some strange plot points that seemed too obvious as mechanisms to drive the story. Descriptions were sometimes too gauge as well. I'd have liked to seen some more in-depth development of the other characters as well. What are the motivations of the bad guys? all of the side characters lack depth.
The person narrating this is such a bore I almost wanted to die listening to her. She had no tone, no personality I had to get the book so I could "imagine" the tone and characters better than what the narrator ever could.
I dont know yet.
I dont know I have to read the book because the narrator ruined the book for me.
Do not let this narrator read any other books unless she learns to have some more tone and gets more personality.
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