I really enjoyed this. It wasn’t anything spectacular- nothing super unique here, but it was fun all the same. If you’re looking for a light read with all your typical fantastical elements such as magic, princes, swords fighting, etc… check this one out. I’d land this at 3.5 stars. Maybe 4 at parts?
Dara, the MC, is a refreshingly strong and likable heroine (at least compared to the last few books I’ve read.) She has a good head on her shoulders and spends her days practicing dueling. Her dream is to compete professionally, and for that she’ll need a sponsorship. But things get a little topsy turvy when her dueling coach asks her to train the prince. Siv is not your typical princely prince either- he’s way too laid back… smirky… and doesn’t take anything seriously. Dara, who is serious about pretty much everything, is quite frustrated with him at first. And if you know anything about me as a reader, I live for the banter.
Of course there are plots and hidden plans building, but I won’t spoil any of that. Not that its anything spectacular, but I think there is a decent set up for the next book. Both Siv and Dara have some character growth in this book- and I’m curious to see where it goes. What will happen to Siv after the ending of this one.
Anyway, while I do recommend this book for fantasy lovers, I have some complaints. The dialogue was sometimes overly cheesy – a bit middle grade at times. The world building was actually pretty neat but I wanted more. I’m interested to see where this whole fire working thing goes what role the fire wielders will play going forward. Yes, there is some romance, but nothing too strong yet. Maybe this will change going forward! Don’t get me wrong- I loved the dynamic between Dara and Siv… and I really look forward to what the series holds for them.
My biggest complaint is the whole show don’t tell mentality. The action scenes were pretty much described like “the clanking of swords”/etc. I wanted to be in the action- not just told that it was happening.
I’m also hoping for some good development as far as villains go.
Regardless, I’ve already purchased the second book. I’m hoping each book gets a little stronger.