Genre: YA fantasy
Publisher: Henry Holt
Rating: 5 stars
Buy the book: Amazon,The Book Depository
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.
She flees on her wedding day.
She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.
She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.
She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.
The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.
Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.
Where do I start off with this book? I loved everything about it. I was immediately intrigued by this book because of the plot but it took me a while to get around to it and I regret not reading this earlier. I don’t know what it is about this book that got me so incredibly intrigued but I was constantly thinking about this book, even when I wasn’t reading it.
Lia was one of the main reasons I completely fell in love with this book. She was an incredibly head strong character who just seemed to have the most beautiful things to say. The first line of the book was “Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.” Lia was incredibly fierce and strong-willed so I completely found myself egging her on throughout the novel. I knew that I loved her as soon as she ran away from her arranged marriage but as the book goes on, she grows into an even more amazing female lead, following in the footsteps of Celaena Sardothien. I dare say that the days of Bella Swan like protagonists are over because now we have kickass characters like Lia and Celaena.
The novel really felt like two smaller novels in one because the first half is completely different to the second half due to a change in setting, characters and tone. In the first half of the novel, Lia is excited to start a new life in a new city and she is discovering what life is like for a normal girl. The second half, well I can’t tell you what happnens in it because it would really spoil the book but just know that there is a dramatic change in the tone of the novel especially. The first half focuses on the characters and it is exactly what I thought the novel would be but the second half was similar to a quest and adventure. The transition from the two halves was done amazingly and I loved both parts equally.
The novel was excellently executed especially since there was a range of different characters and settings. There were gypsies, vagabonds, royals, soliders, tavern maids, assassins, the whole works yet it was complicated. Everything flew perfectly and nothing was confusing. The inclusion of the love triangle was actually quite subtle. It was a great love triangle that didn’t take away from the heart of what the story is. Obviously, I fell in love with both males and I don’t even know who I’d choose. They both did stupid things but they both care for Lia. The assassin or the prince? Who does one choose?
Let’s talk about the boys for a while. For the first half of the book, you don’t know who is the assassin and the prince yet you still get the assassin’s point of view and the prince’s point of view and you get both Kaden and Rafe’s point of view as well but you don’t know who is the prince and who is the assassin. I really enjoyed trying to figure out who was who and I was actually right for once. Both men had bad things about them but they were also really kind. Kaden was nice from the start where as Rafe really grew into someone who cared. I still don’t know who to root for which is terrible because I really should choose one.
The writing in this book really was exquisite. It was beautiful and just perfect.The world building in this book was perfect. Unlike a lot of authors, she does not info dump as you learn more about the world as the plot goes on. This is the only Mary E. Pearson book I have read but I’m in love with her writing. My feelings for this book are very similar to my feelings for Throne of Glass. Lia is similar to Celaena and Kaden and Rafe are both quite similar to Chaol and Dorian in many ways. In fact, this trilogy can grow to become as special in my heart as Throne of Glass is. That is how much I love it. I can’t wait for the sequel, The Heart of Betrayal, to come out in July later this year. If you haven’t already read this book, go read it now. It is honestly perfection and I’m pretty sure you’ll love it. It’s the first book I read in 2015 yet I’m still pretty sure that it will be one of my top 15 books of 2015.