- Page Count: 336
- Release Date: January 7, 2014
- My Rating: 5 stars
Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king’s army, Alex 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 Alex, 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 Alex 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, Alex 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?
I don’t care if this book is aimed at a younger crowd — I straight up loved it. It’s like a lighter version of Throne of Glass + all of those middle grade books where girls disguise themselves as boys in order to be soldiers.
This story had every element I love: fast worldbuildng, adventure, a solid pace, sorcerers, castles, princes, capable girls, and some basic politics. I really liked the jungle setting! I’ve also been getting tired of most YA novels glossing over whatever battle or confrontation that most of the story leads up to, so it was nice to see a book follow through in a way that didn’t feel cheap. The final battle totally worked!
Alexa’s reasons for disguising herself as a boy are pretty good and she’s one of the better female MCs I’ve read recently! There are obviously some weak spots in the plot with how she managed to pass as a boy for all those years AND through most of this book, but I just went with it because I liked the story.
The guys in the love triangle are her fellow guard and Prince
Dorian Damian, but it’s pretty obvious who she’s going to pick. (AND it was hilarious how both of these guys knew she was a girl the whole time… like how believable is her act).
I know a lot of my blogger friends weren’t huge on this book, but I honestly really enjoyed it. Yes, it’s not terribly complex and it’s definitely a “younger” YA book. But it was really fun and I totally recommend it!