Author: Sara B. Larson
Published: January 7th 2014 by Scholastic Press
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: 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 Give This ...
This book held so much potential. And the story really could have been very interesting had it been done correctly. But sadly, the characters fall very short of their mark for me.
I was excited about the idea of a kick-ass girl hiding in plain sight as a boy. Who would ever believe who she really was? And I completely understood her reasoning behind wanting to do so. The problem is that she's not very convincing to the reader. If she's not fooling me, who is she fooling? Oh wait....no one. And that's a huge part of this story that bugged the crap out of me. Turns out everybody important in the story has basically known all along that she's a girl. What was the point then? I also disliked how indecisive she was when it comes to Rylan and Damien. She's had this crush on Rylan forever, but all of a sudden Damien shows a slight interest in her and she's all over that.
Our two male leads are slightly better. Rylan has known for quite some time that Alexa is not a boy but has gone above and beyond to protect the secret. It does make me wonder if that allure is part of the attraction. Damien has known since the moment he meet her because he's got a secret of his own. He only reveals the truth when it benefits him which really makes me question his true motives and the depths of he feelings.
It's sad that the characters overshadow the storyline because there is a lot here that could have been great. A power hungry king that is abusing his nation, sorcerers, rebels, and everything in between. I may read the next one because it seems everything is out in the open now, but I'm not sure.