Synopsis: Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.
Publication details: Hardcover, 389 pages. Published November 22nd 2016 by Balzer + Bray.
First thoughts: I got this book in a owlcrate box which means it was a complete and total surprise. It seemed to be interesting and exciting because obviously it’s has a lesbian romance in it. But there were some things that I wasn’t too fond of at the beginning. I know…I’m picky. Sorry! I’ll get more into those things later.
Characters: Clearly there was the two main characters: Denna and Mare. There’s also other character like the prince Denna is supposed to marry, the king, and Mare’s best friend. To be honest I think that Mare’s best friend (I’m forgetting his name) was my favorite character in the whole book. There was nothing technically wrong with Denna and Mare as people. Like if I met them in passing, I wouldn’t hate them or be annoyed. But I was annoyed with one thing. I did not like how Mare acted like she wasn’t a princess. I liked the tom boy aspect of it and I liked how she was strong, but when she met Denna and throughout the whole book she acted as if Denna was the only princess. When I talk about the word “princess” I don’t mean fluffy dresses and crowns, I mean the daughter of the king. In my opinion I would have liked to see Mare as not a princess but as a hunter or a viking princess or something. Lol. I guess what all this rambling says is that I didn’t like how one of the main things that set her apart from Denna was that Mare was rebellious against her father. I also didn’t like how little of a part the other characters played. As far as character development goes it was there, but it wasn’t very strong.
Plot: The plot was there but it was dim. It was very obvious that everything was focuses around Denna and Mare’s relationship. There were other things like the magical aspect for example. But even then it was leaning more towards their relationship. This can get confusing let me give a example. When Denna was scared about her abilities, you as the reader knows that if the enemy gets wind of these abilities she could be in danger. And there are some parts where she hurts somebody and is scared. But there’s other parts where she’s only scared of what Mare is going to think about her having powers. To me I was screaming at my book like, “GIRL! THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU NEED TO BE WORRIED ABOUT. YOU GONNA GET KILLED!” So in that sense I felt like the plot wavered a little bit between their romance and an actual plot line. Another thing, that you might like or dislike, was that there was a little bit of insta love. It takes them awhile to actually get to the point of saying that they like each other, but they act like it from the very beginning. Personally I disliked that part however because of how the author set everything up I don’t think it would have been able to go another way without changing everything.
End thoughts: It was slow and a tad annoying at times but I didn’t hate it. I was nice to see a lesbian romance in a YA novel but I wish it would’ve gone another way. I didn’t feel true love between the two of them. Like true, true love. I also wish that the other characters played a bigger role. Overall it wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea but it wasn’t bad.
Rating: 3/5 stars