Release date: November 22nd 2016
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 before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), 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 work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. 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.
I was really excited to get my hands on this book. It had caught my attention when I’d first heard of the premise of a betrothed princess falling in love with the prince’s rebellious sister mixed with the princess having a magical ability and being sent to a kingdom where she would have to hide that ability. It sounded intriguing and it ended up being a really good read.
Denna was a character I could find myself relating to quite easily. She was bookish and had a lot of knowledge that she wanted to use to be useful in her new kingdom. She was determined to prove herself in any aspect she could even though she was scared of her magic being discovered, of the rebels who got too close. I really liked seeing the friendship slowly form between her and Mare and then turn into something more.
Mare was just as great a character. I loved her rebellious attitude, her refusal to conform to what her father and brother and the whole court system expected of her. She was so opposite of Denna but their personalities ended up working well together and I enjoyed all their scenes.
I liked the magical world that was described but I would have loved more world building and information on its magic. The book began with Denna’s arrival to Mynaria so there wasn’t any feel to who she was as a princess in her own kingdom. I loved that it always felt like something was waiting on the next page, that the next big clue or an attack was just a chapter away. It made me want to keep reading and it made for excitement. It made for a book I wanted to finish.
Overall, I loved the main character, their dynamics, the whole concept. A little more backstory and world-building and this would have been perfect.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.