Published: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.
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 particularly enjoyed the main character in this novel. Alexa seemed to me to be the kind of person I would like to meet. She works hard, trains harder and all the while she has to hide the fact that she is actually a girl.
Now I thought that her reactions when she discovers that her 'secret' isn't so much of a secret after all were pretty realistic. I don't know about you, but I can keep going through a crisis until it is all over and then I let myself fall apart. So her minor melt downs seemed pretty reasonable to me. But I don't understand why she would suddenly start blushing! I think that was my big complaint. Either you blush or you don't. You don't suddenly start blushing just because people find out you are a girl.
Other than that, I loved the story. I loved the two male protagonists, Rylan and Damian. They were both so different and both vying for Alexa's affection. Now for myself I'd go for Damian - give me bad boys every time. I liked his air of mystery and sarcastic humour. Whether Alexa ends up with him or Rylan though, you'll have to find out for yourself. Exciting, mysterious, adventurous and romantic. A little bit of everything for everyone.