Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In Case You Missed It - Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Published: April 2008
Publisher: Penguin Speak
Pages: 246
Copy from: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Princess Aurelia is next in line to rule the kingdom of Tyralt, but she would rather be one of the common folk, free to learn and roam and . . . not marry the next tyrannical prince that comes courting. Naturally, the king wants Aurelia to marry for political power. Aurelia wants to marry for love. And someone in the kingdom wants her . . . dead. Assigned to investigate and protect Aurelia is Robert, the son of the king’s former royal spy and one of Aurelia’s oldest friends.

As Aurelia and Robert slowly uncover clues as to who is threatening her, their friendship turns to romance. With everything possible on the line—her life, her kingdom, her heart—Aurelia is forced to take matters into her own hands, no matter the cost.

I discovered Anne Osterlund just a short while ago when I read her novel 'Academy 7', you can read my review HERE. At that time I was determined to find something else that she had written, and so I discovered Aurelia, her debut novel. Now perhaps this was talked about at the time it came out, but I wasn't blogging then and I missed it. I am so glad that I found it now. It was a wonderful fantasy novel that was also romantic suspense, and I loved it.

Aurelia is a Princess hemmed in by duty and protocol and all she wants is to have some freedom. Right from the opening sentences you realise how trapped she feels. I must admit that the quality of the writing made it quite easy to step into Aurelia's shoes.

'On the night of her younger sister's coming out party, Arelia almost died. Of boredom. Her ankle itched as though a single ant were casually creeping over her flesh. ..... She longed to reach down and scratch, but years of royal training had not been entirely lost. She could not afford such a dramatic movement while her father was speaking."

Robert, an old friend of Aurelia's, arrives at the palace unexpectedly, with a secret. He has to find out who is trying to kill her, without letting her know about it. A seemingly impossible task, but the price of failure is her death. The interaction between Robert and Aurelia was fun and interesting and the romance was not instant, took time to mature, and that's always a plus for me.

' "I must say that as a frontiersman, you are an abysmal disappointment. Where are the scars, the hunting knife, and the buckskin jacket?" she could always parry with her tongue as well as he could with a sword.
"I'm afraid I collected more bruises than scars. ..." '

As the story progresses and the attempts on Aurelia's life become more obvious, the suspense becomes addictive. I raced through the story, absolutely sure I knew who the culprit was, only to find out that I was wrong - that's what happens when you jump to conclusions! There are riots, races, sword fights, cat fights, picnics and romance, and the mystery just keeps getting deeper. I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining debut novel, and encourage readers to try it if you haven't already.

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