Published: April 2011
Crown princess Aurelia is a survivor. She survived attempted assassination. She survived the king's rejection. She survived her mother's abandonment. And now, in exile, she must survive her kingdom-from hostile crowds to raw frontier to desert sands. But even as unknown assailants track Aurelia and expedition guide Robert, she knows what her greatest risk is: falling in love
This is the third book that I have read by Anne Osterlund, and for me, they just keep getting better and better. Exile is the follow-up to Aurelia (Read my review here), and continues the story of princess Aurelia and her childhood friend Robert. I loved Aurelia, it was full of wonderful characters and in Exile we get to know them a little better. Having been exiled after the death of her father, Aurelia is trying to put her finger on the pulse of her people by visiting different areas of the country and trying to find out what life is really like for them, and in the process she grows as both a person and a princess.
Her ongoing relationship with Robert was both charming and frustrating. Looking from the outside in on a romance in progress is fun and I really enjoyed the way these two find each other in the midst of all that is going on. They are both so sure of themselves and at the same time so unsure of their feelings. Robert is such a noble person - altho' at times I was saying to myself, 'just kiss her already!'
The uncertainty of whom they could put their trust in kept things tense and I found myself racing through pages to find out what would happen next. At one of their stops, Aurelia comes face to face with someone from her past and this throws her into extreme confusion. Sorry, can't say whom, because that would be a spoiler, but her acceptance of the situation and realization that she has to move on was well done.
'She had survived. And somehow, in the process, the chasm within her own chest had healed, if not filled' (page 116)
Once again Ms Osterlund treats us to mystery and adventure, with sword fights, treachery, chases and romance in spades. I'm really hoping that she is already in the process of writing #3, because I really want to see how Aurelia handles her treacherous step-mother and sister (what wonderful behind-the-scenes baddies they were).
For anyone who enjoyed Graceling, or Fire, you will love this series, and if you haven't already tried it you're in for a wonderful treat.