Check out our review of Rise of the Vicious Princes by C.J. Redwine find out if this young adult fantasy full of plot twists and royalty is for you…but beware the cliffhanger!
Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This post contains affiliate links. That means we receive a small commission at no cost to you from any purchases you make through these links.
I have to admit I hesitantly started reading the first few chapters of this book, as I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d signed myself up for. The prompt of the book looked amazing: a strong-willed princess who is fighting to bring peace to her kingdom, even though it may cost her heart. But I’d read the Defiance series by C.J. Redwine quite a few years ago, and remembered that I loved her books. So, I couldn’t wait to see what this story would be about.
At the beginning it’s really hard to get to know who Charis, our main character, actually is. She is controlled by her mother, the Queen of Calera, a cunning and cold woman who seems to be a really troublesome mother to have. Charis has been trained to always look strong, never invite weakness into her image, and that everybody around you can betray you. So, we’re a bit blind in those first few chapters while we try to understand her and find what motivates her and if she is comfortable and happy with the life she has.
But as the story progresses, in comes Tal. The handsome boy is Charis’s father’s bodyguard and is assigned to her as a personal bodyguard after somebody tries to assassinate both her and her mother. Tal slowly lets us see a very different Charis. Someone with a soul; who wants to rule and actually cares for her people and for the people that serve her. She slowly develops a great friendship with Tal. The chemistry between Charis and Tal is great, and they slowly become more than just friends and the pace of their relationship felt perfect.
This is a YA story, and it focuses much more on the struggles of our dear Charis as she fights for her kingdom and gives her all to the cause, than anything else. I felt that focusing so much on Charis made it hard for the overall plot to be witty and sophisticated. It’s clearly a YA story that has enough romance, intrigue and danger to keep you hooked. I would have liked to become more involved with the secondary characters, since I felt it could have given this story a bit more depth. At times throughout the book, it just felt very easy to hit pause and pick it up later.
However, by the last quarter of the book, the stakes become increasingly more complicated, and we are rushing through the pages to understand what exactly is happening. The ending really left me hooked and now I cannot understand how I don’t have another book here with me to continue reading. Clear cliffhanger ending with a lot of things unsaid, as well as a lot of secrets revealed that leave us wondering what will happen in the next book.
I really enjoyed reading this book, but at times, especially during the middle of the story, not enough things were happening and I wasn’t too committed with the characters. It’s during that second half, and especially those final chapters that I began to understand the broader picture and where this plot was going, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s a great read for any YA Fantasy lover.
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