By Cayla Kluver
Published June 28th 2011 
Published by HarlequinTeen

Summary taken from Goodreads:

I noticed his eyes. They were blue, sharp and intense. Despite the youthful glows of his suntanned face, his eyes were cold and unfriendly, suggesting he had great experience in the world and was now expecting the worst.In her seventeenth year, Princess Alera of Hytanica faces one duty: to marry the man who will be king. But her father's choice of suitor fills her with despair.
When the palace guard captures and intruder—a boy her age with steel-blue eyes, hailing from her kingdom's greatest enemy—Alera is alarmed…and intrigued. But she could not have guessed that their clandestine meetings would unveil the dark legacy shadowing both their lands.
In this mystical world of court conspiracies and blood magic, loyalties will be tested. Courage won't be enough. And as the battle begins for everything Alera holds dear, love may be the downfall of a kingdom.

This was an interesting book.  I loved the concept- princesses, handsome men, waring countries, and dashing, mysterious men- what isn't to love?  I wanted to love this book so much, and at the end- I don't even know how I feel.

I am going to break this up with negatives and positives:


The book stalled from about the third chapter.  For being such a LARGE book (over 500 pages), this book had very little real action.  At least 100 pages could have been cut easily and probably would have helped the flow of the book a little better.  Alera was also not a likeable character.  She is incredibly selfish and didn't grow at all during the course of the book.  It was hard to want to read about a character I didn't care about.


The minor characters were written very well.  I thought the sub-plot of London was more interesting than the main storyline.  I loved Steldor, the king and queen, the guards, and Alera's sister.  They are what really shine in this book.

This is not a book I will read over and over, to be honest, I am a little disappointed that I read this book.  I also am reviewing book two in the series (I am sure some of you are thinking- if you didn't like book 1- why book two?)  Book two is much better than book one and I am glad I read book one to understand more in the second book.

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