Game of Thrones began with a beheading; this starts with a removable tattoo. No joke. I expected good things after seeing this beautiful cover and reading the intriguing description. Instead, I ended up with a long, predictable romance. Does the following sound familiar? Two kingdoms at odds seek resolution via arranged marriage. Wife-to-be runs off prior to being involved with someone she doesn’t love. Add a touch of a love triangle and that sums it up.
Mary Pearson writes beautifully. See that gorgeous cover? Picture that in written form. She paints a beautiful tale. I especially love how she includes poems or pieces of her world’s historic writing between the alternating view point chapters. She’s a solid world builder and talented writer. As for the story itself, though…
I flipped through 50 pages, then 100, then 150, hoping for something remarkable to happen. After all five-hundred, plus, the most exciting things were the princess running away (first chapter, don’t worry, nothing to spoil) and a kidnapping maybe. Even those were anti-climatic. I guess we’ve been spoiled with the OMG moments of recent fantasy. There are no events like princesses eating horse hearts in this.
A more honest book description is what I’m asking for. If I read this as a romantic YA fantasy, then fine. But for an adult audience accustomed to more, this falls way short. If you go into this expecting to read about a girl deciding between two love interests in order to save the kingdom, then you’ll be delighted. Otherwise, move along.
Thanks to Macmillian for providing me with an electronic review copy of this book.