by Cayla Kluver
Source: Bought from Amazon
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.
I don't think I've ever read a book with such mixed reviews. I feel like people either loved it or hated it. It was either a 1 star or 5. Well, I hated to love it.
Yup, I devoured this like there was no tomorrow, yet I had soo many problems with it! I know, it doesn't make a lick of sense but that's how it goes. Let's see if I can write this review so that it makes sense, unlike my feelings for this book.
I’ll start with the bad to go ahead and get it over with. If you can get past this, then you’re good to go!
DETAILS, DETAILS AND MORE DETAILS:
Look, Kluver is obviously talented. She’s a great storyteller. The plot itself kept me hooked. However, her execution was lacking. A lot. Normally I prefer more details to less. Let it be known that I now take back what I said. WOW. I don’t need to know that the bridge is exactly 32 feet long or that this was 12 inches from that. And I don't need all the details for a room the characters will never enter again. Seriously. No thanks. Whenever I saw a paragraph full of details that literally took up the entire Kindle screen, I either skimmed or just skipped it completely. Lots of details aren’t bad, but it can definitely make reading tedious.
Alera. Oh, Alera. I was actually surprised I didn’t hate you quite as much as I thought. However, I didn’t love you either. And you made some incredibly idiotic decisions. Seriously, WHAT DID YOU THINK WOULD HAPPEN?!?!?!?! Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out what I’m talking about, but let me just tell you that I wanted to smack her upside the head. What an idiot. Also, I hated how she treated Steldor (who’s ridiculously good looking by the way). The thing is, we are constantly told how egotistical and cocky he is, but we aren’t really shown. Yes, he is cocky, but I thought it was in a charming way (most of the time). Not over the top like Alera thinks. But Alera absolutely loathes him and I just don’t get why. One good thing about her? I did really like her curiosity. But there isn’t much more I can say. And believe it or not, I really come to hate her in the second book. Look for my ranting in that review :P
HORDES OF SEXY MEN:
Yes, it was completely necessary to underline and enlarge the text. Someone get me something to fan myself with because goodness! I’ve never had so many sexy men in one book! Grant it, most of them are older than me but I don’t even care because I was swooning the entire time. Seriously, Kluver does a fantastic job of creating secondary characters. All of the soldiers in this book are so honorable and loyal and just so manly. And that just makes them even more sexy. I’ve always been a sucker for a man in uniform and every time I read about these guys I was weak in the knees. They would do anything for each other and their charges and you couldn’t help but love their admirable and respectable actions. And they were sarcastic. Always a plus.
My favorite was definitely London. Sarcastic, witty and not afraid to speak his mind while still putting his brothers-in-arms ahead of himself. *swoon*! I was really hoping he’d be a love interest, until I found out how old he was, but whatever. He’d totally be worth it ;) But the entire time I was reading, there was this nagging notion in the back of my mind. He reminded me of someone and I just couldn’t put my finger on it. And then I had an epiphany. I think y’all will like this pic ;)
Sarcastic, kick butt and bad ass in a suit. He could
save me any day ;)
Cue swooning! Seriously, If you've never seen Person of Interest before then you must. Yes, this is shameless promotion but look at him! I don't care how old he is, he's delicious. I've never seen someone kick so much ass with so much skill and grace. In a suit to boot. He's just oozing sexiness and if they ever make this into a movie, then Jim Caviezel better be London.
Okay, okay. Enough swooning over sexy soldier. I guess I have to talk about the love interests.
I'm really not sure which guy I like more. Steldor is the man her dad wants her to marry but that she doesn't like. He is cocky, but also charming. Sure, there are instances where it went to his head and he could be a total jerk, but the right kind of gal could keep him in line. Narian was actually really intriguing. Mysterious and kick-butt, he comes from a land where women are respected and even taught to fight. I understand why Alera likes him because he actually treated her like she was worth something. At this moment, I think I'll be team Narian. But to be honest, this is one book where I couldn't really care who she ended up with because I was too busy swooning over the sexy men-at-arms!
Look, this book is not without its faults. And a lot of them. But if you read it for no other reason, read it for the hordes of sexy men and fantastic secondary characters. They truly are brilliantly written. And guess what? These sexy men I keep coming back to get even more sexy in the next book. I've peaked your interest now haven't I?
And as an added bonus, another few pics of the hunky Jim Caviezel ;)
Salt and pepper never looked so good ; )
All the best ♥