- Publisher: Dial (Penguin imprint)
- Publication date: 1/10/2013
- Source: eARC provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Tamora Pierce meets George R. R. Martin in this smart, political, medieval fantasy-thriller.
There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown's inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right.
Not being a typical genre for me to read, this book really was great. It was full of action and adventure, and not to mention a totally kick ass main character. Oh, and lets not forget Savoy. Oh my was he awesome. There was definitely something more with them, but they both dance around it. So as far as romance goes in this book, really there isn't any, but there is tons of potential for one in the future books. This book was so entertaining to read and I was dying to know what would happen next in the story. Oh, and it is told in alternating POV's too which I love!!
Renee is a very strong willed character. She doesn't always make the right decisions and can be a bit naive at times, but it makes her that much more realistic and believable. She is very tough, but you do see her weak side. Above all of that, she is who she wants to be. She will not let people determine her fate. She won't let people tell her she can't do something because she is a girl or because it's not what she was born into. I loved how she never gave up and she keeps pushing even when it's dangerous, or even stupid. She is one awesome chick!!
Savoy is a bit of a mystery through a lot of the book. He comes across as a harsh, unforgiving jerk for a lot of the book, but when we start to get to know the real him we discover he has been made to be how he is by the past. He may come off as a jerk, but it's because he has to. He is much smarter than you think at first. Very perceptive too. The things he does are all for a reason. I can't really say much more about him without going into things that might be spoilery, so just know that I think he is amazing!!
This book was so full of awesome!! I loved the scenes at the academy, but what I loved more was when Renee finds herself out in a very dangerous place, risking her life to save Savoy. All the secrets and deception had me so wrapped up in this story. My mind couldn't rest until I finished this book. When I went to bed I would be thinking about it and wanting to wake up to read a few more chapters. It was the type of story that engages you. You become invested in the characters and their story. You want to know if they will be okay or not. This book was fantastic and I can't wait for more!!