A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.
Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.
The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?
First off, Alexa is irritating. This is a fact. She is irritating, thus the present tense.
So, from the synopsis, sounds like she's a Mulan, right? Aha. It's deceiving enough. She's extremely good at fighting and supposedly thinks she's good at concealing the fact that she's actually a girl. But, of course, there's a love triangle isn't there? And since the main character is a girl who is thought to be a boy and the love interests are both males... do you spot something quite obvious here? The love interest can't be gay, obviously and they are 'in love' with her so... Alexa, you aren't that subtle at being a boy.
Reasons? Let's start off with the biggest and the most obvious one. She blushes. Okay, okay, sounds like it's not that a biggie, right? IT IS A FREAKING BIGGIE IF SHE BLUSHES LIKE 10 MILLION TIMES A DAY. That's annoying to the extreme and not quite subtle, especially if she's to lead others into believing that she's a boy. It doesn't take a dumb idiot to know that she's actually a girl but of course, perhaps some of the characters are actually dumb idiots, not that I can blame. That aside, the point is that she's blushing way too much and I'm not kidding if I'm saying she's blushing more than a female mc in an erotica. Not like I've read any eroticas, but you get the point.
Next up, the phrase 'my heart...' constricts/beats erratically and other synonymous words constantly appears and it gets really irritating at times. It appears at least once in 95% of the chapters, possibly. I didn't count the number of times that happened, and I'll probably get my head cracked from constantly smashing against the wall due to the irrepressible feeling of exasperation caused by you-know-who. To put it simply, she needs immediate attention from a cardiologist. She has more heart palpitations than a normal human should have. Call 995 or something. Quick.
The plot wasn't fantastic either. It was okay, and if it wasn't for Alexa's habit of constantly blushing, the plot might have capture a little of my interest. And well, let's just say the blushing and plot did not work well and I ended up skimming through pages.
Basically the plot goes something like this: girl pretends to be boy to escape rape houses because the evil king demands orphan girls to be sent there (which coming to think of it, is an excuse for her pretense. Rape houses were not removed at the end, anyway). So she is sent to the army to fight. And since she's tall and flat chested, she could be passed as boy! And of course, surrounded by boys, her hormones starts to get worked up. But obviously, she can't let her friends know that or else the cat will be out of the bag so what did she do? She blushed! She blushed like nobody's business, all day, every day and still thinks that's being discreet.
|Is this being discreet? Nope. Not at all.|
There's 2 people she's vying for: the concerned, filial friend and the broodingly cold spoiled brat of a prince. Which will she choose? Not going to spoil the love triangle here, but listen to your instincts. You're most likely to be right. The prince overthrows the king and everyone's happy. Ta-daaa.
Summing up, plot is average made horrible by the horrendous amount of blushing. If you like characters that blush way too much to be considered humane, this book is destined for you.
(On the side note, sorry if I am seem too harsh. I tend to that when I'm annoyed.)