A big thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
This book will be available for purchase starting Septemeber 10th!
Holy cow friends. This book was absolutely stunning. It is so complex and wonderful and I am still buzzing after reading it. The kingdom of Marsden doesn’t allow women to work or to own land. They have very few rights, so when Reid is the fifth daughter born to her father the Duke, her family is put in a precarious situation. Reid poses as her father’s male heir for 18 years. Then all of a sudden she is drafted into a complex royal scheme where she uncovers secret after secret about her own kingdom as well as the enemy. She does all this while discovering parts of herself as both a woman and the man she has pretended to be for so long.
Reid is wonderful. I talk a lot about believable strong female leads, and Reid totally represents one. She has confidence and strength she’s learned from being a man, and she also is learning what it means to be a woman while still enjoying the freedoms men have. She seeks a balance between her two selves which I really enjoyed exploring with her.
The complexity of the court and its secrets and rules is so well done. As more was uncovered in the plot, the truth got more and more clouded. I was enthralled the entire time, not knowing what could possibly happen next. Books focused on kingdoms and court life really intrigue me, and this is a very well done one.
I am absolutely here for female knights. What a dream come true for me. I am so happy for more androgynous female representation in the literary world. I really connected to Reid and her desires for her life, and I think that other readers will as well. I am so eager for the next book and to see how she continues to grow as a woman and a warrior.
Finally, I should touch on the princes. There are a lot of them, and I fell a little in love with each of them. Each has a lot of depth that I appreciated since there are so many of them, and oftentimes that many boys will only receive one or more defining characteristic.
I HIGHLY recommend this book, and I hope to have it on my sheld ASAP. If you like Ruined by Amy Tintera and Cruel Prince by Holly Black, I think you’ll really enjoy this book. Put it on your TBR and keep an eye out for its release!