Author: Cayla Kluver
Publisher: Harlequinn Teen
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One
Synopsis can be found here.
You may have heard of the author, Cayla Kluver. She was fourteen years old when she wrote this book. Fourteen! Talk about an over achiever!
The premise of the book was intriguing enough for me to pick it up, but what really drew my eye was the beautiful cover. (And the sequel's cover is even more gorgeous!)
But after 30% in, I'm going to move on. There's a lot of wonderful things about this book and a lot of things that need some work. I'm sad because I really really wanted to love these books. And while it is impressive that a fourteen year old wrote it, it does read like a fourteen year old wrote it.
Kluver's writing has so much potential. Her writing is fluid, giving great detail and description to the world she lives in. Her heroine, Princess Alera, is young, naive and a bit of a brat. But her life is turned upside down quickly when the peace that has ruled her world is shattered. This fantasy world is mesmerizing and rich.
While I enjoy some description as much as the next person, there was simply too much of it. From clothing, to setting, the overuse of adjectives made the story drag. Coming in at almost 500 pages, the book could have been edited down to 300 or so and would have been a much tighter and faster paced tale. When I put this one down, I didn't want to pick it back up again.
Alera was also a problem for me. She's too naive and doesn't have a lot of direction. While I liked that she was forced to be a spectator in her own life, as women don't have a strong role in this world, I was constantly annoyed that the actions she did finally take didn't seem to have a lot of thought behind them. She is almost too young, or if she was going to be made that young, maybe give her some trials or challenges. Instead, I found her to be a spoiled brat.
The most interesting character was London, the bodyguard. He was smart, with a dry sense of humor and maybe just a little bit shady. I wish the book focused more on him, or made him younger to make him a love interest for our dear Princess.
Overall, the author has a lot of potential and I'm definitely going look at Kluver's future books. There are tons of very positive reviews for this book on Goodreads so I'm sure people enjoy the story. But this beginning to the series left me unsatisfied.
n/a Not Finished
Rating 3, Raisins. No Thank You!