I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
A cunning and impetuous scout, Alix only wishes to serve quietly on the edges of the action. But when the king is betrayed by his own brother and left to die at the hands of attacking Oridian forces, she winds up single-handedly saving her sovereign.
Suddenly, she is head of the king’s personal guard, an honor made all the more dubious by the king’s exile from his own court. Surrounded by enemies, Alix must help him reclaim his crown, all the while attempting to repel the relentless tide of invaders led by the Priest, most feared of Oridia’s lords.
But while Alix’s king commands her duty, both he and a fellow scout lay claim to her heart. And when the time comes, she may need to choose between the two men who need her most…
Another one of the authors who will be featured at When Words Collide this August. She has attended before, at the point where this book had just been published (as a panelist, but not a featured guest). Gotta like a book cover which features a woman with a big-ass sword!
Alix Black is an engaging main character, as she scouts for the army, fights when necessary, and sorts out her feelings for the men in her life. She has a bit of a tendency to act first and think later, which causes some complications! It also keeps her from being entirely a Mary Sue character—she makes enough blunders to keep her grounded.
For those who detest love triangles, you may want to give this book a miss, but if you have tolerance for such plot devices, this one resolves itself before the end of the volume. A bit predictably, but very sweetly.
I was impressed enough that I immediately put a hold on the second book at my library and I’ll be looking forward to hearing the author at this summer’s conference.