Published by Samhain Publishing
Published on 2008-02-12
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
Princess Flian finds herself the unwilling object of desire of three royals. Is the one she wants a villain—or a hero? Waking up in a strange place, Flian Elandersi at first doesn’t know who she is. One wicked prince tells her she is secretly engaged to an even more wicked king who wants to marry her right away. But before that happens, yet another wicked prince crashes through a window on horseback to sweep her off her feet. Memory returns, and Flian realizes that all any of them seem to want is her considerable wealth, not her pleasant-but-ordinary self. She longs to escape the barracks-like, military atmosphere and return to civilization and her musical studies. Flian endures another abduction, this time in the middle of a poetry reading. Who is the villain? Prince Garian Herlester—languid, elegant, sarcastic? Prince Jaim—he of the dashing horsemanship? Or King Jason Szinzar, whose ambiguous warning might be a threat? Flian decides it’s time to throw off civilization and take action. The problem with action is that duels of wit turn into duels of steel—and love can’t be grabbed and galloped away.
It has been a while since I last posted a review, lately I just couldn’t find a fiction book to read that would hold my interest for more than a few pages. To remedy that I turned to an old favorite, I re-read the Trouble with Kings by Sherwood Smith. I love fantasy books, and this one just hits the sweet spot for me for having the right mix of fantasy, adventure and romance in it. It involved Kings, princesses, court intrigues and whispers of war, all the good stuff mixed well in an enjoyable story.
The story starts with Princess Flian, she lost her memory and doesn’t recall who and where she was. When she woke up, she was told that she was about to be married to a King Jason, who supposedly was her long time fiance. She feels confused by her surroundings and events that seem to happening to fast, she also feels embarrassed that she can’t summon up the romantic feeling she thought she should have for him, she was upront and honest about it to him. She knows something doesn’t feel right but she couldn’t pinpoint the reason for it. Never the less, determined to do her duties she wanted to go through the marriage ceremony. But things got crazy real fast before the marriage vows were uttered. That’s where the adventures and misadventures began. Escapes, kindnappings, rescues and another kidnapping ensued. It still an enjoyable read, even though I’ve read this years ago and I know how it ends, I was still fascinated with the story.
The book in the first person perspective of princess Flian. I really liked her character,though she’s not of my usual favorite heroine (sword wielding, kick-ass martial artist/swords woman) type, I found her character to be endearing just the same. She’s raised in a privilege and wealth but was not haughty or spoiled, she’s very introverted and passionate about music. She detests the the inauthenticity of court people she, due to her position of being a princess, has to endure. Aside from her father and brother(the heir) to whom she is close to, she usually feels like an outcast in her own court since she doesn’t like indulging in the pettiness and superficial competition they seem to enjoy. She feels alone most of the time and distrustful of court people because of her experiences with men who courted her for her position and wealth and not her for herself. Her whole adventures and misadventures happened because someone wanted her wealth and power. But through her whole ordeal she is steadfast to her values – honor being primary among them. That’s where her strength lay, not in her physical prowess but in her character. That made her character endearing to me.
I also loved the romance in this book, I love how it was just told in hints here and there. Subtle thoughts Flian will sometimes think of and quickly try to suppress, vague conversations that would only hint and not directly confirm the character’s feelings. It’s my kind of romance, slow to start which just build up gradually -it’s so much satisfying in the end. I think that’s what is lacking from other YA fantasies I tried to read, most of them are to focused on the love-at-first-sight romance and get so all caught up in all the does-he-or-doesn’t-he-like-me drama that results in annoying characters and an unmoving plot. I miss these kinds of stories, this is more in line with my other YA fantasy favorite the blue sword.
If you have the chance, try giving this one a chance, please ignore the cover, this is one of those don’t judge the book by it’s cover type of book. It’s a fun, enjoyable story.
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