Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Andrew Shvarts
Tilla, the bastard daughter of Lord Kent, is torn between the common life with her half-brother Jax and life in court with her father. Her father has ignored her since he married and had legitimate children, but everything changes when her father comes to her and asks for help with the visiting princess. Trying to help her father, Tilla and her bastard friends stumble into a plot devised by their parents to kill the princess and her uncle. Suddenly, they are all targets with the princess. They barely escape, but their parents place bounties on their heads. They travel the country side trying to make it to Lightspire, the capital city where Princess Lyriana is from. Along the way, they face several betrayals and attacks, however they resolve to stop the inevitable war instigated by Tilla's father.
This book is well written and the characters are well rounded. Although Tilla is torn between her two lives, she ultimately makes the right decision on which life to lead despite her conflicting desires. All of the characters grow throughout the novel, making all five essential to the story. The story has the perfect mix of happiness and sadness, and the descriptions clearly describe the beautiful landscape of the world the characters reside in. If there was a problem with the narrative, it would be the overly teenage colloquial expressions in the dialogue. Given that this is supposed to be a Game of Thrones type of story, the dialogue can be a bit too modern for the story, however, it makes it a more enjoyable read for teenagers rather than stumbling through medieval language.
*Contains moderate violence, moderate sexual content, and moderate language.