Dainy doesn’t know that she is the lost Duchess of Jordinia, believed to have been assassinated fifteen years ago. Nor does she know that her uncle has implemented an illegal contest to seek her, offering her marriage hand as the reward! Though at odds, three clashing rivals – including a noble giant, a forest dweller and a thieving rake – voyage together by woodland, prairie and sea to recover the lost royal, notwithstanding the assassins and spies at their tail. Soon, young Dainy is swept into a comically complex romantic quadrangle as each suitor competes to capture her heart. Charmingly romantic and bursting with political intrigue, startling twists and vivid characters, readers of romance and fantasy alike will adore this original yet timeless tale of swashbuckling adventure and unlikely love.
About the Book:
Published October 3rd, 2014
About the Author
C.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers’ Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books – reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. There’s tons to check out at the new CKBrooke.com, so come and see what she’s up to!
Click the picture above for the GIVEAWAY!
Quick Reasons: awesome start to what is bound to be an AWESOME series!; love triangle? booooo…messy romance/lots of drama? YUM; LOVE the character growth, especially that seen in Cosmith; believable, realistic characters and relationships; some easy-to-spot plot twists, paired with some not-so-easy ones; this world sucked me in and held me captive, though there are some world-building issues
HUGE thanks to C.K. Brooke, 48fourteen Publishing, and YA Bound Book Tours for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this title.
Now, if you’ve been following my reviews for a while, you’ll know I don’t read much in the way of pure fantasy. Usually, I go more for the paranormal, or the magical, or the steampunk. I have nothing against fantasy–but as a genre, it ALONE doesn’t generally appeal to me. I usually need something on top of it. So why THIS book?! Why NOW?! I decided…I needed to branch out again, I suppose. And this cover? THIS COVER CALLED TO ME, penguins! This cover was like a beacon lighting my way, begging me for attention. I was also drawn in by the promise of a “love quadrangle,” though honestly I found this bit of the summary to be a lie–it’s more of a love triangle, in the end. Still, it was entertaining!
These characters are all so unique and complex. I particularly enjoyed Dainy’s feisty, stubborn, snarky nature–I mean, those are the traits I always look for in my favorite characters, so I’m glad she exhibited them. Cosmith, however… Cosmith took me completely by surprise. At the start of this journey, I was bound and determined to loathe him…….only for that to change as the story progressed and as he grew. There was so much character growth in him, guys, I couldn’t help but be swayed to his side. I don’t even know when, specifically, I began to see him not as a manipulative jerk, but as someone worthy of my reading time. Regardless, it happened. And the character I hoped to LOVE by the end of this… actually sort of made me loathe him somewhere in the middle! I was a mess of confused emotions, basically–but am so so pleased by this book as a whole.
The plot is entertaining, filled with action and adventure. There were several deceptive red herrings and delicious plot twists…and some twists I saw coming a mile away. I laughed, I exclaimed–very loudly and in much surprise! I was enthralled, beginning to end. The prose is a bit awkward and heavy-handed at parts, written to emulate the way these characters speak. It’s more formal than I’m used to from books, but was also gorgeous and well-managed. It wasn’t ever TOO much, though sometimes walked a thin line there.
The world building was decent, though I have to admit to being a bit confused about the time period. This has been shelved as “historical” fiction a few times on goodreads, but….some of the technology (the blood lock, for instance) seems a bit advanced for historical fiction. I am also confused by the world as a whole–technology is all but unmentioned, which made it difficult to gauge exactly the time period. I wish there had been a few more hints along the way, to help better root me in the world itself–while I don’t feel I missed out on the world much, I feel as if there was a slight disconnect between my head and the book’s reality.
Overall, this was an entertaining, snark-filled read–and I can’t wait to see what the next book brings our merry trio of characters! C.K. Brooke caught me by surprise with this one, enthralling and ensnaring me with poetic prose and creatively-captured characters. If you enjoy fantasy, “self-discovery” stories, and characters with their snark torches burning at both ends, this book should be right up your alley! I definitely recommend it!