by Samantha Gillespie
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Publisher: Smooth Sailing Press, LLC
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Hardback: 290 pages
The Kingdom Within
book 2 - tba in 2016
Princess Meredith's eighteenth birthday is fast approaching, but unlike other girls, she is not looking forward to it. Upon her coming of age, she is to marry the prince of Alder, the most powerful kingdom in the world. Though the idea of marriage to a complete stranger is appalling, she knows she has no choice. Without the marriage contract, Stonefall's alliance with Alder will be lost, and her people will be safe no longer; Theros, King of Talos, has set his eyes of conquest on Stonefall and he wants Meredith dead.
Connor, an elite soldier entrusted with Meredith's safety, arrives at the palace just as things begin to take a turn for the worst. Together, they embark on a journey of survival, in which Meredith will find that the only thing she never prepared for was falling in love.
Great start to the series that has that medieval renaissance vibe!
Like most first books in a series, this one was mostly an introduction to this fantasy world and main characters. I found the main characters to be likable and the kind that make you want to hope the best for them as the story progresses.
The romance starts out sweetly and honestly between Princess Meredith and Connor. So then, the question is how will it last into the next book despite Princess Meredith's established arranged marriage with someone else?
Conflict in the kingdom creates the right amount of tension and danger to this story to force the characters to go beyond their usual stations in life.
I loved reading about the makings of a heroine which is what Princess Meredith is slowly transforming into.
The ending leaves plenty of action with a cliffhanger doozy ;-)
* review copy courtesy of publisher