Hello my friends!
Today I have a review for you. This is my first ARC from the website Net Galley, which is an awesome way to get in touch with publishers and receive books in exchange for an honest review! I was lucky enough to be approved to read this beautiful book. It is the actually the second book in a series (which I was unaware of at the time of request). This series is titled Kingdom of Cymmera, and the first book in the series is called Reluctant Prince. Of course, since I didn’t realize this book was part of a series, I was a little confused reading Lost Princess. In honesty, I probably could have figured it out well enough to read without reading the first book. However, that just doesn’t feel right to me. In the spirit of book respect, I believe all books in a series should be read in order and that a book should be read before seeing the movie 😉 That’s just my personal policy, which I uphold whenever possible.
So, I jumped on my kindle and purchased Reluctant Prince. It was a pretty quick read, and it kept me intrigued. I’ll give a short review on it, even though we a really here for the second book. Reluctant Prince takes place both in the human world and in an alternate realm called Cymmera. It is from two perspectives, Ryleigh, a human girl who has recently lost her parents and grandmother, leaving her in charge of her younger sister Mia, and Jackson, the eldest prince of Cymmera next in line for the throne. Jackson is training to join an elite group of soldiers known as Death Dealers, who, on orders from their prophet, kill humans so that they can bring their soul into Cymmera. While this sounds morally questionable, it is addressed a bit in Lost Princess. So, Jackson’s last quest before he officially joins the Death Dealers is to kill Ryleigh and bring her into Cymmera. However, once Jackson lays eyes on her protecting her sister, he can’t being himself to do it. Chaos ensures from the kingdom, and betrayals are everywhere.
~~Spoilers from Lost Princess below!~~
Alright, so down to the real review here! We are left at the end of Reluctant Prince with Jackson becoming king, and Ryleigh with a mark on her arm that declares her as the rightful queen. However, neither of them are prepared to accept their roles. Ryleigh wants to remain in the human realm with her sister. Jackson can’t get over the betrayals in his kingdom or his father’s death.
The Good: I really enjoyed the writing of this book! It was well detailed but not exhaustively so. I felt that this book address some of the character development that the first book didn’t really go into. When Ryleigh and Jackson met, it was what Katy from the lux series calls “insta-love”, which I don’t usually have a problem with. However, there were some glaring issues I knew they didn’t see eye to eye on. I was happy to see them fighting about them, to see Ryleigh fighting for what she believes in. I also really love the relationship between Ryleigh and Mia. They are so sweet, and I love that Ryleigh takes their relationship and advice from Mia seriously. Even with the insta-love going on, she doesn’t leave her sister. I also enjoyed this alternate world. Cymmera is fairly old-fashioned, but it is painted as very lovely. Also, dragons. Warrior dragons. And anything with dragons has my vote 😉 I did like the betrayal aspect of the story also. Although it was pretty easy to guess who the double-agent in the kingdom was, I did have some moments of doubt. I like a book that makes me second-guess myself.
The Just Okay: Alright, I liked a lot of things about this book. However, one of the most annoying things to me was how ridiculous everyone seems to think it is that a woman could rule as queen without a man. Maybe it’s just the feminist in me. But I feel that since Ryleigh is truly the rightful heir of Cymmera, all the male soldiers should get off their high horse about following a woman. In retrospect, this is supposed to be an old-fashioned kingdom. But still. These people are supposed to cross into the human world and learn. So why are women still viewed as less-than worthy? I will add that toward the end of this book, Ryleigh does take charge. She does assert her right as queen even without Jackson. But I felt that once he was back in the picture, she sort of stepped down a step to make room for him. Nothing is more annoying to me than a heroine that is second to a guy.
So, there you have it! Overall, I give this book 4.5 stars! I would recommend that anyone looking for a fun fantasy to give it a read! The first book is available on Amazon and Lost Princess is set for release October 16th!