Reading level: Young Adult
Size: 336 pages
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Swapped through paperbackswap.com
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I had been wanting to read this book forever and was excited to finally get a chance to read it. This is Eilis O’Neal’s debut book and she did a great job on it. This is a wonderful fantasy full of mystery, numerous plot twists, magic, and a touch of romance.
Nalia has lead a sheltered and well-educated life as the Princess set to inherit the Throne of Thorvaldor. Nalia’s world comes crashing down around her when on her sixteenth birthday she is told that she is not the princess, she is in fact a false princess raised in the real princess’s place in order to save the real princess from a horrible prophecy. Nalia is told her name is actually Sinda and she is sent away from everything she has ever known and loved to live with an aunt in the country. Her best friend Kiernan tries to visit to console her, but Sinda is desolate. That is until she finds out that she has powerful magic and begins to unweave a number of mysteries surrounding the false princess and the magic that surrounds her.
This is one of those very sweet princess type stories but kind of in reverse…the girl finds out she’s not a princess instead of finding out she is one. I loved watching Sinda’s journey from being a Princess to being a “no one” and then her struggle to figure out who she wanted to be. Sinda is smart girl and a gentle girl, but she has a little bit of fire in her and as she learns to kindle the fire and believe in herself she becomes a force to be reckoned with.
Many of the side characters are fascinating too. Kiernan is a wonderful male lead; he has so many conflicting interests but is determined to remain a true friend to Sinda no matter what her situation. Kieran and Sinda have a romance based on a lifetime of support and love and it is a very sweet romance to read about.
There is a lot of magic in this book as well and I enjoyed watching Sinda as she struggled to control her magic powers. The plot is paced very well and has plenty of twists and turns so you are constantly left trying to guess what will happen next and trying to put together the pieces of the mystery before Sinda does.
This was on of those books that everytime I sat down I had a little trouble getting into it for the first few minutes, then once I got into the story I couldn’t put it down.
Overall I really enjoyed this story. It is full of wonderful characters, a sweet and subtle romance between the two main characters, magic, and a wonderful mystery. Fans of Brightly Woven, Tamora Pierce’s Books, or Kristin Cashore’s book should check this book out. I look forward to O’Neal’s next book.