General rating: ★★★★ (4 stars)
Diversity rating: ★☆ (1.5 stars; POC, semi non-western world, this book is really hard to rate)
When I get a request to review from an author, I am always very hesitant because sometimes you get really strange review requests in your inbox. However, with this book, I just had to say yes because it sounded great!
It has been seventeen years since the Asterian Revolution, and all eyes are on Princess Aria and the long expected royal wedding. Having grown up in a world of royalty and wealth, Aria has been unable to imagine anything less than perfect for her life. But when an indiscretion threatens to ruin her reputation, the princess finds herself cast into a world of scandal.
As rumors and heartbreak threaten to destroy her, Aria journeys to a distant seaport and sets sail on a merchant ship, hoping the voyage will give her the freedom she craves. Though the ocean holds promises of adventure and intrigue, the world may be too small for a royal to truly disappear. With her family desperately searching the kingdoms for her, Aria finds herself surrounded by strangers and realizes that her brashness may have been a deadly mistake…
First of all, you do not need to read the first book in order to read this book! The first book follows the story of Aria’s parents, and takes place years and years earlier.
The story follows Aria, princess of Asteria and after a horrible event (I’m not going to tell you what 😛 ) she runs off to another Kingdom. She wants to escape the rumours and judging eyes of the people of her kingdom. She takes a different name and fleds. During her journey she gets into danger, meets new people and above all grows up. I thought the character development of Aria was very well done. In the beginning, I thought her to be a little selfish and spoiled, but she changed a lot during the book and in the end, I thought she was a strong and independent woman. This is one of my favourite things in books!
There are two points of view, Aria’s and her father James’. Although I thought James’s point of view did bring something extra into the book, it was slightly annoying sometimes. Sometimes something really excited happens and then they switch to James’ point of view, while all I wanted to know was what would happen with Aria! I completely understood why it was there but it did break the story somewhat.
The story started off a little slow, but once I got halfway I got so much into it, I just wanted to continue reading the entire time! It also started off with a lot of characters and names and I always struggle keeping up if there are that much.
I loved the world it was set in, even though there is no magic in it, as often is the case with fantasy, I loved the royal intrigue and the politics between the different kingdoms.
It was a little predictable sometimes but *screams in frustration* THAT ENDING! When I finished the book I was quite tempted to blackmail the writer to write me a sequel or at least an epilogue! (Please, Sarah help me out here)
I am giving this book ★★★★ (4/5 stars) because I highly enjoyed it and it was just really good! I would definitely recommend this if you like stories of princesses in ball gowns who run off and great worldbuilding and just fantasy in general.
This book will come out May 6th.
** I have received this book from the Author in exchange for a review, this did not affect my opinions whatsoever**