My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
Book Description: In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.
My thoughts: Forced into an arranged marriage was not Lia's idea of "happily ever after". She may be a princess, but she wants to experience the joy of falling in love and have the opportunity to make her own decisions.
In a moment of planned desperation, Lia and her servant, Pauline, flee hours before the wedding. Lia is not a typical princess, she finds joy in working in a tavern, picking blackberries, and many other mundane tasks. She loves to be seen as a common person.
Two men are on her trail. One is an assassin who wants to kill her, the other is the Prince she ran away from marrying. Neither was prepared for the reality of Lia. She captured both of them in a short period of time, making them temporarily forget the reason's that they were searching for her.
I couldn't help but like Lia and Pauline. They are great friends who do not let class distinctions get in their way of love and respect for each other. They are the kind of best friend that everyone wants. They help each other through some of their worst hours.
The Prince and the assassin appear at the same time. They are introduced as Kaden and Rafe. I was a little frustrated that the true identity of each was not revealed in the first half of the book. I had an opinion of which one I thought was the Prince, but Mary E. Pearson kept offering information of the characters that had me doubting my decision. (I was right by the way!) It was hard to not know which one was trying to kill her.
The plot gets exciting in the last quarter of the book. The assassin is revealed and the hunt begins. I am being vague for a reason, because I don't want to spoil anything in the book. There is "hunting" throughout the book. Mostly, it is a hunting for the truth. Lia is trying to find out the truth about herself and her talents. The reader is "hunting" to figure out the mystery surrounding Lia.
I like this book. It is intriguing and fast paced. Most of the characters are likable, some of the assassins are not nice. (Go figure.) The book ends on a cliffhanger. I will be reading the sequel. There really isn't another option, I need to find out what happens to the Prince, the assassin, and the Princess.