Ahoy there me mateys! So this book be a young adult fantasy novel that was just an okay read for me. I be conflicted. Overall it was enjoyable, but I wish it had been much better.
This was one of those instances where there were too many plot-lines. Ye have a) the romance subplot; b) the civil unrest based on types of magic subplot; c) the two princes’ god-driven contest for the right to rule subplot; d) main girl trying to overcome her father’s traitorous behavior and solve the mystery of his death subplot; e) the main prince dude’s self-esteem over the right to rule subplot; and f) the drake subplot. Of course they all tie together in some fashion. The problem is that at 500 pages, the plot meandered in unreasonable fashion and yet for all those subplots, there was a ton of time where nothing was really happening except romantic angst. Or too much was happening where ye got glimpses of fun stuff and then immediately jumped topics.
And yet I loved the set-up to the story. Kate is in disgrace at the capital due to her father’s assassination attempt. So she flees to the outskirts of the kingdom where she is tenaciously hanging onto a post with the royal courier service. A position she earned. She is trying to hide her forbidden, if cool, magic because it would mean death. Besides trying to survive folk calling her “Traitor Kate” and trying to sabotage her job, she is also dealing with the fallout from losing her noble title and the consequences of commoner life. Oh and drakes. Nasty non-flying dragons that hunt at night. Awesome right? Well the author sets up this fantastic scenario only to have her save the prince i.e. her old flame. And then the author shifts the entire story and setting. It is the right of the author to chose where to take her own story. I just wish it didn’t go there.
So while I was miffed, I still wanted to know where it was going to go. So I kept readin’ and grumblin’. And loving the magic systems. And loving the horses. And being intrigued by the contest between the brothers. I was less fascinated by the boring romance that took over, the stupidity of Kate’s ridiculous tactics of spying, the plot twists behind the bad guys, and lack of use of the better side characters. In fact, at one plot reveal, I was so annoyed at the silliness involved that I put the book down. And left it there for several weeks. I wasn’t sure if I was going to pick it up but I was so close to the end that I picked it back up when I had a small reading time-frame. Mostly because I didn’t have the time to start something new.
So I read to the end and found meself a little cheerier. Much of this cheer came from the fact that ye have YA characters sharing their feelings, offering apologies, and listening to the other’s point-of-view. I hate when all could be solved by just talking to one another and then they don’t.
I continued to dislike the direction the author took the story though the various plot points do seem to coalesce at the end albeit unsatisfactorily. I do enjoy the magic system, and I would like to see more of it. I thought the character of Signe was wonderful and wish I could read a book about her instead. Kate continued to annoy me with her brashness and hardheadedness. Prince-lover-boy was stereotypical in general and a bit too mopey. And it needed a lot more drakes.
I do not regret this book but I am not feeling particularly hopeful for the next in the series. Time will tell if I read it or not. Arrr!!
Amazon has this to say about the novel:
They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king of Rime.
Cast out of the nobility, Kate now works for the royal courier service. Only the most skilled ride for the Relay and only the fastest survive, for when night falls, the drakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: She is a wilder, born with forbidden magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals.
And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by drakes in broad daylight—the only survivor Corwin Tormaine, the son of the king. Her first love, the boy she swore to forget after he condemned her father to death.
With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin must put the past behind them to face this new threat and an even darker menace stirring in the kingdom.
To visit the author’s website go to:
To buy the book go to:
To add to Goodreads go to: