A STABLE BOY
When her father dies, Princess Amarande is given an ultimatum: Marry the leader of one of the four neighboring kingdoms, or lose her crown—and possibly her life. And to force her hand, her beloved, the stable boy Luca, is kidnapped.
But Amarande was raised to be a warrior, not a sacrifice.
And nothing will stop her from saving her true love and rescuing her kingdom.
The acclaimed author of Sea Witch turns the classic damsel-in-distress tale on its head with this story of adventure, identity, and love.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME THIS WAS A DUOLOGY? Could I have done my research and discovered for myself that there was another book to this series? Well, yes. Did I? Nope. So now I’m sitting here fighting the urge to beg Tor Teen for an ARC of the second book even though the title and cover have yet to be revealed. Make better choices, Erin.
For the most part, I really enjoyed this book! While it wasn’t an all consuming, I’ll die now if I don’t continue reading kind of book, it was overall a great read. I liked both Luca and Amarande, as well as the majority of the side characters. The villain(s) were sufficiently evil and intriguing and I definitely feared for the lives of our characters at multiple points throughout the book.
Now, before my fellow millennials come at me…I’ve only seen The Princess Bride once in my entire life so I can’t speak to the similarities, but I hear that overall they were relatively minor? Read other reviews for a more comprehensive recap of movie vs book if that’s what you’re looking for.
There were a couple of things that took some getting used to. First of all, the main characters are already in love when this story begins, eliminating any and all angst. While their romance was cute, I really missed that heart pounding tension that I typically get from a really wonderful romance. Now, I understand that the book was written this way to reflect the movie plot, but I felt as though I was missing something.
Additionally, the lack of a map was a bummer! (Yes, I did check the finished copy for a map. No dice) I would have liked one to reference as I was getting to know and understand the world. There were also some POV changes that were rather jarring and unexpected. I thought the book would be in Ama’s point of view given how it started and the fact that there were no chapter headers. However, the POV would change at random intervals thought the book with no indication. I want to say there were at least six different POVs by the end of the novel. While for the most part these changes in narration added to the story, they were nonetheless unexpected and a touch jarring.
All of this being said, I definitely plan to pick up the sequel and am honestly tempted to check out Sarah Henning’s other duology. Thank you to Tor Teen for this galley!