Category/genre: Young adult/Fantasy
My star rating: 4/5
**I received a complimentary copy from Scholastic via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**
Goodreads blurb: Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.
The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?
THE RAVE WORTHY: All of the reviews of this book had me laughing out loud. First of all, so many seemed so outraged and shocked that it had a love triangle...Um, it says it right in the blurb guys. And then women were going bonkers because they felt she needed to do more to prove that as a woman she was a hero and not just another bimbo looking for love. I don't think that's fair. She did a hell of a lot more than the men in the book of her same professional position. I don't consider myself a feminist by any stretch of the word, but I thought the point of feminism was to put us on the same level as men, not to force us to work twice as hard for the same respect. I fell in love with Alexa. She was hardened and strong but did not lose her femininity or sexuality, and for a female character I think that is crucial. I'm not sure when it stopped being okay to be aware of and embrace that part of yourselves, ladies, but I'm not down with it. She thought exactly like a typical, hormone-driven 17 year old girl. When I was 17, a muscly man with his shirt off took my breath away too, and I was a big time tomboy. The storyline was believable and captivating. The writing was strong, and the dialogue was smooth. This was very, very well written especially considering that Sara is a debut author.
THE GRUMBLE WORTHY: I did find it to be a little repetitive. It was hot for the fire half of the book, and I think we were reminded of it in every chapter. A lot of throats were going dry, and there were a few too many "curtly" nods going around. Now, please know that I had an ARC so this may have been edited down.
WHAT WILL STICK WITH ME: Oh. My. Gawd. That ENDING! It killed me, Sara. So much was unanswered as far as the prince and Rylan were concerned. Pahhlease! Tell me there is a sequel coming??? In all seriousness though, the ending really was special. Alexa makes a very bold, and difficult decision that made me respect her even more.