Realm of Knights
by Jennifer Anne Davis
Series: Realm of Knights #1
Release date: September 10, 2019
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Author: Jennifer Anne Davis
Publication Date: 10 September 2019
Publisher: Reign Publishing
Series: Realm of Knights, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Age Recommendation: 14 and Up
Rating: 3.5 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~
Reid has spent her whole life pretending to be a man so she can inherit her father’s estate, but when a chance encounter threatens to expose her lie, she is forced to risk everything.In the kingdom of Marsden, women are subservient to men and land can only pass from father to son. So when Reid Ellington is born, the fifth daughter to one of the wealthiest landholders in the kingdom, it’s announced that Reid is a boy.Eighteen years later, Reid struggles to conceal the fact she’s actually a young woman. Every day, her secret becomes harder to keep. When one of Marsden’s princes sees her sparring with a sword, she is forced to accept his offer and lead her father’s soldiers to the border. Along the way, she discovers a covert organization within the army known as the Knights of the Realm. If Reid wants to save her family from being arrested for treason and robbed of their inheritance, she will have to join the Knights and become a weapon for the crown.To protect her family, Reid must fight like a man. To do that, she’ll need the courage of a woman.
I have to say that my initial interest in this book stemmed from a bout of cover love and then I read the description and my excitement ratcheted up a notch into full on ready to fan-girl mode. So I know your burning question is did this book stand up to my excitement for it? Well, yes and no and here's why.
First let's start with the positive. I love the premise of this book. The idea of this girl living the life of a boy and then being unceremoniously thrown into a world of intrigue and war as a woman! Having to manage herself in a world she belongs to but in a way that she is wholly unfamiliar with gives some awesome Mulan vibes, but that is where the connection ends, don't go in thinking this is a Mulan retelling.
The book is a true page turner. It kept me totally invested the entire time and is fast paced, (which is also a negative that we will talk about later) I was able to read the book in a few hours and other then being done with it and needing to know what happens next, I loved that aspect. I love a fast paced, entertaining book and this definitely fills the bill. There is romantic tension, intrigue, action, introspection....it has so many great points.
The characters, there are both positives and negatives here. Reid, is a great character, I loved her ability to set aside her fears when she needs to protect the ones that she loves. I found her to be a truly strong female lead, though there are a few times that she wavers and I feel like we lose her, but I have to say I think there are two reasons for that, one goes back to my early comment about it being a quick read. I think the author simply ran out of time for Reid's character to fully develop. This book could have very easily been a 400+ page book instead of the under 300 that we got and a lot of the reason it is shorter is lack of character development. I wish we had more time to watch her grow and truly come into herself. Reid has the ability to be one of the strongest female YA characters out there but she needs to be given the 'pages' to do that. The same can be said about Ackley and Gordon as well. I loved these two characters, but I don't truly know who they are and I want to know them, there is so much just simmering under the surface of this book I just need the author to delve deeper and pull it out for us. There are even some great secondary characters that it would be awesome to end up with spin-offs, just gonna put that out there now, haha.
So I gave you a little bit of the negative above, but honestly that is the one negative that plays through out the story, not enough development. It affects the characters, the world building, the pacing of the story, the intrigue....everything just happens too fast without enough time to let it simmer and come through fully formed. That doesn't make me not want to read the next book, it is on my must read list. In the end the premise of this story is just too intriguing, what we did get in this book, even with the lack of development is compelling. I want to see relationships develop, I want answers to the intrigues, I want to see changes come to the world that Reid lives in. What I hope for is that the author, who really shouldn't read these reviews will get wind of a lot of the reviewers thoughts (you will see that a lot of us agree on the development and pacing issues) and take that to heart when writing book 2. There is amazing potential here and I just want it all!
This is a good book to pick up, it has so much going for it and I hope even with my (or other reviewers) negatives you will still give it a chance because there is so much possibility here and it could truly be an amazing YA Fantasy!
~ HAPPY READING ~
About the Author
Jennifer Anne Davis graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. She is currently a full-time writer and mother of three kids, one weimaraner, and a tortoise. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and lives in the San Diego area.
Jennifer is the recipient of the San Diego Book Awards Best Published Young Adult Novel (2013), winner of the Kindle Book Awards (2018), a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards (2014), and a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards (2014).
Publishers Marketplace listed Jennifer as one of the best-selling indie authors in June 2017. She has also been ranked among the top 100 best-selling authors on Amazon.
The True Reign and Reign of Secrets series have sold over half a million copies.
Click HERE for the Publishers Marketplace article.
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