Release Date: June 28, 2011
The first boy disappeared on the day of his birth, on a night when the pale yellow moon of the nighttime sky turned red and bathed the heavens in the ghastly color of blood, on the same night the Kingdom of Cokyri abruptly ceased its merciless attack.
Across the land of Hytanica, under the shadow of the crimson moon, infant boys continued to vanish. Not until the blood had faded from the sky did the disappearances stop and the bodies of the murdered infants were found outside the gates of the city, a final word from the greatest enemy Hytanica had ever known. For the next sixteen years, peace reigned, but one mystery remained unsolved. The Cokyrians had abducted forty-nine newborns, but returned only forty-eight bodies.
Now, as seventeen-year-old Princess Alera of Hytanica is besieged from all sides by suitors vying for the Throne, a teenage Cokyrian boy, Narian, is encountered within the walls of her Kingdom, a boy who will show Alera a world where women serve a purpose and not just a husband. As Narian helps Alera find her voice, she struggles against an arranged marriage that will shatter the life she has scarcely begun to live. And when Narian's shocking past is uncovered, and war with Cokyri looms once more, he must fight to defy a fate ordained at his birth.
I'm almost reluctant to review this book because it is the first in a planned trilogy. There were so very many things that I loved about this book, but after I finished it, I was....well, frustrated. I just don't see how this could end in my favor.
I loved Narian. Probably one of my favorite characters ever. Ever, ever. Why is there something so hot about insanely dangerous boys? I don't know. But I really want to know more about this particular insanely dangerous boy. You don't really learn much about him in this book, but trust me, it's enough to fall in love. I am very excited for the rest of the series, just so I can figure out what makes him tick. Why he is the way he is. How he was raised. How he's going to change his destiny--or rather, if he is.
I am amazed that this was written by someone so young. I read (and correct me if I'm totally mistaken on this) that Cayla Kluver wrote this (or it was published) when she was SIXTEEN. Although it's a bit slow, it's one of the most well thought out and executed stories I've ever read. I absolutely loved the storyline. Like I said though, I just can't figure out how things are going to pan out. As I was reading, and nearing the end, I was thinking that it was a predictable story and I knew exactly what was going to happen. Well guess what? It didn't happen anywhere in the vicinity of what I thought. Which I really enjoyed and really loathed at the same time.
I loved all the characters--they were all very defined. Does that even make sense? Sometimes a story has a lot of mediocre characters that kind of blur together. Sometimes a story even has incredible character that, for whatever reason, just don't mesh well. This book had neither. It had amazing characters, yes. But they were all very strong individual characters that meshed quite nicely, which I think is more rare than it should be. Other than Narian, I particularly loved London. I am also anxious to know more about him. The character development, overall, was very well done.
Again, seriously--sixteen?? Wow.
You should most definitely read this. Even though by the end you may be wanting to tear your hair out, it's well worth the time put into reading it. Plus, then you can all anxiously await the next one with me, getting worry lines in the process, fretting over what will happen next. I'm pretty sure reading should not cause me so much stress. The joys of fiction.
**I received this egalley from the publisher for the purpose of review.