Tuesday, June 14, 2011


by Anne Osterlund

Dedication: "For Mom and Dad--without whom nothing would ever have been written. And for Shandi--who will write her own one day."

First paragraph: "Death disturbed the night. The sound of squeaking wheels grew louder, as did the clicking of horse hooves scraping across cobblestones. A rickety old wagon, its simple board bed held together with rusty screws, pulled up against the back of the palace."

Review: Aurelia, the Crown Princess of Tyralt, has never been one for rules. She's grown up defying her father and doing her own thing. She's aware of the hardships her kingdom faces because she makes herself a part of them. What she doesn't realize is that somewhere, someone is trying to have her killed and the only hope for finding this assassin is her childhood friend.

My only complaint about this book is that I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to properly say her name. The story is intriguing and I couldn't put it down. I was absolutely submersed in the world Osterlund created. Aurelia has a personality that I'm sure I would clash with but it makes a great character. Someone who isn't afraid to tell you exactly how it is without fear of hurting your feelings because she knows it's the truth.

Some of the characters, especially toward the end, you couldn't help but love and hate all at once. How can someone be so stupid? Yet, the people you respect most respect them so you can't help but share those feelings to some extent. Maybe, just maybe, it's wrong and the real truth will come out. And then there are the people you just love to hate. The ones you want to be evil. I found myself mentally hoping they were the "bad guys" just because it would further justify my distaste.

Anyway, I guess I wasn't a huge fan of the ending but I still liked it. To better clarify what I mean, things can't always end "happily ever after". I think it was a realistic ending and that made it even better despite the fact that it wasn't what I would have preferred. I have a feeling, it was probably even harder to write that ending than to read. If I was a writer I'd only want the very best for the characters I wrote into existence.

Moral of the story, I'm definitely giving this five stars. It's probably been my favorite read this summer ... although, that may be in part because it had a solid ending. It was a stand alone book even though there is a sequel (which I found out about just a few seconds ago).

Click here for Anne Osterlund's website and more information about the Aurelia series.

No comments: