Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to BookSirens and Sophie Jupillat Posey for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
I don’t like to post reviews for books that I didn’t like, so I’ll try to make this short.
The story was okay for the most part. The plot was pretty basic but still worked out for the story. I think the only thing that was probably different from what I would be used to is the four suitors having to teach the princess their master craft in order to wed her or she’ll lose the throne thing. I appreciated the fact that each suitor had vastly different crafts, but unfortunately that wasn’t a saving point for me.
I think I would have enjoyed this story a little more if the main character Laetitia wasn’t so insufferable. A character has to be truly unlikeable for it to affect my enjoyment of a story, and unfortunately it was in this case. For maybe about 40% of the novel – and I checked since I was on my Kindle – she was a huge brat. Very, very petty and she knew it too. It was almost like she went out of her way to be terrible to people, and I really didn’t understand why. What was the point of that? Why did she have to be so cruel to everyone around her?
Some examples that I highlighted because I just couldn’t believe it:
- She hated the way he talked. Not only did he roll his r’s, but his tongue clacked faintly at the end of every sentence. It was distracting. (This was in reference to Sir Blaxton, the Necromancer)
- She dearly wished she had knocked him over the head with a pail and left him somewhere in the castle, ideally someplace where he wouldn’t have been found for days. (This was during one of her first lessons with one of her suitors. I honestly don’t remember which one.. probably Sir Aifread the Philosopher)
- She glanced at the messenger and said as coldly as she could… (why do you have to be cold to the messenger? He’s literally just the messenger)
- …dearly wishing she had a dagger to stab the messenger in the face. (dude!)
This is only during her time as a 17-year old, because when she was a kid she was a huge brat. I personally blame her parents because they literally did NOTHING about it. No discipline or anything. How they allowed the heir to their kingdom to behave like this is beyond me. And yet nobility like to shit on peasants when their kids are legit playing in the street not bothering anyone. Yeah screw that.
Which is unfortunate because the funny thing about it was that she actually cared about her kingdom… well in a way. There was a part where she said something like she cares more about her kingdom than some lousy peasants getting sick… uh ma’am… those peasants are part of your kingdom? You should care.
It also was just in direct opposition of what she thought about herself, and I honestly don’t know how she thought her actions translated to her being… I guess a good person?
- But she hated being ignorant. (and yet she refused to learn from any of her suitors, thinking them stupid and not worth her time to learn their knowledge… okay?)
- Laetitia’s first and foremost was her cool-headedness, of course, and her cunning. (…. yet she’s so quick to blow up, throw things, yell at people… cool-headed????? how?)
- She was so weary of being treated like a child by everyone who knew much less than she did. (If you didn’t constantly act like a child, then maybe people wouldn’t treat you as such. And really… we’ve already seen that you don’t know everything, and that people do know much more than you do… so really. Why be like that?)
Looking at some of the raving reviews I’ve seen on Goodreads, I’m curious to know if this book went through some revisions that I wasn’t privy to. Maybe it did and maybe things got a lot better. Hopefully I’ll get to try out that one and see if Laetitia’s temperament has changed enough to make her somewhat easier to deal with.
Again, nothing is wrong with the plot. For those that like to guess what the plot twist will be or how things are going to end, this one may be easier to guess than most. I personally don’t try to think about that just so I don’t have to feel like the twist was a letdown or whatever, but that’s me. If you are able to get through a book despite not liking the main character, then I suggest giving this a try. You may like it more than me, and if that’s the case I really hope you enjoy this novel. Just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean that I don’t want anyone to like it. It just isn’t my thing. So despite my opinions on the main character – which really was my biggest problem with the novel – I do suggest at least giving it a chance and taking my thoughts as a grain of salt.