Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way and the thoughts expressed are my own.
Maya is the third in line for the throne and dreads public appearances. Little does she know that this saves not only her life but her mother’s as well. A terrorist bombing of the parade for the newly form peace between Laran and Ezna sees Maya’s father and two siblings and the Eznan’s visiting Emperor. Now Maya must navigate being the heir to the throne while trying to uncover the terrorists who killed her loved ones.
I did enjoy that the main heroine wasn’t petite like all seem to be in fiction at the moment. Though over the course novel I found her frustratingly written, at times she acted her age and others she didn’t even think like a 14-year-old would. I know that Maya could act like an adult when she knows it’s important, but she would still think like her age, such as ‘I hope this is the right move’ or still distraught by her grief and not being able to compartmentalise it like adults could or something. The characterisation was really lacking. Especially since in the beginning she acted her age or even younger and felt overwhelmed and anxious about everything relating to ruling then after the attack she’s a great ruler, with none of the character flaws she had before. It was made more frustrating when she would suddenly break down, or through a tantrum, it comes off as if the author suddenly remembered her age or just decided that they needed to add an emotional scene here.
Each paragraph very, very descriptive, describing even the most mundane or obvious things. There were also many redundant sentences, merely describing the same thing in another way, making each paragraph even longer. When most writers would’ve started a new paragraph due to the old rule that when change topics or onto another point, this author did not, and it seemed like an easy thing to fix. The pacing was slow since each paragraph spent so much time describing things and were so long.
One thing that may have contributed to the slow feel of the book was that it was focused on political moves and foreign affairs. I DO NOT like books concentrate on politics, I hardly cared about real politics let alone the politics of a fictional world. If Maya had tracked down and fought the terrorist, travelled across space or time-travelled, that’d be fine. As it was this didn’t feel like a sci-fi book, the only things that made it clear that it was was that it was on another planet and she gets on a spaceship at one point. There are sci-fi books like this, but there’s so much you could do in sci-fi why would you want to read something that was mundane and could have taken place on Earth? Sure it could’ve been interesting if you were learning about alien races or cultures, but there was none of that. There are those that would be interested in a book about political intrigue, but I’m not one of them.
Though I try to find a good thing to focus on in every book I found that hard to do with this one. Yes, I might never enjoy it since it’s about a girl and the political moves she makes for her planet, but with some improved characterisation and editing regarding pacing and paragraphing, it could have been a good book. Overall, it was an alright read but not one I would recommend. I give it 2/5.