Princess Taoshira is appalled when she is ordered to marry Prince Ramil ac Burinholt in order to unite their lands. And he’s not too pleased either. They hate each other on sight.
So when she and Ramil are kidnapped, they fear there’s no escape – either from their kidnappers or from each other.
Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive ambush, unarmed combat, brainwashing and imprisonment? And will the people they meet on their adventure – including a circus strongman, a daring rebel leader, a sinister master of spies and the best female fighter they have ever seen – help them or betray them to the enemy…?
Before I start, you should know that I have reread this book several times and it’s one of my favourite books. There may be a little bit of bias from my childhood in this review. Only a little bit though. I hope.
Anyway, it had been a while since I read this book, so I thought I should reread it so that I could post a review up on here. This must have been my fifth or sixth reread of this book, and I loved it just as much as the first time I read it. It’s a really fun, light read, and it definitely was one of the reasons that I fell in love with fantasy in the first place.
Firstly, I’m not the biggest fan of this particular cover. There is a really nice American version (at least, I guess it’s American) and I really love that one. Anyway, I really like the horses at the bottom, and it definitely suits the tone of the book. I’m not keen on the model in the middle (although the character I’m guessing that she portrays is awesome), and the mosaic doesn’t really work for me either. I really love the title though. It’s pretty.
This book has such a gripping and interesting plot. It’s very fast paced, and there’s always lots going on. There’s a lot of excitement in the book, along with some nice romance which doesn’t take over the plot (apart from when it is the plot.) There are quite a few twists, although it can be a little bit predictable. But that’s alright, because I absolutely love this book.
There’s such a variety of characters in this book. There’s the princess, the prince, the assassin, the professor, the circus giant… The list goes on. I really love the main characters – Tashi and Ramil. They’re both very different characters, but seeing them get over their differences is great. Tashi is very likeable, and I felt so much for her during the course of the book. She goes through so much and yet she keeps coming out on the other side stronger than before. Ramil is also a great character whose development is obvious over the course of the book.
I loved some of the details about this world too. I’ve always loved this world (which is why I keep returning to it), and there are some many diverse places in the book. Tashi’s home, the Blue Crescent Islands, sound beautiful and the land of the Horse Riders seems to have an awesome landscape. One of my favourite things about fantasy books is the first time a character visits a new destination, and this book certainly didn’t disappoint.
One thing I will say is that the ending seemed a little rushed. I think this every time I read the book, and it might be because I don’t want to leave the world in the book. It does seem as if it’s trying to tie up the ending very quickly, and there’s a quick explanation of what happened to the other characters after the big battle.
Overall, I really love this book. I’m totally in love with the story, the characters and the world, and so it will always remain one of my favourites. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy, new worlds, a little romance, horses and great characters.