Page Count: 373
Publication Date: March 23, 2010
Why I read it: sounded good
Rumors of war hang over Princess Jeniah's peaceful country of Arden, a land that shuns both magic and warfare. Following a lifelong dream, Jeniah forms a telpathic bond with a revered creature called a chayim, who is prophesied to save her kingdom. But when a Darborian knight comes upon Jeniah with her chayim, he sees only a vicious monster about to devour a maiden, and he slays the beast.
Devastated by the loss of her chayim, and fearing that her own magic is evil, Jeniah doubts her destiny. When an enemy invades Arden City, they slaughter the people, storm the castle, and execute the entire royal family except the princess. Rescued by the knight who slew her chayim, Jeniah is now heir to the throne of Arden and the only hope for freeing her people from tyranny.
On the run and hunted by enemy soldiers, Jeniah must place her life and the fate of her kingdom in the hands of this trained killer. Torn between embracing her destiny as queen of Arden, and her love for a mere knight, she must ultimately rely on her magic to save herself and her people from death and tyranny.
I think unless I pick up a romance novel, I really don't want very much romance in my book. If it is very, very secondary I don't mind, but if it's the main point of the story, I'm not interested. I think I've grown less tolerant in this area than I've been in the past. It seems like the romance here was a little too sickeningly sweet, and I don't want that in my fantasy novels.
The characters just didn't do it for me here. I might have been able to get past the romance if I had really liked the characters, but I didn't connect with them. Jeniah seemed like a typical YA heroine who chaffed at the roles she was given. There didn't seem to be anything particularly original about her. The chayim thing was different, but I didn't get into the book enough for me to care.
There was one point in the story, a couple of sentences, where I knew that I couldn't read any more. It was just too much:
As she gazed at him, she realized that her feelings for him had surpassed friendly affection. At that instant, she freely and willingly gave him her heart, even sensing that he still shielded his against her.
I think someone who enjoys fantasy romance might really like this one, but it just wasn't my style at all. I'm not sure that I'd read any more by this author, especially with my TBR pile being what it is. I gave this one over 100 pages, but at that point I still wasn't interested, and could easily put it down without caring what happened, so I took it back to the library.