I am so excited to bring you my stop on the blog tour for the new young adult fantasy from Dani Lyn Alexander. You guys have heard about this book several times already. I was part of the cover reveal, it's been a WOW post for me, AND I was on the Release Day Launch yesterday! Below, you'll find all the information about the book and my review! Make sure to read down and enter Dani-Lyn's exciting giveaway!!
Betrayal lies cloaked in shadow.
Seventeen year old Ryleigh Donnovan is certain her life is cursed. Nothing ever goes smoothly, and her first job interview is no exception. An earthquake rocks the building, sending Ryleigh on a frantic search for her younger sister, a search which lands her in the hospital. Terrified they’ll push her for answers she can’t afford to give, Ryleigh flees with a mysterious stranger. Jackson Maynard is about to be ordained as a Death Dealer, a warrior for the Kingdom of Cymmera, but first he must pass one more test. When he fails to acquire the human girl the prophet has chosen, he’s forced to stand trial for treason. Banished from his realm, he seeks out the girl from the vision, Ryleigh Donnovan, and together they embark on a journey to save his dying kingdom.
Advance Praise for Reluctant Prince "A gorgeously wrought fantasy realm with a heroine who will make you cheer!" ~Wendy Higgins, NYT and USA Today bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy.
Exclusive Excerpt: Ryleigh stood. This couldn’t be happening. With only a few months left until graduation, she didn’t want to be forced to drop out, but what else could she do? “Look, Mr. Jacobs, can’t you just—” Vertigo assailed her. The room rocked, and she grabbed the desk. Mr. Jacobs grabbed the back of his chair. His eyes mirrored her panic. Books flew from the shelves. Glass shattered. She had to get to Mia. She turned to run. The building bucked, and she toppled, slamming her knee into the hard wood floor. Pain shot up her leg. She grabbed the chair to pull herself up, but the next wave threw her back down. She tried to regain her footing, but someone yanked her to the ground. “Stay down.” Mr. Jacobs shoved her forward. He crawled beside her, half pushing, half dragging her toward the door. Debris pelted her back, shoulders, and head. How could she have left Mia? Tears blurred her vision. “If it’s an earthquake, it should stop any minute. Just keep crawling toward the door.” Desperately wishing she could cover her ears to block the screaming, she clawed forward. Her knee dragged behind her, pain pulsing with each movement. Falling apart wouldn’t help matters. She had to get to Mia. Ryleigh crawled through the doorway, into utter chaos. People trying to push through the mess, others huddled in corners shielding their heads. An injured woman cried as she rocked back and forth clutching her arm. A man crouched over her. Fear and disorientation held Ryleigh immobile.
Dani Lyn Alexander Bio:
Dani-Lyn Alexander lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping—especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an incurable insomniac and has an addiction to chocolate.
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Author Goodreads
Ever since I first saw the cover to this novel, I knew it was right up my alley. I know they say you shouldn't ever judge a book by its' cover, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't do it all the time. I'm actually a pretty shallow book blogger. If I hate your cover, you have a REALLY slim chance of getting a great review out of me. For me the story, the cover, and the formatting all come together to make a book great. Thankfully, and no surprise here, Reluctant Prince, had all of those angles covered.
Generally I don't like covers the feature people. I also hate covers the feature shirtless models. As a straight male, that is usually a huge turnoff for me. I think it is alienating to male readers who may want to read a novel. In this case, however, it did not feel that way. This cover is exciting and unique int he sense that you can tell what genre it is based upon the cover. This isn't some smutty NA/YA romance read. This is a paranormal/fantasy read that MAY have just a little bit of romance. Maybe. Just a little. Lol.
First off, I just want to say that this was a fairly short read. Sometimes I like a long book, but this one (clocking in at just shy of 200 pages) was the perfect length. Our author was able to fit in a great story in its' entirety without having to make something drag out for an unnecessary amount of time. I have great respect for an author who can do that. That being said, the first few chapters were a little hard to get into. The action starts right off on page one, which I love, but you really don't get many answers to any of your questions until about 1/4 of the way into the story. That's fine and all, but in the instance there were a few things I really felt needed answers. I'm not going to spoil anything, but the bigger ones included: "how is a 17 year old NOT in school and the authorities don't know about it?" and also "Why can't she go to school? Granted she is raising her younger sister, who is ALSO in school...?" I feel like those kind of questioned could have been better answered in the beginning instead of leaving me hanging. While the reader does eventually get some answers, it just requires quite a bit of patience on their part.
The fantasy element of this novel was among the most unique and interesting that I have seen. Cymmera has such an interesting history. Dani-Lyn was really awesome in her story telling to not only give us a glimpse into life in Cymmera, but she also gave us a pretty detailed account of how it ended up that way. Too often authors do not talk about the "good old days" of their fantasy lands and only reflect upon the bad times of the present. It really made the story more sentimental to hear of Queen Dara and King Maynard's stories.
The characters in this novel were great. Sometimes I wanted to smack Ryleigh, though, I will openly admit that. She was just so... entitled. I don't know how to describe it. I have so much respect for teens in the unfortunate position of being left to raise their younger siblings, but Ryleigh treated Mia like she was an infant. She is 14. A mere three years younger than Ryleigh. Why treat her like such a delicate child? Eventually Ryleigh redeemed herself in my eyes and by the end of the novel I really enjoyed her a whole lot more. As per Mia, I really wish she HAD actually been younger. For some reason I keep thinking that 8 would have been the perfect age for her character, because I feel like she needed to be younger. She was far too innocent for a 14 year old. Not in any physical way, but she just seemed really immature for 14 with some of the remarks she made. When it came to Jackson I was a little on the fence at first. his entire dynamic with his father made me anxious and I was really interested in reading his character development. While I would say he is the secondary main character of this novel, he was my favorite, hands down. Chalk it up to being a guy, but I found him much easier to relate to. His mentality was spot on for a "nineteen year old who had lived for hundreds of years". I really liked that twist on his story. The only character I really just didn't get was Kai. I won't even go too far into detail on this, but honestly there was just a whole lot of "is all this really necessary?" going on. He was just too much. He was just too evil for no reason, does that make sense? He was the King's closest adviser and 2nd in command yet he openly spit on the Prince at one point and pushed for his execution (stupidly) for several pages. I really did not care for his character at all.
I spoke about the plot a little bit earlier, but I really want to reiterate that this was one of the more unique storylines I have seen. I won't go into details about the plot because it'd be riddled with spoilers, but Dani-Lyn has really gone above and beyond to make this a unique tale. From Warriors to Death Dealers, this story had some amazing characters/plot devices. In the end, I was really impressed with how much story Dani-Lyn was able to tell in just shy of 200 pages. And the ending was pretty freaking awesome. There are a few things I would have liked to have seen tweaked or changed, but overall I think the plot speaks for itself and can stand on its' own without too much questioning!
All-in-all, I am granting Reluctant Prince by Dani-Lyn Alexander a well-deserved 4-star review! I think Dani-Lyn is really on to something with this series and I absolutely cannot wait to see what else she has up her sleeve!
Enter Dani-Lyn's giveaway!
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Hey everyone! Exciting news, think this book sounds great? I'll let you in on a secret, IT IS!! Thanks so much for stopping by to hear my thoughts on this great read! I hope you continue to stop by all the other tour participants to hear their take on this interesting read! Don't forget to enter the giveaways. Huge thanks to the author and the amazing team at InkSlinger PR Until next time, Happy Reading!