Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
“But some things are stronger than years of lessons.
The draw of fire.
The longing for freedom.
Or a girl on a red horse.”
This was a YA fantasy story about a princess with a fire affinity, who fell in love with her fiancée’s sister.
Dennaleia was a strong character and it was easy to see why she was so scared of the truth about her abilities getting out when everyone seemed to be on the hunt for magic users. Mare was also a strong character and she had real grit and determination to do what she felt was right. I did feel sorry for the Prince though, as he was really screwed over by Denna and Mare’s relationship.
The storyline in this started with Denna going to Mynaria in preparation for her wedding to the Prince, and developing a friendship with the Princess (Mare) instead. We then got lots of horse riding, as well as trouble brewing in the form of magic, with blame being laid on a neighbouring kingdom, whilst Denna and Mare were convinced that they were being framed. We also got a GLBT romance between Denna and Mare, although it took a long time for me to really get invested in the relationship.
The ending to this was pretty good, and I would definitely be interested in reading a sequel.
7 out of 10