By Mary Pearson
The Remnant Chronicles #1
Ebook: 492 pages
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
3.8 out of 5 Stars
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Related Reviews: Snow Like Ashes
Categories: Magic, YA, New Release
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.
She flees on her wedding day.
She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.
She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.
She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.
The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.
Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.
It took me a while to gather my thoughts after I finished this one, and I still haven't fully sorted everything out in my head yet. So, Lia is a princess, the First Daughter of a fantasy world/country/town type-place called Morrighan. (Which was honestly what made me want to read this book. A sweet little magical world named after me, yes please!) In this world, all of the eldest born daughters have the gift. The gift never fully is described, but from what I can piece together, it is basically a form of esp. They know without knowing, hear without hearing, understand without explanation. Lia's mother, the Queen, had visions of the future; but Lia's gift has never been all that strong, or has it?
I'm going to be honest here, this book confused the hell out of me. It is written in three separate points of view; Lia's, Kaden's and Rafe's. Lia has been promised to the Prince of a neighboring country, Dalbreck. For years, Dalbreck and Morrighan have had a tenuous relationship at best, but this marriage will seal their alliance formally. Until Lia runs off, on the day of her wedding. Her best friend, Pauline leaves with her, and they set off on a journey to Pauline's hometown of Terravin. Terravin is a sleepy, sea-side town full of locals who don't ask questions. A young princess and her best friend won't raise many red flags, especially working as maids at a tavern-hotel type place. Which is exactly what the girls do upon arrival. Pauline knows the owner of the tavern, Berdi from her childhood there, and the girls are immediately taken in and put to work. Everything is going exactly as Lia planned, until two young strangers appear at the inn. Lia is instantly attracted to both of them, these handsome, mysterious travelers. Little does she know that one is the Prince that she rejected, and one is an assassin sent to slit her throat. As the days go by, Lia finds her thoughts on these two men, especially Rafe. The author did an amazing job at confusing me with Rafe and Kaden; I was not expecting the twist in the plot line at all. I don't want to give away spoilers so I'll leave it at that!
The world building was done well, I'll give it a 4 out of 5. It seems that the story is set in the late 1600's; everyone travels by horseback, material possessions are mostly traded for, people actually work, psychically for what they have. It is a much simpler world than our modern insanity! I fell in love with it completely; the simplicity of a time when people didn't march like ants to work a 9-5 job. There was no rushing to get somewhere that is hated in the first place, no traffic; people were happier, and their lives had more meaning in my opinion!
The characters, as I mentioned are all very confusing to me. I did manage to connect with Lia after her escape from her own wedding. Her sheer determination and strength of mind was enough for me to feel for her. I did truly like her character all the way through; her strength was shocking- having been raised in a palace as a princess, I thought she would act as if the world owed her something. Her demeanor was the complete opposite, and I was pleasantly surprised. She didn't whine when things didn't go her way, and she was physically stronger than I could ever be in her situation. Both Rafe and Kaden's characters baffled me. I know that relationships in this time period were different than today, but they both were obviously in love with her, yet never let on like that was the case. I know that duty held them back, but come on. They traveled all that way, just to see her, yet basically ignored her most of the time. It confused me, and I hate being confused!
The plot line was at times, very slow and drawn out. The author spent a lot of time establishing Lia's everyday life; working at the bar and her day to day routine. I understand that she wanted to nail down Lia's life after her escape, but it did get boring at times. I found myself putting this book down, only to force myself to pick it back up again. Other than being confused and bored at times, I did enjoy this book, and I will definitely be looking forward to the second one! The Heart of Betrayal, book 2 in the Remnant Chronicles is set to release July 7, 2015 in the U.S.!
""But I don't have the gift of the First Daughter. I'm not a Siarrah. Dalbreck will soon discover I'm not the asset they suppose me to be. This wedding is a sham." "The gift may come in time," she answered weakly. I didn't argue this point. It was known that most First Daughters came into their gift of womanhood, and I had been a woman for four years now. I'd shown no signs of any gift. My mother clung to false hopes. I turned away, looking out the window again. "Even if it doesn't come," my mother continued, "the wedding is no sham. This union is about far more than just one asset. The honor and privilege of a First Daughter in a royal bloodline is a gift in itself. It carries history and tradition with it. That's all that matters." -Lia & the Queen
"My only consolation as I looked up at the blinking stars was that the prince of Dalbreck was probably still awake too, furiously jostling home on a rutted road, his old bones aching with pain in a cold, uncomfortable carriage- with no young bride to warm him." -Lia thinking of the Prince she left behind
""You're still angry. It's only been a few days. Give it a few more." "I'm not angry. Amused maybe. Curious." Sven snatched the reins of my horse from me, causing him to skitter. "You're angry because she thought of it before you did." Sometimes I hated Sven. For a battle-scarred curd, he was too perceptive. I grabbed the reins back. "Only amused. And curious," I promised him. "You already said that." "So I did."" -The Prince & Sven
"Princess Arabella, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan, working in a tavern. And she seemed to be enjoying it. Immensely. Maybe that's what bothered me most of all. While I was on the road, wondering if she was the quarry of bandits or bears, she was playing barmaid. She was trouble, that was clear, and the day she fled our wedding, I had dodged a poisonous arrow. She did me a favor. I could almost laugh at father's suggestion of taking a mistress after the wedding. This girl could make the whole royal court and half the king's army regret such a decision." -The Prince after meeting Lia for the first time
"When the arrows were drawn and aimed, for a moment, I had prayed a soldier would shoot. It wasn't pain I feared, but no longer feeling it- no longer feeling anything." -Lia
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