Royal Decoy: A Book Review

After intervening during an attack and saving the princesses’ life, Clare finds herself learning the art of being a princess as she becomes the Royal Decoy.

YA author Heather Frost published her first series, the Seers Trilogy with Cedar Fort, but her for her second series, Fate of Eyrinthia, she’s decided to give self-publishing a try. Royal Decoy: Book One brings the action of fantasy and the emotion of romance and entwines them together for a fast-paced adventure everyone can sink their knives into!

My thoughts about Royal Decoy

One of the wonders of fantasy other genres often don’t adopt is multiple story lines with various points of view. The layering effect that takes place brings extra depth to a story, especially with a mystery involved. A mystery such as: Who is attempting to kill the princess?

Royal Decoy includes two paralleling stories in the world of Eyrinthia. Clare becomes the decoy for the brash princess in Davendra. Why? To protect the peace treaty and subsequent marriage between the princess and the prince of Mortise. Prince Grayson of Ryden spends his time doing everything his father, the king, asks, no matter how much he despises it. All to keep seeing the one person who brings him joy–the King’s prisoner, Mia.

To give insight into the minds of the characters, several points of view come into play. Frost marks who you are following at the beginning of each chapter, making it easy. Some of these points of view come in later than others.

The Good

Within the first few pages, this book had me hooked. In fact, it was the word hitched that made me swoon. Frost used the word this way: hitched to her feet.

Hitched doesn’t mean stood up. It doesn’t mean rose. But it works! I knew exactly what Frost meant, even though she’d changed the entire definition! I loved the way she used it.

But that isn’t all Frost does well. Her understanding of how the emotion within both fast-paced action and love scenes made me bring my Kindle downstairs–on my birthday–to sit and read Royal Decoy. Keep in mind, I write and read regularly. When I want to relax while reading, I only choose books I’m totally invested in. And I couldn’t wait to see what happened next in this book!

Oh, and I had no idea who the “bad guy” was at the end until Frost divulged the information. The idea of this character being the “bad guy” hadn’t even crossed my mind. But it all made sense. She’d even dropped breadcrumbs. I just hadn’t studied them well enough. THIS IS RARE for me. I almost always guess in advance and correctly. By the time I reached the unveiling, I’d ruled out most of the characters I’d considered, dropped a major breadcrumb, and was totally off.

The A-Little-Less-Good

I can’t label this section okay or bad. It’s nearly an indifference. And after finishing the book, I can’t wait to see how it all works out at the end of the series. But at one point, I thought, oh my goodness, everyone has a plan to destroy someone else!

This isn’t a book with one good side and one bad side. There are multiple groups with their own playbook. And I’m not entirely convinced I’ve run into all of them. This makes it hard to keep track of everyone. But I managed to do it, and I’m certain most readers can as well.

The Official Blurb of Royal Decoy

 SERVANT blackmailed into becoming a princess’s decoy.
A BODYGUARD determined to keep her alive.

A PRINCE forced to execute his father’s brutal laws.
A PRISONER used to keep him compliant.

A WORLD on the brink of war.

In one horrible night, Clare goes from kitchen maid to royal decoy. She has three months to become the princess’s perfect double so she can ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard. The danger increases when a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, intent on ending the tenuous peace.

Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. He carries out the king’s harsh orders because the one person he cares about is his father’s prisoner. Grayson’s silent obedience is tested when his father plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die.

The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos.

More Info

Purchase your copy of Royal Decoy on Amazon.

Follow Heather Frost at HeatherFrost.com and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Please follow and like us:

Book Review: Frozen Secrets

When thirteen-year-old Max finally gets his chance to live on Jupiter’s moon, mysteries unfold in unexpected ways.

Myles Christensen has his hands in a lot of technology, an area some might consider an odd recipe for the makings of an author. As a design engineer and freelance product developer who teaches CAD at the university, he likely gets pieced in with those who live their lives surrounded by nothing but logic. However, each of these skills require creativity and finesse. Add game inventor to Christensen’s list of accomplishments, and author isn’t such a far stretch.

Christensen’s first novel Frozen Secrets is a middle grade, science fiction story that takes readers on an adventure to space and throws in an action-packed mystery in a way I didn’t expect.

My thoughts about Frozen Secrets

In Frozen Secrets, main character Max and his group of friends get tangled up in a mystery while on their way to Jupiter’s moon Europa. Before he knows what’s happening, someone tries to kill him… or a friend… or the pilot of the shuttle they are touring. Max thinks it’s because of something he saw, and he’s determined to learn the truth. What thirteen-year-old boy wouldn’t want to solve that mystery?

Though I’ve read some middle grade novels in the past, most of what I have read has bordered on the YA side of things. So, when I first started Frozen Secrets I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Too young my mind shouted at me. I had expected the book to fit within a higher reading level. Once I acclimated to the necessary he felt sentences, my interest in the story rose a surprising amount.

While reading, my eyes widened at times. My heart even raced. Such reactions were unexpected, considering my need to adjust to the reading level. But, instead of focusing on my other reading projects, I found myself intrigued with what would come next in Frozen Secrets.

Christensen’s writing and the editing done on this book is impeccable. Usually, I find at least a few typos in review books. None–that’s how many I remember in Frozen Secrets. And while those things matter, especially when I’m reading as a reviewer, the true test is whether or not the story pulls me in. While Frozen Secrets took a bit of time for me, an adult, to fall into, I believe young readers will have no problem immediately entering the adventure Christensen has laid.

Squeaky clean. Parents will find no swearing. There is a mild murder mystery and some middle grade ‘crush’ romance. Christensen lists the reading level at 8-18, which I agree with, especially on the lower end. Narrowing it significantly, I believe most 8 to 10-year-olds will find it a fantastic read. Who can go wrong with a space adventure?

Official blurb

Thirteen-year-old Max Parker is a grounded Earthling with the soul of a space explorer. So when he learns his family is relocating to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, he readily agrees to stay out of mischief. But his promise is soon forgotten, and his snooping lands him on a shuttle doomed for a fiery disintegration.

Convinced someone sabotaged the craft to cover up the theft he witnessed, he digs into the incident. Why was this robbery worth attempted murder? Dodging a series of deadly accidents, he follows the clues to an abandoned outpost and discovers a secret that could blow the lid off a moon-wide conspiracy…

Can Max solve the mystery before his interplanetary escapade gets him killed?

Frozen Secrets kicks off the thrilling, teen science fiction series, Europa Academy. If you like fearless friends, high-orbit mysteries, and immersive worlds, then you’ll love Myles Christensen’s action-packed adventure.

more info

Purchase your copy of Frozen Secrets on Amazon

Follow Myles Christensen on his website Facebook Twitter Goodreads

I received a free  copy of this book in exchange for this review, which contains my honest opinions.
Please follow and like us:

Book Review: Hearts Unshackled (Royals of Andorvia Book One)

Princess Katherine wants two things in life: to care for the subjects of her kingdom and find a way to be with Naithanal. Can her dreams be realized? Find out in Hearts Unshackled.

Author Amy Klaus introduced her first novel to the world on July 15, 2019, and it isn’t one you’ll want to miss. Hearts Unshackled, the first book in the Royals of Andorvia series, brings romance and action together in a way that keeps you reading through the night.

My thoughts about Hearts Unshackled

Last year, I had the opportunity to beta read Hearts Unshackled for Klaus. The story immediately captured my heart. As she prepared to publish, I jumped at the chance to review the finished product for her. And it is, of course, even better.

Set in a fictitious kingdom, it deals with the immoralities of slavery and the difficulties that come with uniting various cultures. While it is plain to see that the author has strong feelings against slavery and sees value in caring for others, I wouldn’t label this a political book by any means. The intent is entertainment, and it entertains well. Given the choice, I wouldn’t have put the book down during the second reading any more than I would have through the first.

The main characters, Princess Katherine and Naithanal, as well as most of the side characters, are well-rounded, and I found myself cheering and chastising them regularly–sometimes at the same time. As with any good romance, readers experience the ups and downs that come with love. The push for Katherine to become queen isn’t easy for her or Naithan, and the immoral slave trade that infiltrates her kingdom only makes the situation trickier.

I highly recommend Hearts Unshackled. The perfectly clean read offers no swearing and has no inappropriate relationship scenes. While it deals with slavery, the main characters fight for humanity, and the violence involved during the action scenes is not described in gory detail. I would have no problem with my junior-high schooler reading Hearts Unshackled, and I can guarantee I’ll be reading it again.

The Official Blurb

A princess. An outcast. A fate worse than death.
Will their love triumph, or will they be torn apart before it ever has a chance?

Princess Katherine has never questioned her duty as the heir to the throne of Maledonia. Never, that is, until she meets a hunter named Naithan and her entire life is thrown into disarray – blissful, dangerous disarray. But in spite of her attraction to the young hunter and his simple lifestyle, as the Crown Princess, betrothed since childhood, bound by her duty, she will never be free to love.

Duty takes on an entirely new meaning for Katherine and Naithan when a fledgling slave trade threatens to divide and destroy Maledonia … and their families. Will they have the courage to risk everything they love to save innocent lives from a fate worse than death? Or will they become the slavers’ next targets?

More Info

Purchase your copy of Hearts Unshackled on Amazon.

Follow Amy Klaus Online
On her website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest

Please follow and like us: