*Originally Reviewed at Witchmag's Boekenplank*
Reading his book had its moments. Some good, some not so quite. The story as such is quite captivating. We have a princess who has to marry a man she can’t stand. Unless she manages to find another suitable candidate. At the same time she gets involved in a mystery, that started sixteen years ago… When 48 babes were stolen and only 47 bodies could be found. Finally the last one is found, alive. A boy who has been raised by the enemy and actually is not as ugly as our princess thought he would be. But not suitable at all as a candidate…
Sounds good doesn’t it? In reality, it was not that spectacular. The story was too lengthy for me. It took too long before something, anything happened. In the meantime you get to read about all kinds of superfluous details of the daily life at the palace. The way people look is also described till the smallest details. Which is way too much for me. I mean, I don’t need to know the EXACT height or what people are wearing. Just hints are enough. This overuse of details made it hard for me to focus, especially in the middle. It was so boring! However before I knew it I was sucked in again, with the help of some unexpected twists that continue to shake me to the core. And in turn made me very curious to what the next book will bring ^^
Not only the amount of details made it hard at times, there’s also our main lead, Alera. Who apparently is very grown-up and rebellious. Yeah right, I have seldom read about such a naïve, spoiled, thoughtless and pliable character. Especially her inability to think before she acted was infuriating at times. I mean how could someone possible think that if you tell that a certain person forsook his most important duty, that person would not get fired? How? That was not the only time Alera obviously lacked some brain cells and made me sigh and groan. At such times it was hard to resist my tendency to put the book down. But I prevailed and watch her grow. Towards the ending she finally made me astonished in a positive way. WOW! I did not expect such bravery from her!
Not all was bad though, there were enough characters besides Alera that did not work on my nerves. Some I even got to love. Like Narian and the mystery he presents. He was the main reason I kept on going. His cuteness and the puzzle he presented. Cause why exactly did he return? What did he do during his years with the enemy? Oh my questions were endless and my curiosity high! Of course they were not answered or satisfied in this one…. I so love and hate it when authors do that to me ^^
3 HEARTS. Even though this book was lengthy and too detailed at times, the ending made it worthwhile. Our main character, Alera, and I had a VERY rocky start because of the way she acted. She was so annoying! Fortunately there are some nice secondary characters and Narian. I was unable to see through him, which made him unpredictable and kept me reading. Add to that one heck of an ending and I find myself looking forward to the next book!