Princess Esofi of Rhodia and Crown Prince Albion of Ieflaria have been betrothed since they were children but have never met. At age seventeen, Esofi’s journey to Ieflaria is not for the wedding she always expected but instead to offer condolences on the death of her would-be husband.
But Ieflaria is desperately in need of help from Rhodia for their dragon problem, so Esofi is offered a new betrothal to Prince Albion’s younger sister, the new Crown Princess Adale. But Adale has no plans of taking the throne, leaving Esofi with more to battle than fire-breathing beasts.
Lesbian princesses! Fighting dragons! Ruling a kingdom! And they're kind of star-crossed! Plus, the pretty, pretty princess is super badass!
Wow. I really could not have loved this book more. The pacing was good, the action and emotion well developed, and the romantic arc was done well, front and center.
I loved all the interactions between Esofi and Adale, and their will she?/won't she? romance.
Now for SPOILER TERRITORY!
Okay, can I just talk about Esofi for a hot second here?
Holy shiz, you guys! This pretty, pretty princess kicks some major ass--both literal and figurative. Her voice was so rich and wonderful. The author did an amazing job developing her.
First, I just love Esofi's attitude! She's royal and gracious, never using her position to her advantage. Second, she's very brave and capable and smart. She fights dragons, but she's clever about it. (Also, the author let her get hurt in the final battle, which I liked/appreciated). Third, in contrast to her confidence in court, Esofi is pretty awkward in matters of the heart, which makes total sense for a woman who was arranged to be married since birth.
It also leads to some amazing scenes with her and Adale.
Speaking of... I loved every interaction between Esofi and Adale. Every scene with the two of them is fraught with angst and adorable awkwardness. They clearly have an initial spark, which I liked and was necessary considering they have a very push-pull type of romance.
Also, the lesbian relationship with two princesses marrying was normalized, something that I very much appreciated. No one bats an eyelash at the two marrying, although one foolish boy tries to stop it--perhaps my favorite scene. So. Amazing.
All in all, the book's not perfect. I would have liked to have seen Adale arc a little bit more emotionally and externally, and I would have liked her to fight side by side with Esofi, but I'm very willing to wait for these things to happen.
There's always Book 2! I'll be preordering it the second it's available.
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