The book is about a princess named Lia, who in the beginning of the book is about to be put into an arranged marriage with someone she’s never met. She decides last minute she’s not going to do it and she runs off with her best friend to a small village to live out the rest of her life “like a normal girl”. All is well until two mysterious men come to the village, one an assassin and one the Prince she was supposed to marry. They both fall in love with her, but there is the question of who is the Prince and who is the Assassin, and what will each do when they reveal who they really are?
The author goes out of her way to make the entire book a question of who’s who, and whoever you guess you’ll most likely be wrong when the true identities of the main characters are revealed. You read the entire first half of the book thinking one thing and then the entire story seems to switch on you with no warning. I honestly felt so betrayed and my heart was so raw when you read who the assassin is and what he does when his true self is revealed.
Secondly, it had a very lovely “two-boys-competing-for-the-same-girl” vibe to it for the first half of the book, which, while trope-y I just can’t bring myself to feel bad about it. I love the whole love-triangle trope. I love everything about it. It lasts through the whole book but you can tell that Lia had definitely made up her mind from almost the beginning on who she was going to pick.
The entire second half of the book is completely different from the first half. I was personally just in a state of shock for the entire second half, I don’t think a “twist” in a book has ever made me lose my mind as much as this one. They made me hate the Assassin, but it wasn’t just normal hate. It’s hate in the way you can only hate a person you once loved; with your heart breaking and your soul being crushed every time that hate grows.
The book ends with the….well, I don’t really want to say hero because that seems very damsel-in-distress-y and that is one thing that Lia certainly isn’t, but basically the guy she ended up choosing before she knew who he was comes to try and help her get out of the situation she ended up in.
Overall, this was an incredible 5-star, mind-bending, heart-breaking first book in the trilogy. The world building, character development, and sense of mystery makes this book literally a perfect read. I have read reviews on this book calling it “fluff” and even “juvenile” but I don’t understand those descriptors at all. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a sense of mystery, adventure, and romance.