Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (BYR)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 489 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher For Review
In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.
I have never read a novel by Mary E. Pearson before, but after reading this one I want to go out and buy all of her previous works! This book was everything I wanted and more. While it was not perfect, I couldn't have asked for a more unique series to get me out of my reading slump.
Princess Lia is a First Daughter. As a First Daughter she is expected to have the gift of sight, though she hasn't showed any signs of such a gift. This gift is especially important because her parents are marrying her off to another kingdom with the promise that her gift of sight will be able to benefit both countries united. However, Lia hates pretending she is something that she truly is not and she's never met the prince she is to be married to, so she runs away right before her wedding with the help of one of her servants and friends.
Lia is a very unique character. In the beginning, she's not that easy to get behind. She seems like any other spoiled princess not wanting to take part in her princess duties so she runs away in rebellion. However, the readers quickly realize that she really is unlike all of the other princesses and she truly does prefer the hard work that a peasant has to do to the politicking that a princess must endure. Because of this it takes time to warm up to Lia, so it's hard to get behind her in the beginning of the story. You just want to shake her at times when she claims to want to blend in, but she doesn't change her name or treat soldiers any differently. Her character growth is literally insane and by the end of the book I had nothing but respect and admiration for this rogue princess. I am rooting for her like no other.
The love interest in this book is also someone to root for. When Lia begins life as a serving girl at a bed and breakfast, two haunting strangers come into her life: Rafe and Kaden. One is an assassin sent to kill her by her enemies to ensure that her country will remain at war and the other is the jilted prince she was meant to marry. She doesn't know about either of their true identities, nor are they aware of each other's true agendas, so this makes for a whole lot of confusion and stolen time. The coolest aspect of this concept is that as readers, we are unsure who is who as well. We're eventually told who is the assassin and who is the prince and the book is turned upside down all over again when everything we thought was true may have been wrong...(and this twist is freaking awesome!) This book obviously has the makings of a love triangle since both boys catch feelings for Lia against their better judgments, but Lia very clearly only likes one of them and, boy, am I happy. This ship is going far, let me tell you. I want it to sail the ocean and dock at the very end because this is a ship a girl can easily get behind.
The world-building in this book is gorgeous, but it also leaves me questioning the book's genre. No doubt, there are fantasy aspects to this book, but at times I felt like this was a post-apocalyptic fantasy set hundreds of years into the future when our modern world is in such ruin that this new world sprung up. The reason I say this is because I felt like several aspects of this world were remnants of our world today. On top of that fact, the names of some things had me curious. Bridge of Golgata...Bridge of Gold Gate...Golden Gate Bridge, you know? This is something that I'd love to talk to people about when they read this book!
My one issue with this book is the fact that I'm slightly confused in regards to the whole sight thing. I'm lead to believe that this just may be me as a reader. However, this girl's mother has the sight and she can see the future, so is that what the sight entails? Why does it appear in some and not others? Why did Lia's mother not even want her to have the sight? Why, when Lia was at the camps, did she learn something new? What are all these different sight things?! Really, that's my only confusion in the book that leads me to a ton of questions and they all have to do with the aspect of Lia that made her believe she was a sham of a princess. I'm sure that we will get answers in later books, but the anxious reader in me wants them now.
In the end, this book was awesome. Really, it blew my mind on several different occasions. While it was not perfect, I see my two main issues getting corrected in book two. This series is not only compelling, but it leaves you literally begging for more. With an awesome heroine, a kickass love interest, and plot twists galore, I can't ever see this one disappointing anyone.
FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.