The first boy disappeared on the day of his birth, on a night when the pale yellow moon of the nighttime sky turned red and bathed the heavens in the ghastly color of blood, on the same night the Kingdom of Cokyri abruptly ceased its merciless attack.
Across the land of Hytanica, under the shadow of the crimson moon, infant boys continued to vanish. Not until the blood had faded from the sky did the disappearances stop and the bodies of the murdered infants were found outside the gates of the city, a final word from the greatest enemy Hytanica had ever known. For the next sixteen years, peace reigned, but one mystery remained unsolved. The Cokyrians had abducted forty-nine newborns, but returned only forty-eight bodies.
Now, as seventeen-year-old Princess Alera of Hytanica is besieged from all sides by suitors vying for the Throne, a teenage Cokyrian boy, Narian, is encountered within the walls of her Kingdom, a boy who will show Alera a world where women serve a purpose and not just a husband. As Narian helps Alera find her voice, she struggles against an arranged marriage that will shatter the life she has scarcely begun to live. And when Narian's shocking past is uncovered, and war with Cokyri looms once more, he must fight to defy a fate ordained at his birth.
My Review So being the teenage reader I am, I get books by looking at covers, prices, and of course the ratings it gets on Goodreads, and other blogs. And well this book looked great (from the cover), it wasn't to expensive, and the reviews were not all that bad. So being who I am, I got it ! Well and let's say i don't completely regret getting it. First of all Major props Cayla Kluver, being only 3 years older than me she had her debut novel published when she was only 17, so yea that's Huge! And that to, to make a book interesting at this age is also great! Wow, if only I was that brilliant. The Prologue actually got me really into the book. It had a small history background, that introduced the background story to the whole novel. Since I really enjoy Historical Fiction, the realistic fictional history of the waring "nations" so to speak ( fake nations - so a fantastic nation ?). But that history element kept the story together, and was a great base for the story. Alera is this head strong, curious 17 year old, to be married to a "king" meaning the one person she despises. I enjoyed Alera's personality , yea she basically she says no to the dashing egotistical Steldor, but she is not one to be treated poorly. She is pro-feminism and doesn't fit into the the Kingdom's Patriarchal society. She grows through out the novel, and her fealings for Narian is just so sweet :) . So through the whole thing there were two guys, that i must say cought my eye, or more like 3 sorta. So there was Steldor ( egotistical, amazing, sweet if he wants to be, hot - no suprise, soldier, and soon to be king once he marries Alera-if she lets him) , then there is Narian ( Alera's main love intrest, 16, awesome fighter, blue eyes which you can just fall into, and just an amazing guy in general) and the third is a minor character Temerson who is basically the love intrest of Alera's younger sister ( he is a clutz, shy , not very outgoing, sweet, caring, and also a soldier). These three really caught my eye, as evil as Cayla Kluver wanted to make Steldor, he just couldnt be for me. I couldnt see him as the super bad guy, and Narian wasn't my favorite boy for Alera. Maybe because he is a whole year younger ( i just find that the guy has to be older - my opinion though) i just couldn't picture him with her. This was a good read no doubt, but what I have realised is that teenage YA authros over do the detail. There is alot of unnecassary information, which really drags the story too much. Being almost 500 pages, i felt about 100 pages worth of information was excess. Maybe that it was just me, but i felt if the book was shorter and more to the point, it would have been much better. So considering everything , this book was good not great but good. I would rate it around a 3 or 3.5 /5 , and i feel you should atleast read it once. This is was a good start off to a series, and I can only wait till the next book that will come out.