A fantasy of the highest quality that checks every box and still pushes the bounds of originality.
Sage is a young girl who has found herself mixed up in a rebellion. She isn't a violent person, but she's a talented fighter and has the tongue of a viper. When her rebel dealings lead to her being captured by the two princes of the realm, she is determined to give them nothing of herself, hiding her identity and denying any involvement with those who want to end their rule. Hatred for the princes and the king keeps her going. She wants to bring them down. But not everything is as it seems. When she makes a few unlikely friends, suddenly the fight she'd given so much to doesn't make as much sense as before and she doesn't know what is right anymore.
What I loved: Pretty much everything. Sage is a spitfire. Even when the worst imaginable is happening to her, she's a fighter. I love love love that there are two very different sides to her. One that loves her family, follows her father around, and lets her mother take care of her. And another side that is cold and calculating. When the two sides collide in her mind, thawing her feelings towards those she hated, that's when the magic happens.
Sam and Gav are also a ton of fun. The characters are so well written that I'd probably still read this if all it was was just dialogue scenes after dialogue scenes. There's humor and family love and conflicting emotions that keep the pages turning.
What was just okay: It was a bit slow to get in to, but then it gripped me and didn't let go. I wasn't a fan of Tehl. He's supposed to be cold and tough, but he just seems like a jerk. Sam talks about his brother being a good man, but we didn't see it. I'm looking forward to his development in the next one.
Final Verdict: A must-read for any fantasy lover. Intriguing, funny, even heart-wrenching at times. A book that begs to be read in one sitting.