Rise of the Vicious Princess

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Rise of the Vicious Princess
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Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
June 14, 2022
ISBN
978-0062908933
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The first in a YA political fantasy duology about a fierce princess determined to bring lasting peace to her kingdom regardless of the cost to her heart —from C.J. Redwine, the author of the Defiance series and the New York Times bestselling Ravenspire series. Perfect for fans of These Violent Delights, And I Darken, and Ash Princess. Princess Charis Willowthorn is the dutiful sword of Calera. Raised to be ruthless and cunning, her only goal is to hold her war-torn kingdom together long enough to find a path toward peace with their ancient foe Montevallo, even if the cost is her own heart. When violence erupts in the castle itself and an unseen enemy begins sinking Calera’s ships, Charis realizes a threat much greater than Montevallo is coming for her people. So she forms a plan. By day, she is Calera’s formidable princess intent on forging an alliance with Montevallo. By night, she disguises herself as a smuggler and roams the sea with a trusted group of loyalists, hunting for their new enemies. And through it all, she accidentally falls in love with the wrong boy. But her enemies are much closer than Charis realizes, and her heart isn’t the only thing she has left to lose.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Heart-Stopping YA Fantasy
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Unputdownable! Rise of the Vicious Princess by C.J. Redwine is the first book in a new YA political fantasy duology. Calera has been at war with its neighboring kingdom Montevallo for 19 years. As a result, the kingdom is reaching the end of its coffers, it’s citizens are losing faith in their monarch, and both sides are desperate to find an end. When an assassination attempt inside the palace leaves the queen near death, Princess Charis Willowthorn steps into the role she was born to play. With enemies at every turn and unsure of the few friends she has, Charis must chart her own path and find a way to suss out the spy within the palace.

I love Charis. I wasn’t sure at first. She is fierce, loyal, stubborn, and exactly what a princess and ruler should be. She puts her citizens’ needs first and hers last. Charis proves over and over again that she will do whatever is necessary to protect her kingdom, even sacrificing her own dreams and self. I was impressed with her singular focus, however it also made me sad. She was raised to be ruthless, and she is, but she also has a large heart that she hides behind the an armor of rage. She pulls on her anger for strength to face whatever is needed of her. Few see her for who she truly is.

Then enters Tal. Tal is her father’s personal guard, but after the failed assassination attempt on the queen and an assassin is found in the princess’s own chambers, Tal is sent to protect Charis. He is quiet, but his presence is calming for Charis. He is a solid reassurance that she is safe, or as safe as she can be with assassins trying to get her. I love Tal. He is simply an amazing character. There is so much we don’t know about him, but what little we do is easy to love.

As much as I love Tal and Charis, the world-building is phenomenal. I was fully immersed in Calera, their war, and all the political clashes that come with it. I became quite attached, forming my own (strong) opinions on certain members of the council and wishing I could advise Charis myself. The foreshadowing is superb. There are enough hints that if you pick up on them you will know what is coming which is dramatic irony at its finest.

Overall, I loved Rise of the Vicious Princess. I intended to read it slowly, savor it, knowing it will most likely be at least a year before I get the conclusion, but I couldn’t I read it in almost one sitting, unable to turn the pages fast enough. Charis is a fantastic character, the romance is slowly built and a perfect balance of steamy and sweet, and the plot is heart-stoppingly fast paced. If you are a fan of YA fantasy, then this is a must read.
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Another Consuming Read by CJ Redwine
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Since birth, Charis has always been taught by her mother, the queen, that to rule a kingdom, you have to be the most powerful and feared person in the room. To be as deadly as the knife in your hand. There isn't time for meaningless things like friendship or love. When someone attacks the queen, Charis is given the chance to prove herself. To show that she can be just as cunning and sharp-witted as her mother. But people see the absence of the queen as a weakness, so Charis must play the political game just right or else it'll all fall apart.

Like with any assassination attempt, Charis has to be assigned a guard. Enter Tal. Following her around, Tal gets to see the vulnerable parts of Charis. Sides that she shows only when she thinks nobody is looking. But Tal is. Always, and he starts to see some of her father in her and not just her ruthless mother. The more time they spend together, the deeper of a connection they share with each other. The only problem is that her heart isn't hers to give because it belongs to her country. To the safety of her people who have suffered from the war for too long. More and more decisions and secrets rise to the surface and Charis must make decisions for her country, no matter how much they may hurt her.

RISE OF THE VICIOUS PRINCESS is a young adult fantasy with a strong female lead and a twist of romance. Charis is an admirable character who doesn't like to show any signs of weakness, but somehow Tal always manages to draw them out. I love the banter between the two because it adds the comedic relief to the story. C.J. Redwine brings us another intriguing read with well thought out characters whose emotions are raw and sucks you right in.


Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of fantasy, royal politics, strong female leads, and romance.
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