Fortune favors the bold in this adventurous tale of broken friendships, forbidden love, and a fiery heroine’s journey to escape the role into which she was born. Perfect for YA fantasy fans of Shannon Hale, Malinda Lo, and Tamora Pierce. Maeve, princess of Connacht, seems to have won her freedom. Her father, the High King, is finally allowing her to explore the world beyond his castle. But Maeve soon discovers that being the High King’s daughter doesn’t protect her from bullying or the attention of unwelcome suitors. Struggling to navigate a new court, she must discourage the advances of her father’s rival, who is vying with her host’s son for her hand in marriage. Maeve is a pawn trapped between these two boys. Her bold defiance will bring her to the brink of disaster, but her clever gamble may also lead to her independence. Though she faces danger and intrigue, Maeve will also discover what kind of person—and queen—she’s destined to become.
Deception's Pawn (Deception's Princess #2)Featured
Like all of Friesner's heroines, Maeve is unwilling to settle within the constraints of her time period. Her love of falconry, her attempts to use weapons, and her demands to be considered equal to the men she meets are all delightful and adventurous. Romance is a big part of her life, since there are few other paths open to women at the time besides marriage and motherhood, but Maeve thinks that she could combine marriage with a fair bit of adventure. Her growing relationships with Kian, Conchobar, and Odran are all different but interesting.
Much of the middle of the book is concerned with Byrg's nastiness, and I wish that this had been replaced with a more adventurous plot. High school readers might really enjoy this, but I (like Maeve) had little patience with the girl drama. Luckily, it doesn't last long, and Maeve is out falling into bogs and having adventures before too long. We do find out a bit more about her father's kingdom and the role she will play in it, but the ending is somewhat vague, which I rather like. Friesner's books usually are series of just two, so I doubt there will be another book featuring Maeve.
There are always a few readers who adore medieval fantasies with feisty girls, and this is perfect for fans of Cashore's Graceling, Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Robin McKinley and, of course, Tamora Pierce. Now THAT would make a great adventure-- now I want to go on an adventure with Katsa, Cimorene, Aerin and Alanna. What fun that would be!