The Princess Will Save You (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky, #1)
When her father dies, Princess Amarande is given an ultimatum: marry the leader of a neighboring kingdom, or lose her crown—and possibly her life. To force her hand, her beloved, the stableboy Luca, is kidnapped. But Amarande was raised to be a warrior, not a sacrifice. And nothing will stop her from saving her true love.
Amarande seeks to have a hand in deciding whom she will marry, but the kidnapping of the stableboy, Luca, whom she loves proposes only one choice with Luca held as blackmail. As Amarande dashes off to save him, she begins to learn more about the kingdoms and the dangerous players in them as well as the limits of what she will do for the boy she loves.
What I loved: This was packed full of adventure, and I loved the ties with THE PRINCESS BRIDE. All the best scenes are there, and even better, with Amarande leading the charge. She is a really compelling character, setting out to forge her own fate and in rescue of the boy who is awaiting her. At the same time, the world-building really grows to introduce the different kingdoms and the key players in a unique way. I was fascinated by the politics and intrigue that happen throughout. There are some great themes around feminism, politics, the patriarchy, and family that really standout.
What left me wanting more: The relationship between Luca and Amarande was already established, but I would have loved additional insight into how it grew through flashbacks or memories. It was a bit tough to be fully invested in it, as we didn't have those emotional ties to it.
As another note, the ending has a huge cliffhanger that makes the reader highly eager for the next book!
Final verdict: With fantastic world-building and lots of twists and turns, THE PRINCESS WILL SAVE YOU is an intriguing YA fantasy/action-adventure read that is sure to keep readers hooked.