Author: Tessa Elwood
Publication Date: December 8th, 2015
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I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Three royal houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.
Asa is the youngest daughter of the house of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She thinks she can save her family’s livelihood by posing as her oldest sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the throne of the house of Westlet. The appearance of her mother, a traitor who defected to the house of Galton, adds fuel to the fire, while Asa also tries to save her sister Wren's life . . . possibly from the hands of their own father.
But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?
Author Tessa Elwood's debut series is an epic romance at heart, set against a mine field of political machinations, space adventure, and deep-seeded family loyalties.
I really enjoyed this!
The story focuses around three royal houses who occupy three planets: Fane, Westlet and Galton. I'm a big fan of royal settings and it was intriguing to have a royal world that is within a sci-fi setting. Whilst it was certainly intriguing, the world building is lacking somewhat which does let it down. We aren't given much information about the planetary system and this made it difficult to really picture its structure of how it all works. I couldn't quite figure out what it looked like or how the technology to fly between planets so quickly actually worked. What is the atmosphere like? How are they able to survive on this planet? I think for a sci-fi story it was missing a lot of the scientific explanation of these components.
The characters, the pace and the plot were all excellent, however, and this really salvaged the story for me.
Asa is a strong main character who is determined to save her sister and will do whatever it takes. In order to prevent her father from ending her sister Wren's life support, Asa sneakily switches places with her other sister Emmie who is going into an arranged marriage with the heir of rival planet Westlet. Asa believes that Westlet could be the answer to Wren's medical problems due to their more advanced technology. I could really appreciate Asa's love for her sister and the sacrifices she was willing to make for her.
Eagle is the heir of Westlet and is very much the dark and mysterious character. At least to begin with. As his character begins to unravel and we learn that he is quite literally a flawed character, I grew to really like him. I liked the connection between him and Asa and I was happy with the fact there was no insta-love. I don't mind insta-love in some cases but I think it would have been out of place with an arranged marriage. They start off as reluctant companions which grows to a somewhat friendship and then, eventually, to romance. It is still somewhat rushed when they realise their romantic feelings but I thought it was all very cute and Eagle is a lovable character so I was willing to forgive that.
The ending feels a little rushed, almost like there isn't a plan for a sequel so things had to be tied up enough for there not to be too many remaining questions. I hope that's not the case though as I would love a sequel to revisit these characters.
Overall, I thought this was great and with some improvement to the world-building it could be even better. I read it in two sittings thanks to the great pace and exciting plot. Fingers crossed for that sequel!