Summary: Ambition is not something 17-year-old Adela lacks. From being simply a lady of a poor barony, she was able to make her way up to being queen of the entire kingdom in a few short years. Her looks, coupled with her wits, charm, and cunning, caused men to fall in love with her left and right… though despite her status, wealth, and romance, Adela found that she wasn’t happy. Her life was missing something.
Review: This is the first time I’ve read something by Jessica Dall, and though the book did not necessarily leave a super strong impression on me, it was a solid read. It’s an extremely well-written book, but I can’t say that I really fell in love with the plot or the characters, which is something that is a must in order for me to truly love a book.
To be entirely honest, Adela just wasn’t a super likable character for me. I just couldn’t connect with her… She is portrayed as very ‘fake’ – doing/saying what others want to get her way. Somehow, though, all the boys fell in love with her, and nobody really saw through her. The plot, on the other hand, revolves around Adela’s rise to power, and her romance with various men. I do enjoy some romance in novels, but this was a little much for me, personally. The ending of the book was a bit bland, and while I know it is to be continued in the next books, I didn’t think the characters and Adela was quite tied off to a stopping point. I do wish that it was a more satisfying ending!
That being said, I think Dall is a great writer, and I love her writing style. The beginning scenes were definitely some of my favorites – just because of how the characters were introduced and how all the dialogue and characterization came together. This style was consistent throughout the entire novel, which was great!
Overall, this was an above average novel, the quality of the writing was great. It wasn’t hard to pick up and read, and the story itself definitely has a lot of potential, especially in the next few books. However, the plot and the characters just weren’t my cup of tea… but I’m sure it’ll be somebody else’s. (: I would recommend this book to people who enjoy a book based more heavily on romance than history (I started reading this thinking it would be more based on events in history than a romance). And, for the reasons listed above, I give this novel 3/5 stars.