Rating: 4.75 stars
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When you’ve finally gotten everything you ever wanted … what comes next? For Yerna, a sturdy and hardworking farm girl, being a knight was everything she ever wanted. She worked hard and earned herself a place as a Draconian Knight. But now what? She’s not the daughter of a noble house to be given an officer’s position or command; she’s not from some august lineage. She’s just Yerna.
Hazwell the Disposable, second prince of Draconia, formally ordained the newest batch of knights. The tall, elegant, and lovely Yerna caught his eye; how could she not? While female knights aren’t unheard of, they are rare, and by asking to have Yerna made a member of his personal guard, Haz knows he’s going to start some salacious rumors. Not that the rumors would be wrong. As much as he enjoys Yerna pushing him while sparring — where his other guards pull their blows, Yerna makes him work and work hard for every point — he enjoys teaching her the arts of pleasure almost as much.
When a chance to prove himself on the battlefield comes, Haz is eager to head out, especially with Yerna at his side.
This book starts off so beautifully. In the first two pages, we know Yerna’s backstory, her personality, her attention to detail, her practicality, and her unswerving drive to push herself to do the best that she can. And it only gets better from there. Haz is magnanimous, generous, and thinks himself to be quite the average and humble soul … but he is a prince.
“Don’t be so formal, Sera. I regard my guards as friends. Sure, in public, certain decorum must be observed, but otherwise, try to forget I’m a royal and just accept me as the next echelon over your fellow knights.”
The writing is strong and filled with personality. The pacing is almost perfect, never lingering too long on any scene, but giving enough details to keep the feel of the world and the events as they take place. I will say, though, as a warning that there is misogyny, both from side characters and from Haz, directed at Yerna and other female knights, and a racist term used for a Romani individual. While the attitudes directed at Yerna are there to give flavor to the story, it still felt unnecessary to me. These two points are the only reason this isn’t getting a five star review from me because, other than that, this book was just a good, fun read.