Daughter of No One by Sam Ledel

I never read fantasy novels, I just am not interested in all the world building. I feel like the majority of the time you spend so much time of developing that aspect of the book that everything else can end up taking a backseat. As much as this is a fantasy novel, with the elves and the fae, what you also have is an old-fashioned adventure filled with mystery and a slow burn romance.

Jastyn Cipher and her mother were cast out of the village by the royal family. Jastyn’s mother had a child with a fae and therefore broke one the kingdom’s laws. After spending quite some time in shackles the mother and young child have been shunned by their community for decades. Jastyn despises the royal family. Unfortunately, Jastyn’s younger sister has fallen ill and nothing the Alchemist mixes will fix what she ails from. Going to the queen to beg for her healing powers is not something this young woman wants to do but at this point she has no other options.

Princess Aurelia Diarmaid wants more than anything to break out of the castle and experience the world outside of its protective walls. Her parents have kept the princess safe but have also clipped her wings and made her feel trapped and restless.

Our two main characters are a study in contrasts. Jastyn is considered less than a commoner. Her life has been filled with barely meeting basic needs has toughened her and made her a skilled outdoorswoman. Aurelia wants for nothing but as much privilege as she has something is missing.

The world building and fantastic elements are all there. Ledel makes them believable and paints you a picture as the story unfolds. Where I think the book really takes shape and leaps to the next level is the dynamic between our leading ladies. There is an excellent lesfic drama/romance unfolding between the two young women. Everything is stacked against them and that is obvious from their initial meeting. Attraction, longing gazes, a simple touch, it all begins to stoke the fires of a would be romance. You cannot help but love these two brave heroines who are thrust into chaos and an adventure. With Jastyn, I loved all that vulnerability and the crushing hopelessly on someone who is completely above your stature in society. It is just enough angst to keep you rooting for the impossible. With Princess Aurelia, you love that she is nothing like Jastyn thought her to be. Aurelia is capable, smart, compassionate and is absolutely fearless in the face of danger.

Sam Ledel has definitely set up an epic adventure of star-crossed lovers. This book one of a trilogy doesn’t leave you with a cliffhanger but you are definitely going to be left ready for the next book. The romance is just blossoming, they are not a couple this is one where we are going to have to work for it a bit. As a non-fantasy lover, I adored this book and am ready to read where Ledel takes us next. This book is quality writing, great pacing, and top-notch characters. You cannot go wrong with this one!

4.25 out of 5 stars

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The Lily and the Crown by Roslyn Sinclair

I tend to shy away a bit from sci-fi. It’s not that I don’t like the genre, I do, but I’m always leery because for the most part, I want the romance, I’m not so much into the world building razzle-dazzle that can often times pull my focus from character interaction. When I came across the premise for The Lily and the Crown by Roslyn Sinclair I felt a pull towards this book. Maybe it’s the cover, maybe the botanist aspect, whatever it was I was ready to take a chance on it. Oh my, I am so glad I did. Sinclair is a rockstar and wow did she ever write a story.

The book is very much a romance. The sci-fi theme only furthers the love story even further. If you’re holding back because of that don’t jump in, and get ready for your heart to be stolen. This is an amazing book with characters that a vibrant and captivating.

Ari Geiker is a botanist who spends the majority of her time alone with her plants. She shies away from human contact and she feels like an outsider. Raised by a father, who is military to his core and has little to do with his child, she found solace for her loneliness in plants. She has resigned herself to this lifestyle. Her whole world is thrown out of whack when a slave is given to her.

Assistant, this is what the slave will allow Ari to call her, has been captured by Ari’s father’s forces. The sole survivor on a pirate ship she has been given to Ari for companionship. Ari has never wanted anyone to be in her quarters and is repulsed that a slave would be awarded to her. Assistant, is stunned by Ari’s kindness, generosity and that she is a champion for her. They form a reluctant friendship that evolves over time. There is a whole lot more to Assistant, I’ll let you find that revelation out on your own.

This book is sweet, it’s genuine and at times it is downright sexy. The relationship builds and builds and as the reader, I could not get enough. This grabs you and holds you, you are invested to the final sentence. This book is beyond good!

5 out of 5 stars

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