Expected publication date: January 7, 2014. See Ms. Schombs to read the galley!
She’s a girl who’s lost everything—her parents, her brother—and still finds a way to keep fighting for the sake of her people in the midst of a corrupted monarchy. Alexa’s parents were killed in a fire when she was a young teenager; afterwards, her twin brother Marcel saved her from the breeding house by chopping off her hair and enrolling them both in the army. She and Marcel quickly moved up the ranks because of their incredible swordsmanship and earned coveted spots in the Prince’s personal guard. But by living a lie as “Alex”, Alexa is in a constant identity crisis. She is not allowed to be a girl, but she cannot suppress her feelings for Prince Damian, whose dynamic character evolves from spoiled brat to strong, courageous, and clever—not to mention handsome—savior of them all.
But Alex’s feelings for Damian are put on hold as the fate of their dystopian world is in her hands. She has the power to stop the most evil sorcerer the kingdom has ever known. Our valiant heroine must channel all of her cunning and grief into the quest to save her precious Damian, or the country will fall to darkness forever.
Larson balances adventure and emotion well, neither overbearing, so the reader can enjoy Alex’s physical and emotional journeys. Alex is part Katniss Everdeen from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and part America Singer from The Selection by Kiera Cass. Readers who enjoy mystery, adventure, and strong female characters will be engrossed in Alexa’s story from beginning to end.--Ms. Schombs, Library Media Specialist, Loyola School