Series: Rime Chronicles #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: May 15th 2018
My Rating: 4.5 Cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.*Disclaimer: I received an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.
The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.
With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.
The first book in the Rime Chronicles is just as great as the title, cover and blurb promise. It has action, love, intrigue, mystery, a little bit of humor and a lot of character growth. So basically a little bit for everybody.
The book is told from dual POVs: Kate and Corwin. Kate is a fiery young woman, named a traitor for something she wasn't even responsible for, but something that her father did. It was inspiring to see Kate be the best at her job and be a new, improved version of herself, despite the name-calling, the rudeness of most of the people around her, the suspicious looks, the hate of others, even when she did nothing wrong. I loved the fact that we don't learn from the start exactly what she did after her father attempted to kill the king, and exactly why she was called a traitor. Kate is such a strong heroine, one who thrives despite the harshness of life, and I loved reading about her.
Corwin is a surprising hero. He's a mystery, from start to finish. We're not given the key to properly understand what motivates him from the beginning, what makes him the "errant" prince, why exactly he isn't "worthy" of ruling the kingdom. Because while he doesn't think he's worthy, his actions are that of a true leader, a good king. So the real question is what exactly happened after the attempt on his father's life that made him believe he isn't worthy. I liked that mystery, because it allowed me to not judge him for what he did or didn't do in the past, but for what he did in the present. I liked the growth he goes through in this book. He goes from reluctant prince to leader, from the young man who questions everything he does and tries to follow every rule, to the brave man who proves he is worthy of the crown.
I found it easy to jump from one POV to another, as the author made a great job at making the two main characters sound very different. The pacing was also flowing, from fast at times, to slowing down when the story required it. There was a balance in there, that I enjoyed immensely. Also, I finally found out the connection between the cover art and the book. Boy, was I happy when I figured it out!
I loved seeing who the bad guy was. And it makes me wonder if somehow we'll see the bad guy's mark on some events from before this book. I really was surprised at who the bad guy turned out to be, as I really, really did not see that coming. At all.
All in all, a great story from Mindee Arnett, a great start for a series, and I cannot wait to see where the story is going.