Lia flees on her wedding day with a bundle of stolen documents and her maid. She doesn't want to have any part in the arranged marriage she's forced into and throws duty aside in favor of her freedom. But Lia never really thought of the consequences that would surely follow her shunning of an arranged marriage with a possible political ally and she's going to have to man up and figure out how to fix the mess she's created. Runaway princesses, assassins, princes and a war that's just waiting to happen.
When I first started the book I was like well, okay. I can't begin to understand the pressure that comes along with an arranged marriage so let's give Lia the benefit of the doubt. It's not hard to imagine yearning for a life elsewhere when you're forced into marrying someone you've never met. It was kind of annoying that she'd shirk duty over the chance of finding love but hey, I'm not going to judge. Much.
Things started to get annoying when the love triangle was introduced. Enter Rafe and Kaden. One's a prince and the other assassin. Lia doesn't know who they are and assumes that one is a merchant and the other a fisherman (if I'm not mistaken). She spends an inordinate amount of time brooding over which boy she wanted and this goes on for around half of the book. Dances, boys, working at the inn, boys, getting attacked by a bounty hunter, more problems with boys. Ugh. She spends a lot of time complaining about being loved and wanting to love and finding love. Please. Stop.
Also might I add that Lia is kind of an idiot? When she manages to meet up with her brother and he tells her of the trouble brewing between Morrighan and Dalbreck and the marauders who want to conquer the two kingdoms she responds with surprise. SURPRISE. I mean did she not stop and think that maybe there was a reason for the political marriage? That maybe it was a way to get two kingdoms who were at odds with each other to form an alliance against the invaders? I mean Lia! Come on! And all for what? An imagined love?
Thankfully, somewhere along the latter half of the book Lia grows a spine, realizes that she's a princess and she has duties to her people and her kingdom and finally -FINALLY- gets with the program. Better late than never. This is where things also started to get exciting and it got back to being FANTASY. Because really mooning over boys and watching them wrestle on logs over mud was kind of boring (and stuff like that doesn't only happen in fantasy books). I wanted action and angst and epic battles and magic! Maybe there wasn't exactly much of an epic battle but at least the latter part of the book rekindled my faith in the story with the twists and turns it took and that ending! Mmmmm.
I'd have given this book a higher rating if the first half was as exciting as the second but I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series. Hopefully it gets better and Lia puts away boys for a moment and focuses on saving her kingdom first. What's the use of boys if you're all dead.