Saturday, August 28, 2010

Warrior Princess by Frewin Jones

It takes just a moment for fifteen-year-old Branwen's life to change forever. In the blink of an eye the Saxons attack and her brother is killed. Almost as quickly, she is sent away from her home to a neighboring stronghold where she'll be safe from harm. Now Branwen lives as a princess should—surrounded by exquisite things and lavish quarters. But deep down remains the soul of a warrior.

Just when Branwen is sure she has been pushed to her limits, a chance encounter with a mystical woman in white forces her to question everything—and everyone—around her. With no time to lose, Branwen must make a choice: continue in the path her parents intended for her . . . or step into the role of true Warrior Princess.

Beautiful. That was the first word I thought of as soon as I finished this book. I'm serious. Warrior Princess is one of those finely-crafted fantasy novels where nothing feels forced and everything just flows.

Jones has an impeccable writing style--descriptive and quite delicious. It simply involves you into the story; it gets your imagination going, your heart racing and your mind hurrying to catch up.

This was the book that set me onto my brief I-am-going-to-read-everything-about-historical-Europe phase. It's just that good.

I mean, sure, the pace sometimes bogs down a bit. There was quite a bit of description at times; I can only take so much exposition, you know? There were also some times when I got irritated with the main character, Branwen, but maybe that was just me. But the way her character developed was done so smoothly that it soothed all those flare-ups of frustration like a balm. Pardon the purple prose.

And the plot? Ah, but it was magical; literally. Here's hoping I don't sound too redundant: ancient magic, prophecies, a dash of romance, heart-pounding action--need I say more? Add in some rousing ballads, strong characters whom you genuinely want to get to know (and can definitely relate to), and a fascinating, detailed look into historical Europe and you've got yourself a winner.

The cover's a nice bonus too. It's what drew me into picking up the book in the first place.

I am so looking forward to picking up the next in the series, Destiny's Path. Now if I can just get through all 50 of these books before their due dates...

Rating: 4.5 out of 5