During this last year I’ve mostly read books that were already well on my list for a while, so this series is unique in that I bought it based on the covers and the hype. I know, I really could’ve set myself up for misery with those as factors. I’ll mostly focus on book one so it doesn’t spoil the story for anyone looking to read these books.
The Kingdom of Sand & Sky Series follows Princess Amarande, and her love, Luca as he is kidnapped in an attempt to force her into a political marriage following the sudden death of her father. In an attempt to both rescue Luca and avoid the marriages being thrown at her she sets off into a dangerous territory on a quest to get Luca back.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
This series took me by surprise. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was in for when I picked these two books up at the bookstore, but this series was really good!
The first book, the Princess will Save You, sends us on a journey as Luca is taken hostage by bandits after Amarande stands her ground on not being forced into a political marriage. Realizing she’s the only one that can save him Amarande sets off on her own to save her best friend. I think the major excitement and pull for me in these books was the relationship between Luca and Amarande, and the overall lack of knowledge/strategy in the scheme of things. These two are working off a very limited concept of the dangers they face and it kept it interesting s they found out more and more, and yet still seemed to not have the entire picture. Part of that too is the paradox of Amarande’s father having taught her so much in preparation for ruling, but not making her the heir. It’s a question that pushes Amarande throughout the story and one that kept me wondering with her.
As far as the main characters went I really liked Amarande more since she is a pretty well balanced character. She’s well trained and smart, but also rushes into things, and misses the big picture quite a bit. When she sets off on her quest there are a number of things that she misses in her focus to find Luca, and most of the book is her trying to weave her way out of those very things in the end. Luca, on the other hand does take some getting used to. When we are first introduced to him as a captive I kept thinking he was a little too optimistic, and also way too reliant on the concept of Amarande saving him. I was agreeing with the kidnappers at that point that he really needed to have a least some doubt, but gradually I will say that he grew on me, and by book two he was definitely a much stronger character overall.
Beyond the main characters I really liked how even their enemies area all well flushed to, and given these backstories that even if you hated them before, make you pause even just a little bit. I’m always down with bad guys created from good intentions, or at least showing how they became the way they are. This happened with multiple characters in these books and it definitely kept me on my feet as you wonder how it’ll play into the overall plot.
I think between these two books this was what I need to get over my reading slump. The story telling is well paced, the characters and interesting story world pull you in so this series was a lucky pick for sure. Beyond the few cons I ran into I really enjoyed these books overall!