Author: Eilis O’Neal.
On Princess Nalia’s 16th birthday, the king and queen summon her to the throne room, where they reveal that she is neither the princess nor their daughter, as she has believed all her life. She’s nothing more than a stand in for the true princess, of whom it was prophesied would die before her 16th birthday in the palace. Her true name is Sinda, and she’s being sent away to her only living relative, her aunt. Sinda tries to bury herself in her new life, but it’s not working – especially after an old friend comes to see her and she sends him away with acid words, than bitterly regrets it. When she discovers that she has magic, the decision is made. She’s going back to the city. Little does she know, she’s going to be pulled back into the royal problems once again, almost as soon as she returns.
A good, solid combination of fantasy and detective story. There’s a lot of character growth in Sinda, our protagonist, and the secondary protagonists are interesting and engaging. I fully related to Sinda – I’ve been in that position of speaking, knowing I’ll regret it within minutes, and somehow unable to stop. She became much more decisive over the course of the story. The romance on the side was fun, and light enough it didn’t interfere with anything else. The twists were slightly predictable, but good nonetheless.
Sexual content: Three kisses. Girl overhears boy say “What does it matter when I’ll be able to say I’ve bedded the girl who was princess?”
Violence: Character knocked out with a blow to the head. Character receives a dagger in the shoulder. One character killed by a magic spell, and one by a sword through the heart.