Cayla Kluver. Harlequin Teen, $9.99 trade paper (496p) ISBN 978-0-373-21034-3
Written when the author was 15 years old, self-published in 2008, and subsequently picked up by the AmazonEncore program, Kluver's debut novel is a typical royal romantic fantasy, with the love triangles and court intrigue that genre fans will expect. Seventeen-year-old Alera is crown princess of Hytanica and must now choose the man she will marry, who will become ruler and king. Her father believes Steldor, son of the captain of the guards, is the perfect heir, but Alera finds him insufferable. Enter Narian, native of the empire of Cokyri, the longtime enemy of Hytanica. Alera's scorn for Steldor, her frustration at having to marry against her will, and her eventual attraction to Narian play out in an engaging manner, and although Alera does marry by book's end, it's clear her romantic future is hardly settled. The history and tension between the rival kingdoms, with Cokyri's matriarchal society balancing the male dominated Hytanica, add depth to the narrative. As might be expected, Kluver gives readers some answers, while leaving other questions and mysteries to future volumes in the planned trilogy. Ages 14–up. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/30/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
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