**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**
Title Realm of Knights (Knights of the Realm #1)
Author Jennifer Anne Davis
Description from Amazon
Reid has spent her whole life pretending to be a man so she can inherit her father’s estate, but when a chance encounter threatens to expose her lie, she is forced to risk everything.
In the kingdom of Marsden, women are subservient to men and land can only pass from father to son. So when Reid Ellington is born, the fifth daughter to one of the wealthiest landholders in the kingdom, it’s announced that Reid is a boy.
Eighteen years later, Reid struggles to conceal the fact she’s actually a young woman. Every day, her secret becomes harder to keep. When one of Marsden’s princes sees her sparring with a sword, she is forced to accept his offer and lead her father’s soldiers to the border. Along the way, she discovers a covert organization within the army known as the Knights of the Realm. If Reid wants to save her family from being arrested for treason and robbed of their inheritance, she will have to join the Knights and become a weapon for the crown.
To protect her family, Reid must fight like a man. To do that, she’ll need the courage of a woman.
I was really excited to read this book. The premise sounded really interesting and I always enjoyed the story of Mulan (and all of the retellings I have read this year), and this book sounded right up that alley.
Some Things I Liked
- Complex political landscape. I loved the contrast between the vastly different kingdoms of Marsden and Axian as well as the many layers between the families of each ruling family.
- Female identity. Reid spent her entire life pretending to be a man and when she was finally allowed to be “herself” and go about as “Lady Reid”, she felt more restricted than ever. Reid never felt more like herself than when she was pretending to be someone else. I am excited to continue to get to know “the real Reid”.
One Thing I Didn’t Like
- Romance. Reid was basically oblivious to any romantic attention sent her way and I really didn’t ship her with anyone (except maybe for Ackley). I thought she had no chemistry with anyone and the ending totally threw me. No spoilers but I have absolutely no idea what’s going on with the romance element now.
It took me a while to get through this book. I started reading it back in September and didn’t finish until this afternoon. I read several books between then and now. This was a slow build but, I would continue with the series. There are a lot of promising elements that developed in the second half of the book that I would like to see more of.
I started reading this booking thinking it was going to be a Mulan-esque story. I got some of those vibes, but I think overall, this is a different story. There are similar elements, but in general, comparing Realm of Knights to Mulan is an apples to oranges comparison. I really enjoyed this book and I would continue with the series. I think it had some elements that I wasn’t crazy about but hopefully those will be resolved in the next two books.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Shadow Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis – I haven’t read this one yet, but I plan to. If you liked the first book, definitely check out the next book coming out in December 2019.
- Defy by Sara B. Larson – if you liked the “woman disguised as a man” element of this book, give the Defy trilogy a try. There are also similar political issues in both series.
- The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty – if you liked the spy elements in Realm of Knights, give this trilogy a try.