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But all is not easy in the House of Terrick. The servants distrust her, the men-at-arms disdain her, and learning how to be a great lady is harder than it looks. Every misstep brings her closer to ruin, and Kate must walk a fine line between independent teen and modest noblewoman.
When the youngest son of Lord Terrick is kidnapped by armed thugs, Kate and a mysterious young girl named Ossen make a daring rescue. But her unladylike courage only strengthens her enemies’ hatred.
Then in a single blow Kate learns that her life is truly not her own. As Aeritan teeters on the brink of war, and promises once made are so easily broken, Lord Terrick demands that Kate submit to a new role.
But Kate is not so easily managed. Together with Ossen and the girl’s rough and roguish brothers, she leaves the protection of the only House she has known in Aeritan to choose her own path and find her true home.
For the record I had no idea that this was part of a larger book series (Gordath Woods), or that events discussed in here were from those two books (Gordath Wood and Red Gold Bridge). This made for an uneven reading for me at times. As I understand things the other two books are more focused on a character named 'Lynn', though she's not mentioned in here hardly as much as you'd think she should be considering.
All of Kate's adventures (in the first book as a 'slave' to General Marthen and in the second book when Colar is in her world as 'Cole') are either glossed over with quick phrases, or touched upon with only the barest amount of detail. Because of this I never felt invested in the Colar/Kate relationship (though Sarath tried hard to push it), nor on any abuses that Kate suffered earlier in her adventures.
Oh and to say I hate Colar with every fiber of my being is an understatement. I don't know what he was like in the previous two books, but judging from his behavior here I have NO IDEA why Kate fell in love with him. I can understand being forced into a position because of duty and loyalty to one's kin. I can understand being pragmatic and realizing that sometimes one's own desires will harm more than just themselves.
I get that.
What I don't get is why Colar began to act like a complete lout as a result and then had the gall to act like Kate should feel appreciative!
That aside, this was a rollicking fun adventure. If you ignore the angsty I love him moments, it was a lot of fun. I really like the 'Crows', I wanted to know more about them. I wanted to know more about Aeritan. Sarath insisted on focusing on the woes of being Colar far too much and had Kate pine for him for far too long. She's a tough chick! Once she comes into her own and starts thinking with her brain, she's a force to reckon with.
This kind of reminded me of 'Secrets of the Unicorn Queen' (again ignoring the angsty Colar stuff), with Kate finding a deeper destiny awaiting her once she starts giving a damn about things.
I'm looking forward to the next book, whenever its due out, but I don't think I'll be looking into the other two.