Published by Terah Edun on April 9th, 2013
Number of Pages: 275
Genres: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Young Adult
Purchase: At Amazon
Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the empire. But beneath her empire's seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder--intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations.
Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companions Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she'd never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron.
But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down.
“How hard a life could it be, living as a pampered Companion?”
There are a few sentences in this book that have odd wording, places that look like they’re missing a word, and in at least one case, a sentence I had to read 2-3 times before I understood what the author was trying to say. So the proofreading/editing needs work.
It was strange to me that Lady Serena had such a strong reaction to Ciardis asking her about the Aether. Even the Prince mentions it is a very dangerous place. And yet, both Ciardis and the Prince seem to go into said dangerous place a lot. Except for the first time, there never appears to be any real danger in that realm.
The Companions remind me of the Companions Guild in the Firefly TV Series, minus their mage-gifts. They even have a training school called the Red Madrassa, which if I’m remembering right, Madrassa is the training school Inara trained at in the show. So perhaps a Firefly fan?
I did like Ciardis as a character, I liked her drive and her will to succeed. The Prince seemed like he would be a good character if we got to see more of his personality. But it was jarring sometimes reading about him from Ciardis’ perspective. She is 17 when the story starts, and there are time jumps all throughout the book with little to no warning. She is 18 at the end of the book, and the Prince is 15 nearly 16 at the beginning. However, at one point he is referred to as a 13 year old. I’m not sure if that was because he looked younger, or if it was a mistake. But he is constantly refered to as a ‘boy’, and I think being only 2 years apart, that it was strange for Ciardis to regard him as a child.
There were some neat twists in the plot, and I loved the different magics shown as well as the Elemental. It just seemed like this could be such a good book if the above faults hadn’t been there. I will most likely pick up book 2 at some point, depending on the price, to see if the series gets better, but if it doesn’t I won’t be picking up any more. Had it not had all these faults, I would have loved to give it 4 or possibly 5 stars, but as it is…