Reluctant Prince: Kingdom of Cymmera, Book 1 by Dani-Lyn Alexander
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Length: Full Length (163 Pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review by: Cyclamen
Betrayal lies cloaked in shadow.
Seventeen year old Ryleigh Donnovan is certain her life is cursed. Nothing ever goes smoothly, and her first job interview is no exception. An earthquake rocks the building, sending Ryleigh on a frantic search for her younger sister, a search which lands her in the hospital. Terrified they’ll push her for answers she can’t afford to give, Ryleigh flees with a mysterious stranger.
Jackson Maynard is about to be ordained as a Death Dealer, a warrior for the Kingdom of Cymmera, but first he must pass one more test. When he fails to acquire the human girl the prophet has chosen, he’s forced to stand trial for treason. Banished from his realm, he seeks out the girl from the vision, Ryleigh Donnovan, and together they embark on a journey to save his dying kingdom.
Ryleigh Donnovan has a lot on her plate. Her parents died when she was small and she and her sister Mia were raised by their grandmother. Unfortunately, her grandmother has died recently, and Ryleigh is only seventeen, so legally not able to assume guardianship of her fourteen-year-old sister. But she is working at not letting anyone know, and that includes finishing high school while landing a job which will enable her to support the two of them. However, her first job interview doesn’t go well, and ends with a major earthquake rocking the building. When she lands in the hospital with badly cut feet, she knows that the hospital social worker will find out about her situation. In order to avoid that, she allows Jackson Maynard, a handsome stranger, to help her and Mia escape, little realizing that social workers are the least of her problems.
Reluctant Prince is filled with action, as Jackson, Ryleigh, and Mia run from one attack after another. It is soon obvious that there is a traitor who is trying to stop Jackson and take over Cymmera. It isn’t just Ryleigh who has her world turned upside down. Jackson also has to adjust to not being able to trust anyone.
The characters are well-drawn and very believable. From the beginning I really felt for Ryleigh and her situation. When the setting moves into Cymmera, it is totally believable and I really felt as if I were in a very different world.
My only real criticism of the book is really minor. Whenever things get tense or scary, which happens frequently, one of the characters says, “Don’t worry. Everything will work out.” This seems formulaic and lacking in depth. I would rather have seen reassurances at a deeper level.
This is the first volume in a series, and I am really looking forward to further novels. This one stops at an exciting point, but also a reasonably comfortable spot, rather than an absolute cliff hanger, and as a reader of series which are still being written, I really appreciate that.
Lovers of fantasy novels are sure to find a winner in Reluctant Prince.