It’s Aria Stark!
Well not really, but Alexa is disguised as a boy after her parents are killed by a sorcerer, village burned, and the army approaches the survivors. Marcel is her twin who quickly cuts off her curls and helps her create her new persona: Alex. (And can I mention how if the army had found Alexa as a girl she would have been sent to the “breeding house” – this book hits upon all of this within the first few pages)
Years later, Alex and Marcel are training as soldiers for Prince Damian. As rebels attack the palace, Alex(a) becomes Prince Damian’s nightly guard – an inconvenience for the female used to being able to dress less confining during the night. Soon sorcerers return, our trio of main characters are kidnapped, and Alexa’s secret is out. Sorcerers, secrets, and histories come out a little over half way through the book which left me wondering where this would go – so much so soon! And the answer is: It went in a WONDERFUL direction. This plot is more of an adult book so it’s definitely for the older teen (note: breeding houses, death, romance, and the fact that rape occurs in the breeding houses is mentioned numerous times). Still, very brave and heroic characters, mysteries, and both good and bad sorcerers make characters rethink their belief of good and bad people in their society.
Definitely a “Girl Power” book.
Read more about the series from Sara B. Larson’s blog.
Series Continues: Ignite, Endure