Stolen Royals #1
by Kelsey Keating
Sci Fi & Fantasy
A stolen kiss. An unstable curse. One big mess in the making.
Derric Harver never expected to amount to anything more than the palace stableboy, but when Princess Maria’s curse keeps her from accepting a prince’s proposal, she turns to him for help, and he doesn’t dare refuse.
With the help of a lady’s maid and a prince, Derric and Maria embark on a dangerous adventure to find the sorceress who cast the curse. Along the way they battle deadly creatures and make new friends–all the while struggling with the undeniable chemistry between them. Reaching their destination won’t be easy, but the true danger peril in the truths they’ve fought for years to keep hidden.
A Stolen Kiss is the first in the Stolen Royals Series–an adventure with magical creatures, dangerous lies, and being true to the power within.
A Stolen Kiss has a simple, easy-to-read style that I would usually associate with children’s fiction. Despite that, the funny and somewhat unique voice had me piqued from the very first scene.
The premise is rather interesting. Cursed Princess in a land where sorcery is banned, and Happily-Ever-Afters are a thing of family tradition. The description had me expecting something more toward the (usually) sort of dark and pessimistic characters. This book surprised me by showing that despite them not having the same views as other mainstream YA heroes and heroines, I liked them.
Derric was by far the best fleshed out character, Humphrey a close second. Maria, wth her strong beliefs and irritation at being held back, could have gotten across as a better role model of feminine strength if she was given a chance to do something that showed how worthy she actually was. She did do it eventually, but we didn’t really see much of that. Sarah may come across to some as childish dead weight, but she was more mature than most fourteen-year-olds are. Her character goes to show how emotions are just as important as maturity and physical strength.
Some odd things that took away from the charm were there, though. We never really knew who the real enemy was until he showed up. Quite literally. And while that’s okay, it is rather sad that we didn’t get to really see him. Whatever we know about him is through his conversation with Gilda. The people we are told about through almost a week of the journey (over half of the entire book) don’t get nearly enough screen time. A lot of it felt like telling and not showing.
All in all, it was a fun read. The way it ended, though, I doubt the next book will continue their story. Looking forward to it though, if it’s got narrators as interesting as Derric.
Disclaimer: I received this book free of cost from the publisher through the NetGalley review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”