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Monday, December 7, 2015

Deception's Pawn By Esther Friesner (Review) @RandomHouseCA

Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date:April 28, 2015
Published By:  Random House for Young Readers
WebsiteEsther M. Friesner Website

My review copy:From publisher for honest review
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Chapters


Fortune favors the bold in this adventurous tale of broken friendships, forbidden love, and a fiery heroine's journey to escape the role into which she was born. Perfect for YA fantasy fans of Shannon Hale, Malinda Lo, and Tamora Pierce.

Maeve, princess of Connacht, seems to have won her freedom. Her father, the High King, is finally allowing her to explore the world beyond his castle. But Maeve soon discovers that being the High King's daughter doesn't protect her from bullying or the attention of unwelcome suitors.

Struggling to navigate a new court, she must discourage the advances of her father's rival, who is vying with her host's son for her hand in marriage. Maeve is a pawn trapped between these two boys. Her bold defiance will bring her to the brink of disaster, but her clever gamble may also lead to her independence. Though she faces danger and intrigue, Maeve will also discover what kind of person-and queen-she's destined to become.

  Not yet, I thought.  I can't talk freely about Ea without naming Odran, and I won't   I can't speak of him to Kian.  Kian's been kind to me   he might even become my friend someday   but Odran is my heart.  I can't entrust anything so precious to Kian yet.
  It was only after Conchobar was gone that I realized I was doing the same thing, protecting Debriu by not telling her the whole truth.  I was my father's daughter after all.
The girls I'd thought of as my friends shut me out at every turn.  They never said a word to me, and if I tried talking to them, they suddenly had important things to do elsewhere.

My Thoughts
  Friesner created a beautiful second and final book for the Deception's Princess duology.  Though this is the first set that I have picked up, it is more than obvious that these are books that deserve to be recognized.  These are beautifully written and captivating, demanding your attention.  This is historical fiction/fantasy at its best and they are the kind of books that make me wonder why I don't pick this genre up more frequently.  

  Walking into this book I was not sure what to expect.  There was a magical but tragic note that finished up Deception's Princess, and I wasn't sure where Friesner would take this tale with so much ending in the last book.  However, I was happy with what I found.  Deception's Pawn weaved some of the elements that made the first book so memorable, but added new elements that helped the tale grow and develop into something else.  The pacing is a little slower at the start but Friesner is setting up Maeve's new surroundings, as well as her new friends.  

  Maeve really is something else.  She is bold, stubborn and above all else clever.  These are not things that she developed in this book, but things that Maeve was right from the start.  Not just the start of the books but right from childhood.  Though despite being clever she still had much to learn about life and the things that sometimes we don't want to do, but it must be done for the better of everything.  There are moments where she wants to give in to the pressures and expectations of her, but they are always shadowed by her strength and determination to be who she wants.  Maeve wants nothing more than to have her own people and be a fair ruler.  Maeve realizes that sometimes things aren't always fair but she wants more than anything to be a fair and just ruler that people can look up to.   This is the final leg of her journey and proof that Maeve has the ability to become exactly what she wants.

  There is no lack of romance wanting in this read.  Maeve has never had a shortage of men wishing that they could make her theirs.  The thing with Maeve though is that she doesn't want or need a man to make her strong and complete.  So, what I am getting at is that unless a man fits her life and what she wants, Maeve really has no inclination to be the pretty doll that stands beside a man as his prize.  Also to an extent her heart is already taken, but Maeve is young and does need to learn.  This is not to say that she didn't sometimes wonder about certain boys, but when it boiled down to it she knew what she really wanted in her heart, and that wasn't what most men were looking for.  There are romantic notes throughout but it is not the focal point by any means, and I love every moment if this.

  To say that I expected things to turn out the way they did, would be a lie.  For anyone that picks up these books and falls in love with it, will be happy with the way it all comes to an end.  Sure, there are questions but when you become invested with characters you always wonder where they go when the pages stop.  Never having picked up a book by this author but always admiring the stunning covers, I know with certainty now that this will not be the last book I read by her. With vivid characters and a beautifully done setting, the Deception's Princess duology is not one to be missed.

Posted by Tiffany

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