I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I absolutely loved this book!!! The title and book cover sold me right away, but then after reading the synopsis, I knew I had to have it. This book had so many great elements to it. I thought that the world was well described and a very interesting one as well. The storyline, deception, twists, they were all so well done. I was able to connect to the main character rather quickly and I liked everything about her. She was not only a princess but strong, capable, and I loved that even though she was a woman, in her kingdom she was able to rule without having to get married, under a few conditions at least. I was immediately hooked from the first chapter.
We follow our main character, Kateri. She is the princess of the kingdom of Achra, which is in the desert. Her mother passed away so it is just her and her father, the King. Her father has always been a tough man, but he has taught her all the training she knows. She sees him as a good King that is working hard to protect their people. Kateri can become Queen of the kingdom without having to marry anyone under one condition. She has to fight 12 suiters in the right and once she has fought the 12th she has earned her right to rule alone if she pleases. She wants to protect her people and fulfill her promise to her mother that she would do so.
The world she lives in is not an easy one. Being the princess, of course, she has everything that she needs, but her people are struggling with droughts and are rationed their water supply. The supply is dwindling because of the gang, the Desert Boys. They keep stealing water for themselves which is leaving less water for the people. Kateri wants to stop the Desert boys and resolve the water problem. Stealing water has horrible consequences. The King puts the criminal in the ring and they have to choose a door. Behind one door is freedom, behind the other door are his fearsome tigers.
When Kateri’s last opponent is announced she knows that with the training she has at the moment, she won’t beat them. She also knows that if this man becomes King, he will not rule honestly or in her peoples’ best interest. Kateri is desperate and knows that the only way to beat him is to turn to her enemy for help. Doing so, she uncovers many truths that rock her entire world. She was only expecting to better her fighting skills when in truth, she found what she should truly be fighting for.
Seriously this book was full of so much adventure, twists and turns, some romance, and some amazing fight scenes. I couldn’t get enough of it. I’m pretty sure I devoured this book in 2 days, so I didn’t get much sleep. I definitely recommend this jewel of a book! Please go read it now and come back and let’s chat about it! I have a feeling you will love it as much as I did!