Friday, March 18, 2016

Blood Princess by Rebecca Piercey

Laura struggles to find the truth behind the rebellion that threatens her family’s rule as she fights to protect her country from a war that could destroy it.

Seventeen-year-old Laura White, princess of Karkonia, has been ordered to murder her older sister, Alicia.

The job should be easy enough. Laura hates Alicia for betraying their family and joining a rebellion set on usurping their father, the Emperor. Besides, Laura’s been killing at her father’s command since she was eleven.

But before Laura gets the chance to end her sister’s life, she is dragged into the mess of the rebellion by her bodyguard, Shane Kagae. As Laura and Shane uncover secrets that her father has been keeping for years, they realize that Alicia and the rebels may have been right about the Emperor all along. When their disloyalty comes to light, Laura is forced to choose between saving Shane’s life and remaining loyal to her father. She chooses Shane, and they flee the palace, Laura’s heart breaking with every step.

Will she return to her father’s side to lead the war or give up her crown forever to help the rebellion?

Reader Advisory: This book contains some scenes of violence.

General Release Date: 22nd March 2016

Publishers Note: This title will be available to purchase and download from Finch Books from the 26th January 2016

Rating: 2/5 Stars

I was kindly provided with a copy of this book through the publisher, Finch Books, in exchange for an honest review.

Blood Princess is the story of Laura, heir to the Kingdom of Karkonia and the Emperor’s trained assassin who is tasked to kill her deserting sister for joining the rebellion against their father. But when she’s dragged next to the rebels thanks to her bodyguard, Laura will discover not everything is what it seems.

 This story had a lot of potential, you had a cold-blooded princess, her sister a traitor, a kingdom at war, conspiracies and betrayal. It sounds cool, doesn’t it? But the book needed to be developed more for it to reach its full potential.
Everything in the story seemed rushed, from the writing, to the plot and that made it look sloppy and unpolished. It was as if the author wanted to get everything out of the way so she could begin the main plot and the romance, leaving things like world, characters and such very underdeveloped.

One example would be the dialogue; rushed in spite of its importance:

 Laura, no. Please don’t hurt me. Please. I’m your sister. Please. We’re family,’ she cries.”

 Many things in the book were not thought through. What is the world like? I was confused during the entire time to understand whether it was dystopian or fantasy. On the one hand there were things like guns and television, on the other what little structure of the world and society I could see reminded me of feudal times. In the end it was both and neither, similar to Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, the world is a sort of future with televisions, radios and great technology but retaining the nobility concepts of the renaissance.

We saw little of the world, even though as the story was focused on a war for power and domination it should have been one of the main focuses of the story.

 The characters were pretty one-dimensional and forgettable. As an assassin, I was expecting something else but she was the classical “moody-yet-useless” girl who threatened people with killing them but didn’t do much about it. The problem with hr wasn’t that she was not ruthless, but that she was dumb. Laura is constantly trusting people she shouldn’t and antagonizing those who want to help her simply to throw some spunky comments that are supposed to make her look “badass”.

 The love interest was the same. Thanks to his mother he owes a depth to the rebels so he’s tasked with infiltrating the castle and become the heir Princess’ new bodyguard in order to keep his sister safe. The guy was not bright, he was a terrible liar, and yet he was supposed to be spying on one of the most ruthless and cunning people in the entire Kingdom? Plus, the guy didn’t even make an effort! He spent his time antagonizing the Princess and doing things that were the equivalent of painting the words “TRAITOR” in his forehead while jumping up and down pointing at himself. He doesn’t even know who the prince is, or what his name is even though he’s a very public figure.

 “’Eight… That’s the prince, right?’ Shane asks.”

 Overall, a great concept with a lackluster execution.


  1. I must say that I respectfully disagree with your review of this book. I feel most of the issues you have with plot development and the characters being one-dimensional are resolved as the book progresses. It honestly appears to me that perhaps you did not read the book in it's entirety. I don't want to give spoilers to those who haven't read the book yet, but your issues with Shane specifically not being suited to the job of spy are clearly addressed in chapter eighteen. I also must address your issues with the world being underdeveloped and not knowing the exact time and setting in which the book took place. I felt that the focus of this book was the plot and it really could have taken place at any time. I am reminded of extremely popular YA books that also leave setting information out of the story. The Hunger Games for instance, never mentions the time in which the story takes place or details about the original rebellion that would cause the Capitol to implement the Hunger Games. I don't feel like this detracts from the story at all, nor does the details of citizens of Panem living impoverished lives mining coal (which is a nearly extinct business) while they simultaneously have access to futuristic technology. I feel like these details are similar to that of Karkonia, and do not hinder the story in the least.

    1. Hi Natalie, that's perfectly alright! I love it when people disagree regarding a book, it leaves place for interesting coversation :)

      However, I don't think is fair of you to say that I didn't finish the book simply because you disagree with my analysis. When I DNF a certain story, I say so in my review. I read until the end because Blood Princess presented a wonderful argument that could have been explored fantastically, but that wasn't how it played out for me, and until the very end I found the story, characters and plot, as you said, underdeveloped.

      There are several popular YA books that focus more on plot that setting, but even in THG the reader could understand certain things about when it was happening and how the world had been affected until it reached that point in time. You had the technology to make "mutants" and create deadly arenas, as well as the broadcast of the broadcast of The Hunger Games through the entire country.

      There was nothing of the sort in this novel. It reminded me more of Red Queen, where you have a mix of futuristic with medieval but it's not exactly clear how the two of them mix together (they had TV and different technology for communications, but when the guards where chasing down an enemy in the palace they resorted to shouting rather than communicating through radios or something else).

      As for Shane, if you've read the book then you'll know he wasn't very well suited to perform his job as a spy, he didn't even know who the Prince was, even though he was a much more public figure than his sister (who was kept in the shadows to perform her job of assassin but would become rather inadequate when the time to take her Crown came to be, since very few in the Kingdom knew who she was or that she existed.)

      I beg to differ, the lack of logic and common sense in the story were what put me off of it, and why I ended up giving it that rating. But it's not unusual for me to read books that feel unfinished and that other people like!