Published by Reign Publishing on September 10, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Romance
Source: eARC from Author
Reid has spent her whole life pretending to be a man so she can inherit her father’s estate, but when a chance encounter threatens to expose her lie, she is forced to risk everything.
In the kingdom of Marsden, women are subservient to men and land can only pass from father to son. So when Reid Ellington is born, the fifth daughter to one of the wealthiest landholders in the kingdom, it’s announced that Reid is a boy.
Eighteen years later, Reid struggles to conceal the fact she’s actually a young woman. Every day, her secret becomes harder to keep. When one of Marsden’s princes sees her sparring with a sword, she is forced to accept his offer and lead her father’s soldiers to the border. Along the way, she discovers a covert organization within the army known as the Knights of the Realm. If Reid wants to save her family from being arrested for treason and robbed of their inheritance, she will have to join the Knights and become a weapon for the crown.
To protect her family, Reid must fight like a man. To do that, she’ll need the courage of a woman.
Realm of Knights is a young adult fantasy book and is the start of the Knights of the Realm series by author Jennifer Anne Davis. To say I was excited when I first heard about this novel, and series being releases, is a huge understatement. Fantasy is my favorite genre by far, and Jennifer Anne Davis has written one of my favorite fantasy series of all time. (Her Reign of Secrets series is EPICALLY AMAZING, if you have not checked it out already) Bottom line: I was pumped to see a new fantasy series by her and after I have read Realm of Darkness…dare I say…I might have a new favorite series. I loved this book so much! I am already itching for book 2.
In Realm of Knights we meet our main character Reid. Reid is the fifth daughter of the Duke of Ellington. Her father is the Duke in a land that only allows title to pass to male heirs, so when Reid’s mom passes away giving birth to her, her father conceals her identity and has Lady Reid pretend to be Lord Reid so title can remain in their family. Our book starts when Reid has turned 18. Now that she is no longer a child, it is harder to continue the charade of pretending to be a man. Our book really picks up very early on when two of the crowned princes visit her father demanding men to serve in the army, and demanding that Lord Reid accompanies the Duke’s men. Watching Reid vacillate between her easier and more comforting role of pretending to be a man, and her desire to be a fierce and independent woman in a society that is so male-centric, was fantastically played out. I love Reid.
When Reid, with some of her childhood friends, set out with the Princes Ackley and Gordon, the adventure really takes off. Jennifer Anne Davis is a master storyteller, and one of her greatest talents (in my opinion) is her ability to weave political intrigue, secrets and deceits several layers deep into a characters multifaceted personality. She writes some of the best characters. I loved the cast of characters in Realm of Knights, and what I loved the very most about them is how complex they all were. I also loved the fact that I don’t have a clear pinpoint on any of their motivations. I am normally a pretty astute reader, so for me to not be able to tell who is trustworthy, who is not and why the characters are acting the way they are acting is unusual…but it also makes reading so much fun! I love that Jennifer Anne Davis keeps me on my toes so much. In a way that few authors can, she has me flipping pages not only because the story is addictively good, but because I have no idea where it will go next. And that is so darn refreshing, I can’t even tell you how much I love her novels. She is in a class of her own when it comes to writing great fantasy. I loved how surprising the kingdom of Axian and the Kingdom of Marsden were. I will admit that I think they both played off some extremes to prove a plot point, but I think it worked really well in the larger story, and I am dying to read the next book to see how it will all turn out.
Overall, Realm of Knights is a fantastic young adult fantasy. One of my favorite reads of 2019 for sure, and probably will be a favorite series of mine. If you are a fan of Mulan, secret societies, and epic fantasy adventures will love The Knights of the Realm series. I am holding off talking about a romance until I see book 2. I have a feeling all of my thoughts and opinions are about to be jumbled up in a royal fashion. 😉 The bottom line is this dear readers- If you have never read a book by Jennifer Anne Davis, you are really missing out. Pick any of her series and start reading! I think Realm of Knights is a great book for new readers to fall in love with. You will become just as hooked as I am.
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