Author: Terah Edun
Series: Crown Service
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication date: March 31st 2014
Pages: 302 (paperback)
Source: received from author
It is not a peaceful time in the Algardis Empire. War is raging between the mages and seventeen-year-old Sara Fairchild will be right in the middle of it.
She just doesn't know it yet.
Sara is the daughter of a disgraced imperial commander, executed for desertion. Sara is also the best duelist and hand-to-hand combatant in Sandrin. She lives quietly with her family's shame but when challenged about her family's honer, her opponent inevitably loses.
On the night she finds out her father's true last actions, she takes the Mercenary Guilds' vows to serve in the emperor's army. Using her quick wits and fierce fighting skill, she earns a spot in the first division.
There she discovers secrets the mages on both sides would prefer stay hidden. Dark enemies hunt her and soon it's not just Sara questioning the motivation behind this war.
While fighting mages, blackmailing merchants and discovering new friends, Sara comes across something she's never had before - passion. The question is - can she fight for her empress against a mage who might unwittingly claim her heart?
This is year one of the Initiate Wars. Sara is hoping it doesn't become the year she dies.
Terah Edun is probably one of the most underestimated YA writers. She has the ability to create whole new fantasy worlds that are very compelling.
Sara Fairchild is a young fighter of the Algardis Empire. She has a reputation to uphold, after all her father was one of the best fighters of his time, both as a gladiator in the arena as on the battle field, that is until he was killed for his desertion. To find out the truth about her father’s death she walks on paths she swore she would never walk. After all what does she has to lose?
I love Sara, I found her more likeable than Ciardis in her Courtlight series that takes place in the same world. That’s one of the first reasons why I liked this book better. She’s well developed but she still has a lot of place to grow. While she might come across as cold you can feel that she’s a loving person who would give her life for her friends and family. Her partner in crime is just as loveable. The contrast between the two of them can’t be bigger, she’s the fighter and he’s the nerd, but they complete each other so well. And more than once they have let me laugh because of their bantering.
One of the other things I loved so much about this series was that it was full with action, without it being overkill. Sara and her companions ventured from the one adventure into the next. Throughout the entire book I was sitting on the edge of the book. And I can’t wait to find out in what kind of trouble they will get into next.
Edun’s writing style is very fluid and clear. It allows you to engross yourself completely in the story. She creates an extraordinary world that is full of magic. At the same time it was kind of funny that she also used elements from this world, she could have decided to create a new language but instead she used German. It’s quite interesting for me since it’s one of the languages I speak.
Overall, this was a light and fast paced read that I immensely enjoyed. It is a must read for all fantasy lovers. I can't wait to read the second book in this series!