Release Date: January 10, 2013
Publisher: Penguin Publishing
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Magic,
Source: AToMR Tours
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Tamora Pierce meets George R. R. Martin in this smart, political, medieval fantasy-thriller.I love fantasy books. The only thing with the fantasy genre is I've found it hard to find books that I love every aspect of, sometimes it's too much. Alex Lidell has made the perfect fantasy adventure book. She's taken everything I look for and then some. With a similar world building to books like Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder and Graceling by Kristin Cashore; Lidell has proved to me that she can run with the greats!
There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown's inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right. Alex Lidell (www.alexlidell.com) was a finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award competition and lives in New Jersey. This is her first novel.
Renee is training to be soldier for the Crown. She's working her butt off only to be second to every boy. Until a new instructor comes, one everyone has heard of, and he teaches her how to use what she has against an enemy. She starts training with him and his group of fighters and really starts believing in herself. Renee was an exceptional character, filled with spark and life destined to continue on this path that not many girls aspire too. Her personality exuded pure loyalty to her cause and her friends. My favorite attribute of Renee's was the fact that she wasn't perfect, she didn't get it right all the time, she messed up a lot, and did not win every fight. But, she got back up and tried again. That was exceptionally done on the authors part. It gave the reader a character to relate to, look up to, and not feel overshadowed by. We could all be Renees if we set our minds to something and gave it our all. Girls need great fictional role models and Renee is one of them.
The world of Tildor lived beneath my feet while reading. Alex Lidell is a fantastic writer and storyteller, who gets much praise from me. Her conversations and words were fluid, the language of the book fit perfectly, and I enjoyed the change in POVs between Alec, Renee, and Savoy. My only complaint, and a very small one, was when the POVs changed mid-chapter. Normally they would switch off chapter to chapter but when they did so mid-event it caused a second look for me. I was never lost and Lidell did a good job making sure we knew exactly when it changed but I felt like it made more send to do whole chapters in one POV. But, maybe she has a reason for doing it the way she did.
I absolutely loved this book and its high fantasy. There is a bit of romance, but that's not what this story is about. From beginning to end Renee, while still maintaining her witty attitude, changes and grows immensely. By the end of the book she is a true fighter. Such a strong character, strong story, and wonderful premise. Kick butt heroines are my thing, girls rock and are capable of so much! Thank you to the author and AToMR for the opportunity to read and review this book. I can't wait to recommend it to everyone I know!
Tour Wide Giveaway
$20 Amazon Gift Card, PLUS a copy of THE CADET OF TILDOR with swag – US
$20 Book Depository Gift Card – International
About the Author
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Alex Lidell is a YA fantasy writer and author of ABNA Finalist THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013).
Although English is Alex’s primary language, it wasn’t her first. Coming from Russia, Alex learned english in elementary school and fell in love with reading when the school librarian put Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA into her hands. Years later, in college, it was another book that re-united Alex with russian, which she had shunned in adolescence. The Three Musketeers.* Alex thanks both books, and the writers who created them.
Beyond writing, Alex is also a photographer, a horseback rider, and a paramedic. The latter two go hand in hand more often than one would like. She is trying to self-teach herself and her horse to sword-fight.
Alex would love to see THE CADET OF TILDOR in the classroom and is working on developing teacher guides for the novel. She enjoys “e-meeting” both students and educators.