Friday, October 26, 2012
Book Review--Woman of Honor by Nicole Zoltack
Aislinn of Bairbhe dreams of becoming a lady knight to honor the death of her fallen brother. To her mother's horror, King Patrick grants Aislinn's wish and she begins her long years of training.
Despite the mockery of the other pages, and the disdain of Prince Caelan who also trains to be a knight, Aislinn commits herself to her dreams and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and bravery. Through the years, Aislinn and Caelan grow from sparring classmates to good friends. They both know that someday Caelan will marry for the sake of the kingdom, but even that cannot keep them from falling in love.
The threat of war with the Speicans is a constant threat, and one that grows more frightening as she and Caelan train toward their eventual knighthood. Aislinn has committed herself to serving Arnhem, and has promised herself as King's Champion when Caelan claims the throne. She is willing to give up everything... her childhood, her life, even her heart for Arnhem. No matter the pain it brings.
I often have to reset my brain during the first chapter or two of books that are new worlds, and this was the same. The story started strong though and was definitely worth the effort. I had to remind myself that in the age and place of Nicole's world, children grow up a lot faster than my four. They have a maturity necessary for the hardships they will face.
Aislinn came off strong and determined from the very beginning. I loved that she knew what she wanted and wasn't afraid to go after it even though it was not the accepted norm for her country. Many times she was so stubbornly focused on her goal that she missed or ignored certain aspects of a child's life. This was one of the things that made her so real to me. I could relate to that stubborn focus.
I also loved how she matured over the years. One of my favorite scenes is when she breaks down in tears over the death of a young girl. It is a great moment when you realize what a caring woman she has grown into on top of her strength as a knight in training. The balance and realism is expertly crafted. A true example of how to show who your character is and not telling.
There is also a sweet romance woven through this book. I didn't feel like it was the main focus, but the back and forth between these characters is so natural you can't help but be swept away by it. When it looks like there is no way they can ever be together, you ache with Aislinn.
All in all, I really enjoyed this read and can't wait for life to slow down so I can read the next two books in the series.
I give Woman of Honor by Nicole Zoltack a solid 4.
1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure