I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Chronicles of Ebonvale #1
Published by indie on July 21, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Source: the author
a Rafflecopter giveawayWelcome to my tour stop for Minstrel’s Serenade by Aubrie Dionne! This is an epic fantasy romance published by Lyrical Kensington. This is a review only tour that runs December 8-12th. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.
About the Book:He’s sworn to protect her, but can he save her from himself?
Danika Rubystone has hated the minstrels ever since her mother ran away with one. As Princess, she’s duty bound to marry Valorian, a minstrel from the House of Song. But problems in the kingdom are mounting. With her father dead she’s the sole heir to an imperiled throne, and wyverns attack Ebonvale’s southern shores. But after Danika finds a lone survivor of a wyvern’s attack who holds the key to protecting the kingdom and she finally meets the enchantingly sly Valorian, everything changes.
As Ebonvale’s Royal Guard sails with the minstrels to smite the uprising of wyverns, Danika dances a line between sticking by duty like her father, or following her wild heart like her mother.
About the Author:Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her books have received the highest ratings from Romance Times Magazine, as well as Night Owl Reviews and Two Lips Reviews. She has guest blogged on the USA Today Happily Ever After Blog and the Dear Teen Me blog and signed books at the Boston Book Festival, Barnes and Noble, and the Romance Writers of America conference. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Astraea Press, Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Publishing, Inkspell Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras.Giveaway:A Dragon's Egg Pendant (US)Ends 12/17/14
Mature-Content Rating: Violence
Danika is a young princess who is struggling with a choice between duty and love. Her father would tell her duty to her kingdom is above all. Her mother would tell her that her only duty lies with her heart. Bron is the Chief of Arms in Ebonvale, bodyguard to Danika, and is very loyal to his position in the kingdom. Valorian is the minstrel prince from the House of Song who is enchanting just as much as he may be Danika’s last hope to save her kingdom.
This isn’t just a story of romance or fantasy; it leans heavily on sense of duty and loyalty, and the line one must make for themselves before they will give up their duty for their own desires. Bron and Danika both feel the heavy weight of the kingdom’s future on their shoulders when the wyverns attack, but it doesn’t stop them from feeling the deeper longing that’s been with them since Bron first left his farming village to join the soldiers.
Prince Valorian enters the picture which complicates their emotions and the future of the kingdom. He’s charming and has an army of minstrels that could save Ebonvale from the wyverns, but Bron has always been by Danika’s side. Danika herself isn’t just a pushover, either. She isn’t as well practiced as a soldier, but she enters the battles and manages to keep from being a distressed damsel too much.
The minstrels I love. They use music and song to get to the heart of their enemies and play havoc on their emotions. Ebonvale’s army could use a little work. If a kingdom is described as having a great force of archers, I do expect to see arrows fly more than once.
The world building is a big part of fantasy, and Dionne’s world fits together perfectly without getting overly complicated or skimping on the details.
I do love the characters, but there aren’t very many side characters named other than a boy named Nip (who I adore, by the way) and Valorian’s father. A few very good side characters give fantasy novels an edge.
Overall, I recommend Minstrel’s Serenade to anyone looking for a light fantasy/romance novel. Next please!