Saturday, April 3, 2010

Book Review: Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Aurelia is the headstrong daughter of the king, facing an uncertain future of marrying a man of her father choosing.  When several assassination attempts are made on her life Robert, the son of the king's former spy, returns to court to find out who may be trying to kill her.  Both are drawn into a deep web of conspiracy and danger that may lead to death and betrayal.


Things I Liked:
The ending was my favorite part of the whole book.  I thought the intrigue and conspiracy at court was interesting (at least near the end).  Aurelia was a fun character, headstrong and usually smart, but flawed.  I liked the romance between Aurelia and Robert, though it didn't seem fully developed.  I thought Osterlund raised some interesting issues for her main character to deal with in her position as future queen.  However, I think the book would have been improved with some more development in everything - setting, plot, characters. As a side note, I was impressed, with all the whitewashing cover controversies, that this cover conveys the darker skinned Aurelia correctly.

Things I Didn't Like:
Most of the book I thought was a little bit boring.  I was not very interested in the characters and story until near the end.  It seemed predictable and dull, at least until the end when there were some surprises.  But, I thought it was not quite enough to save the reading experience for me.  A little too simplistic and some of the good issues Osterlund raised were not answered sufficiently for me, such as how Aurelia would deal with the discontented peasants.  A good first book, and I'm hopeful Osterlund will have an even better second one.  

Crown Duel and Court Duel by Sherwood Smith

Legacy by Cayla Kluver

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
a few minor incidents

Overall rating: ***

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I had higher hopes for this one as well. I wanted to like it much more than I actually did, but I am still looking forward to reading the sequel, Exile, when it comes out next year. I did appreciate that this was a quick read (at least for me) and that Aurelia's character was pretty much developed within the first chapter. I suppose I could have known more about the others, but I didn't care so much about them anyway. :) I really loved Academy 7 by Osterlund, but again, it's a quick read with not an excessive amount of character/setting/plot development (and I say excessive because personally, I think many YA novels over 300 pages can get excessive in their descriptions!).

  2. Natalie, I haven't heard of Academy 7. I'll have to check it out. Sometimes it is nice to have a quick read (especially if it's due at the library soon :) And I completely agree that some YA over 300 pages have too much.

  3. The ending irritated the living daylights out of me! I found it really unsatisfying. I'm excited there's a sequel coming out- maybe it will end better for me.

  4. Ooh, I should pick up the sequel too!


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