The Princess Knight was a bloody good story but it wasn’t a great “love” story.
I could easily leave my review at that because I think it sums it up quite nicely.
But… I can’t help myself, and I probably need to explain my 5-star rating for a not great love story, so, here goes…
G.A. Aiken again proves her stuff writing such a thoroughly entertaining para/fantasy. The characters were strong, determined, obstinate, and extremely passionate about protecting and caring for those they love. The humour in this tale is off the charts and you can’t help but wear a goofy grin while reading. The storyline is riveting with very clear goodies and baddies and the goodies have me wanting to strap on armour and raise my sword to the cause.
This may not appeal to some, but I absolutely love the clarity identifying the good and bad guys. I don’t like suffering (along with the characters) when a friend turns out to be a foe. Sure, I get over it, but there is a little part of my book-loving heart that breaks with the betrayal. G.A. Aiken makes you feel connected to The Blacksmith Queen, her loyal Princess Knight, and the motley crew who stand with them. She also gives you a clear target with the very greedy, deceitful, and unemotional Beatrix. I know where my loyalty lies.
The family dynamics are a little crazy with siblings Keeley, Gemma, Beatrix, Ainsley, and a whole bunch of other brothers and sisters we haven’t formally met yet. Beatrix, obviously, is not really part of the family. She showed no loyalty, love, or care for her family, so she’s out and I’m very satisfied that in this instalment she reinforced the need to completely ostracise her. I really can’t see the author redeeming her, to be honest. Between Keeley, Gemma, and Ainsley, they squabble like most siblings but it’s obvious they love and care for each other. We also have the centaur siblings Cade, Laila and Quinn (forgive me if I've spelt their names wrong). Again, they squabble but they definitely have each other’s backs.
So, we get to the romance… or maybe lack of romance, part of the story. You’re going to laugh at this but it kind of worked. See, Gemma and Quinn are not mushy gushy people so we weren’t going to 'see' them pining over each other. They’ve seen some truly horrible stuff since the *War of Sisters* (my words, not a quote) began. Gemma is a War Monk who deals death blows daily. While she is passionate, she’s never really had the time or inclination to dedicate to someone who she could love. Quinn is such a great character with a dry sense of humour I really appreciate. He is strong, a great fighter, and very proud whether he has two legs or four.
Initially, Quinn and Gemma seem odd together, because they appear to hate each other. I even had to go back to the blurb to work out who the main couple was supposed to be. When they do eventually connect, it’s a blink and you could miss it type of connection. But, you realise that is was just the final piece to their love story that needed to be placed.
The Princess Knight was everything I hoped for and more. Packed with action, adventure, intrigue and a huge dose of humour, I loved every minute of it. I’m just sorry it took me days to get it read. I’m tempted to read it again when I can dedicate some serious hours to reading. I kind of miss those days where I could dedicate hours on end to sit and concentrate on a book. While I still love reading, there are too many things going on in my world… our world, that's messing with my concentration