|Picture from elizabethcbunce.com|
In a glamorous castle full of Llyvraneth's elite, Celyn Contrare serves as a lady-in-waiting to shy young Merista Nemair. Her days are spent dressing in velvet, attending Lady Merista, navigating court gossip, and charming noblemen over lavish feasts.I really wasn't expecting much, I'm sorry to say. Just some trite fantasy to keep myself from falling into a boredom coma. I'd never even heard of this book (I find that this is true for most of my reading material these days.) Which is why I was pleasantly surprised as I read this book. Digger, the main character, had an honest voice that endeared her to the reader. Lord Daul was, yes, devious, and kinda creepy. The mystery was pretty good, I suppose. The premise wass... interesting. And the whole thief-and-nobles thing was new - a welcome departure from royalty. Merista was sort of ambiguous, childish one minute and powerful the next. At the end, boy, was that a surprise. Digger's brother, whom she keeps referring to throughout the book as some sort of terrible person, is *SPOILER ALERT - HIGHLIGHT UPCOMING TEXT IF YOU WANT TO KNOW (but I advise you not to; don't ruin it for yourself)* Werne the Bloodletter, the King's High Inquisitor. Haha.
And at night, she picks locks, steals jewels, forges documents, and collects secrets. Because Celyn isn't really a lady-in-waiting; she's not even really Celyn Contrare. She's Digger, a sneak-thief on the run from the king's Inquisition, desperate to escape its cruel instruments and hatred of magic. If she's discovered, it will mean her certain death.
But life as a lady-in-waiting isn't safe either. The devious Lord Daul knows her secret, and he's blackmailing her to serve as his personal spy in the castle. What she discovers-about Daul, about the Nemair, even about her own Lady Merista -- could signal civil war in Llyvraneth. And for a thief trained never to get involved, taking sides could be the most dangerous job yet.
The book itself was pretty darn amazing. Fighting wasn't that great, though. Also, the relationship between Digger and *again, this is another spoiler, but I won't do the white-out thing because you don't know who this person is yet* Wierolf is very stiff. If the author had mentioned earlier that Wierolf was like a big brother to Digger, it would have made my reading experience a lot less... itchy.
Mostly, though, I'd say this book is a 4.25 out of 5. Feeling nice today.