Review: Reluctant Prince by Dani-Lyn Alexander

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Kingdom of Cymmera #1
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: November 3, 2014
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: eBook Purchase
Pages: 252

Summary (from Goodreads):

Betrayal lies cloaked in shadow.

Seventeen year old Ryleigh Donnovan is certain her life is cursed. Nothing ever goes smoothly, and her first job interview is no exception. An earthquake rocks the building, sending Ryleigh on a frantic search for her younger sister, a search which lands her in the hospital. Terrified they ll push her for answers she can t afford to give, Ryleigh flees with a mysterious stranger.

Jackson Maynard is about to be ordained as a Death Dealer, a warrior for the Kingdom of Cymmera, but first he must pass one more test. When he fails to acquire the human girl the prophet has chosen, he s forced to stand trial for treason. Banished from his realm, he seeks out the girl from the vision, Ryleigh Donnovan, and together they embark on a journey to save his dying kingdom.

A gorgeously wrought fantasy realm. Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of The Sweet trilogy.

In the beginning of this book, Ryleigh Donnovan is on her way to a job interview. She is desperate to get a job to support her sister since both their parents and their grandmother have all passed away. Mia is all Ryleigh has and vice versa, but Ryleigh is only seventeen and can't be Mia's legal guardian. When the building that Ryleigh's interview is in gets rocked by an earthquake, her one goal is to get back downstairs to where she left her sister. When she finds her she notices a figure in the door who quickly disappears.

That figure is Jackson Maynard, Prince of Cymmera, who was on his first solo Death Dealer mission to retrieve Ryleigh and bring her back to Cymmera as foretold by a vision from the kingdom's seer. He fails and is accused of treason and is given three months to come up with a defense to explain why he felt like he shouldn't kill Ryleigh and bring her to Cymmera. He heads back the human realm to find Ryleigh and see if he is right about his gut feeling that she can pass between realms of her own free will...

Okay. So first of all, the characters. I don't know. There weren't really a lot of characters in this story that I just didn't like, but I really also didn't feel anything strongly for any of them. Ryleigh is seventeen and is trying to be the sole caretaker for her fourteen year old sister. She would do absolutely anything for her sister, would risk anything for her. Everything she does in this book, she makes sure to figure out how it would go for Mia before she makes any concrete decisions. She loves her sister more than anything in the world. Which is awesome of her. I like that. The rest of the time, I don't know if I like her or not. I didn't really care for the writing of this book so I don't know if it was just Ryleigh or the way she's written that I didn't fully care for.

Mia is Ryleigh's little sister. I could not picture her being more than like nine or something. But she's supposed to be fourteen. It seemed like she spent a huge chunk of this book crying, playing, or clinging to her sister. Or being carried. What fourteen year old spends that much time getting carried around? It honestly felt to me that everything in this story tried to revolve around Mia. Mia this, Mia that. Like, she sounds like she would be a sweet kid, I don't have a problem with her so much as the way that everyone treats her like some dainty little princess who is going to get broken. She's didn't even feel like that important of a character in to me. Without her this book could have been the same with less, "OMG I have to find Mia."

Jackson Maynard... He just seems to randomly jump into the lives of these two girls and inserts himself and becomes far too familiar with them right away. Like, yeah, he did end up saving their lives outside the hospital after he randomly showed up and smuggled them out after Ryleigh ended up there because of an earthquake he was supposed to kill her during. He like, invites himself over to their house to explain the situation they're in and does their dishes to hold off the conversation and this is not even a day after all of this starts. But he is very loyal to his kingdom and his father and wants nothing more than to see Cymmera flourish once again like it did when his mother was alive. So there's some positives for him.

Another thing that bugged the crap out of me, Kai is the King's second in command who has been training Jackson for the position for hundreds of years and was supposedly like a father to him when the King was not. But in the story he is nothing but completely TERRIBLE and cold. He isn't shown as being anything but awful and it makes the attempts at Jackson justifying his actions look pathetic. You don't see a single ounce of good in this character!!! And he keeps trying to issue orders in front of the king, like jeez, just off with his head already!!

The romance in this book was basically like instalove. I don't even know. I just don't. I'm totally not gonna lie to you guys, I read this book because I thought there was gonna be some hanky panky in it and I was sadly mistaken. I mean, they were never even ALONE in this book barely.

While the characters and the romance left A LOT to be desired for me, I did enjoy the plot. It felt like there was a lot of action and it moved forward swiftly and I enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting and left me wanting to know what happened next. There were some battle scenes that didn't leave me completely disappointed. They weren't totally anticlimactic and that won me over on this book. Another thing that I really liked about this book is the fact that there was a traitor in the kingdom and even though I was positive I knew who it was, this book kept me second guessing myself. Kept me unsure of who it really was.

The writing of this book wasn't fantastic. I saw a lot of typos in this book. Like a lot. And things don't seem to transition very smoothly. Like everything happens boom boom boom when there should be a bit of a pause before the next thing happens. Like in one scene something is going on with Mia and Jackson's lion sized flying hound (yeah) leaps out of his window to get Ryleigh and Jackson and bring them back up. Then like as soon as they get there people from outside that they were standing with are already pounding on the door to see what's up.

Overall, I probably wouldn't recommend this book, but if you really like fantasy and are desperate for something to read, this was a cheap eBook. It's probably not your worst choice. I will be reading the second book in this series because I got approved for it on Netgalley. So here's to hoping that it gets better!


  1. Aww! I like this cover less than I liked the other one - the second book's cover is nice. Sorry this one didn't absolutely work for you, but glad it wasn't awful. If there is another book in the series (after the second book), I hope it is the best one! :D

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I hope that the third one is the best too. I hope that it at least makes reading this whole series worth it. I hope that it gets less ridiculous as well.


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