Book source ~ Kindle First
Roselle St. Sismode is the secondborn child of the Fate of Swords. Firstborns, depending on their family, may rule their Fate. Secondborns have to go into military service. Forget thirdborns – they’re killed if found. Fourth thou shalt not count and fifth are right out. Hehe I paraphrased a Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail tidbit there. I couldn’t help it. Ok, moving on…
The book begins with Roselle’s Transition Day. Most secondborns are taken younger, but Roselle is 18 when her mother sends her to do her military duty. Even though Roselle is basically royalty and the whole Republic has pretty much watched her grow up on some kind of Truman Show-like program, her life in the military will be brutal and most likely short. Everyone knows her face and secondborns from privileged families are hated by the other less fortunate secondborns. And there lies the danger to her. But others are manipulating her life behind the scenes and Roselle must stay alive long enough to change the Republic. Whether she wants to or not.
The beginning of this story is confusing as the world gets laid out for the reader. It took me awhile to grasp all the families, structure, terminology, and relationships. About the time I got all that down the story started to take off down the tracks and I was belted firmly in and definitely along for the ride. The characters are well-developed, the plot intriguing and Roselle is no slouch though she may have a touch of Mary Sue-ness about her. Just a touch though. There’s intrigue and danger and even some romance in this intricate tale of rebellion. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger. Well, more of a transitional slope than an actual dive off a cliff. Roselle’s journey is far from over and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.