Novel: Paladin (Paladin #1) by Sally Slater
Published: May 10th, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating: 5/5 stars
I received this book for free from the author -THANK YOU! -in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.
Synopsis: Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam of Haywood is the most promising Paladin trainee in the kingdom of Thule… and knows it. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady Samantha, daughter of the seventeenth Duke of Haywood, and if her father has his way, she’ll be marrying a Paladin, not becoming one. But Sam has never held much interest in playing damsel-in-distress, and so she rescues herself from a lifetime of boredom and matrimonial drudgery. Disguised as a boy, Sam leaves home behind to fight demons-—the most dangerous monsters in Thule—-alongside the kingdom’s elite warriors. Pity that Tristan Lyons, the Paladin assigned to train her, is none other than the hero of her childhood. He hasn’t recognized her–yet–but if he does, he’ll take away her sword and send her packing. Sam is not the only trainee hiding secrets: Braeden is a half-demon with a dark past that might be unforgivable. Whether he can be trusted is anyone’s guess, including his.
“I have always known my own mind,” she said. “Who are you to tell me what I want?”
“I don’t do very well with can’t.”
Friends didn’t eat friends, even if they were a little deranged.
First of all, I want to thank the author, Sally Slater, for contacting me and letting me review her book. I liked the synopsis, and as you all may know, I love fantasy. It is by far my favorite genre. I can honestly say that this book did not disappoint!
What a wild ride. So we follow Sam’s story. It has always been her dream to become a Paladin, an elite group of warriors who fight demons. She has trained hard for years, and it’s time to go find her destiny. But you don’t become a Paladin easily. You need an actual Paladin to train you, sort of like a mentor. And that is where Paladin Tristan Lyons comes in. Only it’s not the first time they have met.
I would have loved this book if it was just a story on Sam training to become a Paladin in their fort. But it was so much more! It involves an epic journey on horseback, confronting your demons –both literally and figuratively– facing the truth and challenging your beliefs. I loved it. So much happened in this novel! It was an action-packed ride, and it kept me clustered to my tablet until I finished. In fact, I even got a sunburn out of it. I was reading this while lying in the sun and tanning. Only I kept reading and wasn’t paying attention to the heat, as I was sitting in a tiny pool –so you don’t feel that you’re burning at all. So watch out when you’re reading this book. It may captivate you until you lose track of everything around you.
First up, Sam! I’m going to be honest and say that I absolutely love her. She’s strong, fierce and most of all, a hard worker. She trained for years to achieve her dreams. She wasn’t just born with an incredible force or talent or power. Yes, it started with a talent. But she worked hard cultivating it. That is a heroine in my opinion. Not just by birth, but by work. And while I do not approve of every choice she has made, I can say that she’s not the type of MC girl who makes impulsive and ridiculous decisions. I love the first quote there: she knows her own mind, and heart. As everyone should, but not everyone does.
Next, Tristan. I am unsure what to think of him. On one hand, I think he is a good man. Honorable, fighting for what he believes is right. On the other hand, there are parts of him that I don’t like. But I won’t go too deep into those, as they are kind of a spoiler. All I have to say, is that I liked her choice at the end. You can’t love someone you don’t truly know. Also, he is just a tad sexist –which is kind of normal in those societies, and he’s trying to work on it, but still.
And then there is Braeden. Wow. Don’t really know what to say there either. I do love him! He is so complex and has dealt with a lot. I admire him, truly.
This story has so many great side characters. It’s not just Sam who has an interesting story! I love that. Every character is important here, and they all influence each other’s life which isn’t always shown in novels -even though it should.
This book is a delight. If you enjoy fantasy stories, or even just a action-packed novel about a kick-ass main character, I’d recommend this one. I read it in one sitting, because I was so clustered to the story. I’m looking forward to reading the next book!