Title: Realm of Knights (Knights of the Realm #1)
Author: Jennifer Anne Davis
Publisher: Reign Publishing
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Reid has spent her whole life pretending to be a man so she can inherit her father’s estate, but when a chance encounter threatens to expose her lie, she is forced to risk everything.
In the kingdom of Marsden, women are subservient to men and land can only pass from father to son. So when Reid Ellington is born, the fifth daughter to one of the wealthiest landholders in the kingdom, it’s announced that Reid is a boy.
Eighteen years later, Reid struggles to conceal the fact she’s actually a young woman. Every day, her secret becomes harder to keep. When one of Marsden’s princes sees her sparring with a sword, she is forced to accept his offer and lead her father’s soldiers to the border. Along the way, she discovers a covert organization within the army known as the Knights of the Realm. If Reid wants to save her family from being arrested for treason and robbed of their inheritance, she will have to join the Knights and become a weapon for the crown.
To protect her family, Reid must fight like a man. To do that, she’ll need the courage of a woman.
Special thanks to Netgalley and Reign Publishing for sending me this ebook in exchange for an honest review! I flew through this book in just a few hours (it’s on the shorter side), which just shows how into it I was! (I also feel like I say this about every book I read… I swear I actually have a life and a real job outside of reading!)
Realm of Knights follows Reid Ellington, who is a woman pretending to be a man so her fathers duchy can stay in their family. Under Marsden law, a female can not inherit land – so Reid’s father made the difficult decision to force Reid to be a male in public. Reid’s secret almost gets out when the Princes of the Realm come knocking on their door – blackmailing Reid into riding with them to the capital. Prince Ackley has a special mission that only Reid can accomplish. Reid is quickly swept away into a world she has no experience in, but is uniquely qualified to succeed in.
I adore reading about knights, kings, queens, and epic quests. This sub-genre of book is what first captivated me and made me love reading. Add in a woman pretending to be a man, and I am SOLD. I loved the plot, the twists & turns, and all of the characters. The budding love story is such a slow burn, with an element of being unrequited as they are unable to be together. All told, this is a very well constructed book.
One critique I have is that I wanted more. I felt like the plot could have been expanded upon to explain more. The book is fairly short, not even hitting 300 pages. I would have loved to see more, and I can only hope that she will write longer books as the series continues. I will definitely be coming back to read sequels. After that ending, I need to know who the good/bad guys are!
For fans of Tamora Pierce, Jennifer Anne Davis weaves a tale straight out of Medieval times, with a hint of progression towards modern age thinking. If sword fights, political intrigue, and wily Princes get your bookworm senses tingling, I suggest you give this one a try!
Happy reading, bookish friends 🙂