Being raised by the King and Queen of the Elves has given Marin quite a diverse background. Burdened by her humanity and femininity, she must push herself and train every day just to hold her own against the elves around her. Amadis, Queen of the Elves, continues to try to turn Marin into a lady, but the one thing Marin desperately wants is to be the first girl to graduate Macon Academy to be a mercenary. Just when she thinks the goal is within reach, a kidnapping attempt puts those around her in fear. Why would someone want to kidnap her? And what is this fire building within her that she never noticed before?
Her worries seem to be compiling as not only the kidnapping attempts make her uneasy, but now her feelings for her best friend, Favian, are changing in a way she does not understand. She must begin to deal with the surmounting issues of her femininity, her ever increasing passion for fighting, her feelings for Favian, and the reason there are people trying to kidnap her.
I have to say that I can make it official that I'm a fan of Banks' writing. It turns out it wasn't just her Artemis Lupine series that captivated me, but this one as well. Banks puts a ton of action and suspense into her story lines, while also making room for just the right amount of character development and squeezing in the perfect details exactly where you'd want them.
She brings fun friendships to the table with her characters and sweet amounts of romance or at least the hints or beginnings of what could be a later romance between certain characters in this tale as well. I've always enjoyed a good fantasy novel, and this one was no exception. While readers will find some of the stereotypical fantastical creatures within these pages, they're not all portrayed as we usually find them...differences here and there that I found refreshing and unique.
What I love about Banks' stories most of all is that she keeps things moving. I've yet to feel a slow point in her titles and I was relieved that this series opener wasn't any different. Readers won't find any frustrating lulls, but action and anxiety inducing situations that will leave you wanting to read straight through to the very end. It's a light and fun read that if you haven't had the chance to read, this summer might just be the perfect time to do just that!