posted at Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 at 3:21 AM | Reviews, Young Adult
Series: Aurelia #2
Published by Speak on April 28, 2011
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Crown princess Aurelia is a survivor. She survived attempted assassination. She survived the king's rejection. She survived her mother's abandonment. And now, in exile, she must survive her kingdom-from hostile crowds to raw frontier to desert sands. But even as unknown assailants track Aurelia and expedition guide Robert, she knows her greatest risk is falling in love...
Exile moved along a bit slower than its predecessor, but still contained many of the qualities that made Aurelia so enjoyable. The beautiful and loving descriptions are definitely still present (my childhood adoration of horses never ended…); I really want to see the Geordian horses! The romance was here, although a bit more frustrating than before. The cuteness of the initial attraction is gone and now Robert and Aurelia are getting all dramatic and overthinking absolutely everything. Plus, there are no juicy descriptions, which is classy but still a bit disappointing.
Aurelia remains a delightful heroine, full of spunk, wit and compassion. She, like all of the best heroines, constantly challenges the world around her, seeking to improve it. There are a number of times where times get tough and she starts to break down or to complain. Instead of giving into that impulse, she very quickly reins herself in (horse pun…I think Aurelia would approve, or, at the very least, Osterlund would!) and comes up with a solution to the problem. Too few YA heroines have this strength and cleverness.
Exile was good, but likely will be the weakest in a really great series. My reason for saying this is that it is so clearly a transitionary book, serving the purpose of getting Aurelia and Robert to where they need to be for the next book. Do not take this as a huge criticism, but as an explanation as to why this installment moves a bit more slowly. Actually, the only thing I really didn’t like about this sequel was the cover. It bothers me that they so obviously chose a different model, when I take both as an intended representation of Aurelia. Covers aside, you better believe I’ll be going along on Aurelia’s next journey!