Realm of Knights (Knights of the Realm, # 1)
By: Jennifer Anne Davis
Publication: September 10th 2019 by Reign Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--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.
Realm of Knights was quite a bit different from what I expected based on the description. I was expecting Reid to be hiding her gender through the entire book, but her identity is revealed to the princes pretty quickly and from there on it isn't much of a secret except from a few people.
I know that the societal roles of women in this world are important for comparing and contrasting Marsden with other places. This is necessary for the story, but there were times when I was so over the discussion of how bad women have it in that society. It did make me thankful for how far we have come from a time in history that was similar or even worse on women than what was portrayed in the culture of this fictitious nation.
My biggest frustration with Realm of Knights was how quickly things seemed to happen, big decisions being made, feelings declared, a little too easy fixes. Reid is swept away from home to the castle. Revealed to be a girl. Joins the Knights without really finding out what that means. Sent on a mission with zero real skills to accomplish said mission. The same complaint goes for Reid and Gordon. Reid finds him attractive and he's pretty much the first person she's ever had a crush on. She and Gordon really didn't have enough interactions for me to have built any level of depth to their relationship.
Ultimately that ending is what saved Realms of Knights for me. I can't stop thinking about where that ending might go. Which direction is Jennifer Anne Davis going to take this in? I went hunting for book 2 even though this one has barely been released.
Realms of Knights wasn't without issues for me. I was reading it quickly and wanted to know what was going to happen, but I felt the writing could have been stronger. Until that ending. I just need to get my hands on the next book to see what's going to happen. Realms of Knights gets 4 Stars. Have you read Realms of Knights? What did you think? Let me know!