Champion of the Rose
by Andrea K. Höst
Series: Darest, Book 1
Published by Andrea K. Höst, 2010
Synopsis: Soren Armitage is an anachronism. Proclaimed Rathen Champion by the Rathen Rose, intended to support the rule of a Rathen King or Queen.
But there are no Rathens.
Resigned to symbolising only Darest’s faded glories, Soren is not prepared for the sudden appearance of a Rathen. Now she must find and support the heir despite the machinations of the kingdom’s regent, sylvan curses, and the strange behaviour of once-dormant protective enchantments. While the odds seem stacked against her, Soren is determined to do her best to live up to the name of Rathen Champion. But what is she to do when it seems that there is something very wrong with her Rathen? Can she trust the person she is meant to protect?
One thing to decide she had to live up to the title of Champion, to argue for the right to risk herself. Quite another matter to actually play hero.
What worked for me:
- The world building and premise of the book are unique for me.
- The book is told from Soren’s point of view which made the other characters more mysterious. I like that in this book. In some books that’s a detriment, but it works in this book.
- I didn’t understand everything right away. It gradually unfolded. I like it when an author tells things gradually and I begin to understand.
- Soren doesn’t mind being a nonentity and ignored in the beginning of the book. When she has to be more–an actual Champion to the King–that’s when she doesn’t feel capable.
- The Rathen Rose is an interesting concept along with it’s entaglement with the Champion and Rathen King or Queen.
- Lots of interesting characters–Strake, Aspen, Jansette, the Regent, Aristide, Halcean–all interesting people and part of the politics of court. I like the political intrigue which is so much of this story.
- Soren isn’t always right about what she thinks of some of the characters. We find out more about several characters as she does.
- I like the romance Ms. Höst puts in her stories. It’s just right for a fantasy so the focus of the book doesn’t become the romance.
- Sexual situations do occur in the story and some people might have problems with them. I feel Ms.Höst deals with these situations in a realistic way for this story.
What didn’t work:
- Everything worked!
Once again Ms. Höst creates a fantasy I loved reading. Each of the three series I’ve read by her are quite different. I like that. I have many authors and books I enjoy, but sometimes the books by certain authors are quite predictable. Sometimes I don’t mind that, but it’s also refreshing to find an author who manages to write a more unique plot in each of her stories…a story that keeps me guessing. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the Darest series–Bones of the Fair–was published at the end of November 2013. 🙂
Do you read Andrea K. Höst’s books? What ones are your favorites? If you have read any books by her and you enjoy fantasy she is a good author to read!