Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review of Paladin by Sally Slater

Read for: NetGalley/ Requested Review
Synopsis: "Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam of Haywood is the most promising Paladin trainee in the kingdom of Thule… and knows it. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady Samantha, daughter of the seventeenth Duke of Haywood, and if her father has his way, she’ll be marrying a Paladin, not becoming one.

But Sam has never held much interest in playing damsel-in-distress, and so she rescues herself from a lifetime of boredom and matrimonial drudgery. Disguised as a boy, Sam leaves home behind to fight demons-—the most dangerous monsters in Thule—-alongside the kingdom’s elite warriors. Pity that Tristan Lyons, the Paladin assigned to train her, is none other than the hero of her childhood. He hasn’t recognized her–yet–but if he does, he’ll take away her sword and send her packing.

Sam is not the only trainee hiding secrets: Braeden is a half-demon with a dark past that might be unforgivable. Whether he can be trusted is anyone’s guess, including his.

As demons wreak havoc across the land, rebellion stirs in the West, led by a rival faction of warriors.

A war between men is coming, and Sam must pick a side. Will saving the kingdom cost her life–or just her heart?"

My Review: I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I can tell that there is a strong influence from Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness series (which I loved) just from reading the synopsis, this is not an issue for me as long as it isn't a duplicate. There was enough differences that I didn't end up comparing the two. I did however struggle a lot with the time frames, the author and editor needed to read this book again because there are major issues (ie. in the Prologue Sam is 6 months from her 17th birthday, when she must marry, and then throughout the book she hasn't yet reached that date but the events that take place at that time are mentioned as years in the past). I found that issue very distracting throughout the book. It also has the love triangle that seems to be required of any YA book anymore but I find needless. I did not find Sam to be tomboy enough for the roll she is set in either, yes her girlie side is going to slip from time to time but it is made so obvious that it couldn't be hidden. I did however very much enjoy Braeden and almost wish the book had been written from his viewpoint. Paladin has some interesting elements and has the ability to become a great epic fantasy series, I just hope that more attention is paid to details during the editing process.
My Rating: I am having a tough time rating this book because from the fantasy story end there is huge potential and it was enjoyable but the time framing issues and character issues were so distracting I had to at times push myself to continue reading. In the end I am going to have to give it a middle rating of Two Paws.


  1. Well dang! This one sounded so promising. Sigh! Maybe the publishers were on a rush to release it. So sad.

    1. It might still be enjoyable to someone else but the time issues just kept nagging at me through the whole book and drove me up a wall.