Author: Trisha Wolfe
Publication: Spencer Hill Press (December 17, 2013)
Description: To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.
When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father's capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin. Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult.
When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart's twisted world, Zara's path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara's hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father's evil nature, or they will take him out. But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels' command and where the prince's heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she's truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart.
My Thoughts: FIREBLOOD seemed to me to be a book that was trying to do too much, trying to fit in too many of the popular tropes. It was post-apocalyptic since it took place after a war that devastated the Earth. It was dystopian because the enclosed world where all the remaining humans lived was ruled by a despot. There was an attempt at the requisite YA love triangle. And there was the sort of intrepid heroine who came off to me as wishy-washy.
For some unknown reason, Prince Sebastian decides to make Zara Dane his chosen bride. He has never met her. She is more interested in hiding her father's illness because all citizens with the Virus are taken away to die. Her first instinct is to escape. Where she might escape to remains in question as the humans are confined to a rather small dome separating them from the outside wilderness.
When Zara meets First Knight Devlan Capra her plan changes. Now, I am not sure why she is so attracted to him given that he blows hot and cold toward her and puts his duty ahead of her. However, compared to Prince Sebastian who is cruel and who attempts to force Zara to be intimate, he looks good. Still, Zara believes that she sees some kindness in Sebastian and thinks that she can influence him to change things when he is king.
When Zara learns that her father isn't dead but has been sent to the outside world to help provide the power for the city, Zara joins the rebels who want to defeat the evil King Hart and free all those Taken. Naturally, this gently reared girl who measures all of 5'2" turns out to be a natural at physical warfare defeating knights who have trained for years after only a few weeks of practice - practice taught by Devlan. Spending time with Devlan makes her love him more but she is still torn between him and the vision she has of a kinder, gentler Sebastian.
I had difficulty connecting with any of the characters and thrown out of the story frequently by the numerous coincidences that drove the plot. People who need one more dystopia might enjoy this story. I found it lacking something for me.
My father raised me with nurturing and books and discussion. How will any of that help when I need to be fearless and brave, strong and able to defend myself?I got this eARC from Spencer Hill Press through NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.