A Sharpened Axe

A Sharpened Axe

by Jill M. Beene
Genres: Fantasy
Published on December 15, 2018
Pages: 526
Source: Kindle Unlimited

A cursed nation. An unlikely heroine. Deadly stakes. This love could kill...

A jaded fae princess and a few words whispered in the dark...that's all it took for the prosperous country of Leiria to fall under a curse. Disease, famine and calamity followed. Fifteen years later, Samiris is one of the Chosen, a group of young women brought to the palace to try and break the curse. But if they fail, one of them will die.

Unlike the rest of the girls, who see living in the palace with the Crown Prince as an exciting privilege, Samiris is indifferent to the social whirl and offended by the sumptuous wealth present in the capital. She just wants to go home to take care of her sick father and younger sister.

Can Samiris survive the social intrigue at court, deadly plots against the Chosen, a seemingly unloveable Crown Prince, and a stubborn adversary to break the curse?

I found Jill M. Beene through her historical romance novels. I read both of the ones she had out and wanted to find more from this author so I picked up this fantasy book.

For 15 years there has been a curse on the country. All the fertility of the land is gone. To break the curse someone has to fall in love with the Prince. Every year girls from all over the country are brought to the capital for a high-stakes dating competition. One girl will be chosen. If she doesn’t truly love the Prince, she will be burned. If she does, the curse will be lifted.

This year Samiris is chosen. She is descended from a noble family. But her mother was disowned by her family for marrying a man they didn’t approve of. Samiris has been raised far away from the royal court. She doesn’t fit in at all with the fancier women she is now in the palace with. She spends most of her time trying to avoid her palace obligations.

Samiris is a great character. She’s offended that the capital still has food. She sees that the Prince is doing nothing to help refugees from her area. They are living in squalor and unsafe areas along an often-flooding river in the capital. She sets out to fix things instead of trying to fall in love with the Prince.

She makes this happen by befriending the servants in the palace and a legendary war horse. You have to appreciate any book that makes a horse one of the main characters.

Books in the YA fantasy category usually really annoy me. It is usually all about falling in love at the expense of anything else. I can’t stand the trope of teenagers being smarter than anyone else. This book doesn’t have the typical tropes. I quite enjoyed it.