The Amiestrin Gambit (The King’s Daughter, #1)

4.5 stars, actually.

I’m a hard sell for the common fantasy trope: put a young noble in a school where they learn magic or martial skills. It’s been done, yeah? So at first I was a little skeptical. I do love Cheney’s other series, so I gave it a chance. And of course, there’s a reason I love Cheney’s series, it’s the characters.

This book loses .5 star because I was for the longest time confused by a barrage of names, countries, and titles (sub-marshall?) and ethnicities that I had to learn for this world. Granted, figuring out geo-politics isn’t my catnip. About halfway through the ebook, I realized there was most likely a glossary/cast list somewhere, and found it in the back. That helped ALOT.

But the thing is, even with my confusion, the characters immediately drew me in. Both the two POV characters: Ellis the sincere, well-meaning daughter of the King and Llelas, the heir to the Sandrine province and Gifted seer.

And then I started to kind of fall in love with their merry band of cadets at the school. This is the first book of this kind I’ve read that doesn’t solely focus on things like bashing each other with swords. There’s like snow bivouacs, strategy, horsemanship, etc.

The other small complaint I have is that it ends too soon, with TONS of question unanswered. I already pre-ordered the next book because I must find out who is behind the attempts on Ellis’ life, what happened to Llelas’ Grandfather, and why Captain Dantreon dislikes Llelas so much.

I thought it natural that the two POVs would be set up as romantic foils, but so far that isn’t really happening in the first book, and indeed, Ellis actually notices another man that way, so I’m wondering if there’s going to be a love triangle later on. (I hope so!)