Demon Princess by Kassandra Lynn
With her father and brother missing, Demon Princess Adrianna is about to take the throne when she is impossibly summoned by mage in training Aldric. Trapped among her enemies, under the command of a boy who hates her, she has to hide who and what she is while planning an escape. And is there more to her family than she originally believed?
Despite what my and the Goodreads summary would suggest, the two main characters are Adrianna and Keldrin, Aldric’s cousin. For me all the characters were a bit hit and miss. I could understand Adrianna but I just couldn’t connect to her. She was a slightly spoiled princess with too much pride for her own good. She was also a girl put into an impossible situation, desperate to keep her family reputation despite how scared she was. I don’t know why I couldn’t connect with her, she was written reasonably well and was well rounded but I just couldn’t get there. Hell, I think she was the best written out of all the other characters. They were mostly one dimensional – Keldrin was just kind, he had a sad background but it doesn’t really show through in his character, Alrdic is just a mean selfish jerk and well those are the characters you see the most of. Razen was ok. Much like Adrianna I could understand but not connect to. The only time I felt for him was when he was talking about the phoenix but other than that I was just apathetic, partially because it didn’t feel like he was there much.
I liked the cover. That and the title was what attracted me to the book. It reminded me of the last book I read The Demon’s Grave but it feels misleading, no idea why. From that and the summary I thought it was urban fantasy, set in a version of our world, but it isn’t. It has its own world which I read as well but I just wasn’t expecting it.
The world building itself was just ok for me, more like a brief synopsis of the world than being immersed in it but that could change in the rest of the series – same with the one dimensional characters. The world is split into three lands- the demon kingdom, the human kingdom and the barren land in-between. From what I understand all humans are mages who when they reach a certain age can summon a beast to serve them, sort of like a deamon in His Dark Materials but more slave like. I think there are other magical creatures as well- they mention a phoenix and the fae – but they are not really important in this first story.
The book is short – the ebook version I read was 119 pages from cover to end notes – but it felt really long. TBH that could have been because I felt really uncomfortable reading it. I didn’t like the subject of Adrianna being a slave, especially how Aldric treats her, its downright abusive at times, neglectful the rest. This wasn’t helped by others clearly leering at her and suggesting that Aldric use her in other ways within the first three pages, knowing she had to obey his every command. I wasn’t planning on finishing it, but I was curious enough to carry on despite my feelings. Love to say the feeling went away … but it didn’t.
There is a romance factor in the story which was well done. It was an instant attraction but the ‘I love you’ moment was justified. The time period was a couple of months and they had time to get to know each other before they acted on their attraction. The fact that the story is so short makes it seem shorter but oh well.
Overall, I’m not a fan of the book and have no intention of reading the rest of the series. I didn’t enjoy reading and kind of wished I stopped when I planned to, I definitely have other books I would have preferred. I wouldn’t personally recommend it to others but from the Goodreads reviews I think I’m in a minority.