Title: STOLEN PRINCESS
Series: ROYAL CONQUEST SAGA #1
Author: NIKKI JEFFORD
Genre: NEW ADULT FAIRYTALES, FANTASY-RETELLING
Publication Date: NOVEMBER 11, 2018
ABOUT THE BOOK
She sacrificed herself to save her family from poverty…
The ball was only the beginning.
It wasn’t enough to kill my mate, heir to the throne. My obsessive Fae brother-in-law wants the crown. And he wants me ruling by his side.
I thought I was done with romance until a certain pompous elf reappeared in my life at the illustrious Monster Ball. A little teasing led to bruised lips and captured hearts. No one wants Jhaeros and me to be together, not even my favorite sister, Melarue. But she’s a teenager just coming into her elemental powers and discovering boys—the wrong kind—the type I want to shoot arrows through.
My royal-in-laws are playing a treacherous game, and my brother-in-law is determined to get what he wants. But this elf princess no longer has a master. I don’t want a crown. I want freedom, family, and the love of a lifetime. But love might be the one thing that destroys us all.
It was surprisingly good, which I didn’t expect at all. I wasn’t sure about this book before I read it, but the moment I started reading it, I can feel that it will be amazing. I was glad that it turns out to be a nice and beautiful story. Stolen Princess is the first book in the ‘Royal Conquest Saga’ series. This book are full of surprises, family drama, and plotting revenge. It was very intense.
The storyline was nicely done, and the whole thing about elves and faeries was amazing. I really dig the whole concept of elves, faeries, and humans. This book shows the differences between these three groups, and how their worlds are connected with one another. I truly liked the aspect of it actually. The author also included a small info on how elves and faeries travel to the human realm, and how humans travel to the supernatural realms, which was very rare to see in other books. I imagined the human realm in its modern era, the elven realm in its medieval era, and the faerie realm in its victorian era. That’s just how I picture the settings, and I’m sticking by it.
I was glad that there are mentions of the human realm, and how the elves and faes acknowledge it. Also, the concept of elves and faeries are so unique. The story shows a lot of differences between these two the most, and I totally get how these two groups doesn’t always get along with each other. And, from what I gather, the faeries are more vile compared to the elves. The elves are very clever, and definitely stubborn, but they know how to play dangerous games and win. To me, that makes the elves as much dangerous and intimidating as the faeries. This is the first book where I didn’t root for the faes.
The plot was amazing, and it has some twists in it too, which makes the story more intense and so interesting due to the amounts of surprises this book has. I totally didn’t expect any plot twist at all, hence the reason why I didn’t see the twists coming. Aside from that, the writing was also beautiful and very lyrical. I loved how smooth and steady the writing is. It keeps me connected to the story.
There wasn’t enough action in this book, the amount of action was very small but I find it satisfying somehow. It was very rare for a fantasy story to have very little action in it, like most fantasy books I’d read have so many high and intense actions. So seeing this book has little of it was truly surprising, but also nice for a change. As much as the lack of action kind of bothers me a little bit, I also enjoyed seeing Aerith and her in-laws (the faeries) playing their own cruel, wicked, and dangerous game to achieve their own goals. Seeing how they plan everything and how they play their games, it was very impressive. They’ve got some mad skills when it comes to it, and the games they’re playing at are very dangerous which makes the story more intense than it already is. I can see why this book doesn’t need heavy action to make the story intense, a bit complicated, and interesting. The whole politics of the royal faerie court was already intriguing enough to hold my interest.
The actions in this book are basically some swords training, a few short fighting competitions, and a few parts involving a little bit of magic. The swords training parts are my favorite. Magic doesn’t play a huge role in the story. So far the story introduced the fire magic which is an elemental magic, so I’m curious whether there are any elemental magic other than fire. Faerie magic also had an appearance in the story, but not too much…still, I find them quite amazing. The magic, the different realms, the cultures and traditions from each realms, everything was on point…Hence the reason why the world-building was so impressive. The story was on point, no filler contents which makes the pacing of the story fast. Everything are straight to the point, no delays at all. To me, this book gets it all right.
The characters are a mix of good and bad…but not bad as in “villainous bad,” just bad. The story doesn’t have any villains at all, it was just the brother and sister-in-laws playing a very dangerous game and did something really bad. I feel like Aerith’s in-laws (Liri, Sarfina, Jastra, and Teryani) are all good people, but their ambition on wanting to have the throne and their craving for more power are what drive them to do something really unforgivable, such as murder. The story shows both of their bad and good side, so it was a bit confusing sometimes seeing how they treated Aerith with kindness one day, and then mistreated her the next. It was like Aerith is Cinderella, and her sister-in-laws are the cruel stepsisters, except in this one Aerith is controlling the game and she knows how to win.
Aerith is the main protagonist of the story, one of the best heroine in a fantasy book. She has a strong mind, brilliant brain, and high intelligence. She can physically fight just fine, and doesn’t need anybody’s help at all. But, her intelligence is the most important thing in the story. Without it, she won’t be able to play her in-laws wicked games and survived. She went through a lot of tough challenges in her life; she had to left her life behind at the start of the story, all of the huge responsibilities are hers because she’s the eldest, and she had to face her wicked in-laws and fight for her own survival. All of this test only help her get stronger and turn her into someone that can’t be easily defeated. Aside for being clever and strong, she was also very patient. She has been very patient throughout the whole book, and slowly play her own game to eliminate her in-laws and their games. Her campaigne board does help put her game slowly in motion. The moment she said “I might be a captive, but I was nobody’s bride,” I knew she already start her game.
She’s a badass heroine, one who knows how to win. I really liked her character a lot, and she does have a nice attitude, and bright personality. The way she cares for her own people just shows how big her heart is, and she always take a good care of her youngest sister, Mel and will do anything protect her. Aerith doesn’t have magic or any supernatural power, she just have her intelligence and her fighting skills, and that was enough to help her in any situations. This is why Aerith is one of the most unique heroine in fantasy books, because most fantasy books have heroines with magical abilities but not smart enough to get them out of any dangerous situations. Aerith is different, she’s tough and also smart enough to figure out everything, and find a way to free herself. She doesn’t need to rely on anyone at all, and she definitely isn’t a damsel in distress. I’m so thankful that the author display Aerith’s independency in this book. It helps make her character look more important, more intimidating, and mostly make her look strong instead of weak whenever she’s with her in-laws. Despite her little weakness and flaws, Aerith is a brilliant heroine and one of the best female protagonist.
Melarue is one of the main character in the story, she is Aerith’s youngest sister. People can easily see her as young and naive, and not yet mature. But to me, she is mature enough to handle things on her own without anyone’s help. She definitely learns a lot from Aerith. She’s just as independent as her sister, but she does have her own weakness too. I thought she wasn’t important, but it turns out she play an important part in the story too. Mel is tough and is pretty smart too, but since this isn’t her story and it’s not about her, she doesn’t have much time to shine. I’m happy to see the author did her character right, just like Aerith. I can’t wait to see more of her.
Jhaeros is Aerith’s mate/lover, and he is my most favorite hero in the story. He came off as obnoxious, and the type who likes to show-off and look down on others which makes me feel so irritated by him. But I’ve come to love his character due to the change in his behavior. He has always been kind, but that side of him shine brighter whenever he was around Aerith. He was tough and much stronger than any male characters in the book so far. As much as he has to rely on his strength when it comes to protecting Aerith, he also has to rely on his intelligence. The things he did just to get back to Aerith and protect her was not an easy one. He had to make a plan and make it as good as it can be, just so he can reunite with Aerith again. His fast-thinking ability only add to the more reason why he wasn’t easy to get rid of. He was a nice gentleman, and is a very caring person. He was also a very dedicated man, and has strong determination. Jhaeros is a great hero, and to me there is no one that can beat him, he’s just the best ever.
Liri is one of the main character in the story. He is Aerith’s brother-in-law who is obsessed with her. He was just as wicked as his sisters, but his brothers are not as bad as him. Cirrus, his older brother who was Aerith’s husband is far more better than him to me (based on Aerith’s memories of Cirrus). Sadly, Cirrus appeared for like a few seconds only. Liri is very ambitious, and he was proven to be so evil. The things he did just to achieved his own goals only proved how evil he can be. He managed to kill two of his own family members just to get what he wanted the most: the throne. He is a great king, and know how to protect his throne and his kingdom as a whole, I have no doubt about that.
He’s not a villain or the big bad of the story, his role was a bit confusing. He treated Aerith with kindness and even defended her, but all of his kindness have meanings. His motive was to make Aerith as his queen and making sure Aerith want him. His mission failed big time! I’m glad for that. Sometimes he was all good, and most of the times he was all bad. I know that he has the capability of redeeming himself, and the couple of chapters before the story ends showed how different Liri has become and that’s when I knew he will get a redemption arc next. I was really irritated by his presence alone for majority of the book. I couldn’t stand him because he was just like any other bad guys who wanted to get the girl of his dream and even kidnapped the said girl and forced her to marry him. His obsession with Aerith disgust me. I just want to get rid of him.
The romance between Jhaeros and Aerith was very lovely. It was an enemies-to-lovers trope, as in two people who couldn’t stand each other slowly fall in love. These two basically irritated by each other’s presence at the start of the story, but a few months later Jhaeros and Aerith reunite and that’s when things start to changed for both of them. I loved how they take things slowly. Jhaeros treated Aerith with love and kindness, and he even willing to do so many sacrifices just to get her back. Aerith on the other hand fought so hard to be with him again. These two are the perfect match, and I’m glad things work out so well for them. The night of their reunion was pretty steamy and I really liked it. All the challenges they had to face was to test how much they love each other, and how strong is their loyalty to one another. I really loved these two, and their relationship was so beautiful. The build up to their romance was slow but realistic. They have a great chemistry, and their connection was strong that no one is able to permanently tear them apart. I just loved this powerful couple.
The story ended nicely. Although there is a continuation, the ending make it feel like it could be a standalone. I really liked how the author ended the story, where everyone get what they wants, and things are calming down and back to normal once again. I’m just glad everything works out for everyone, but I’m mostly happy for Jhaeros and Aerith for getting their HEA, these two really deserved to be happy together.
I enjoyed the whole story, and really loved the direction the author went for. I truly find this book so beautiful in so many ways. If you love a good story about elves and fairies, full of court intrigues and many surprises, and a lovely sweet but steamy romance featuring a strong and independent female protagonist, then I suggest you to pick up this book. It was a very entertaining tale.
Nikki Jefford is an award-winning, bestselling author of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and quirky combinations in-between.
She is a third-generation Alaskan now living in the Pacific Northwest with her Westie, Cosmo, and her French husband, who she wouldn’t trade in for anyone–not even Spike or Mr. Darcy!
When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking, or out riding her motorcycle, a Honda CB500F, (so long as it’s sunny and warm)!