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The Tarnished

If you haven't read Book 1: The Blameless yet, check out more about it here!

The land of Predonia is divided: on one side, the evil Vaylec leads the people through fear and distrust. On the other, rebels hold out hope for the return of Princess Briana to restore peace and prosperity to her war torn homeland. But Brie is once again on the run, protected by her three stalwart uncles and unshakable best friends. As they journey across the countryside, Brie begins to realize the true gravity of her role as the last of her ruling line and just how much of the populus supports her efforts. With each passing day, the stakes are driven ever higher, and Brie must embody both strength and leadership to become the queen her people need her to be.

This second in the Blameless series begins not long after the first book ends and focuses a great deal on the relationships and feelings that will become necessary for Brie's ultimate success. From the very beginning, readers get a strong look at the people surrounding Brie and believing in her–often more than she believes in herself. The beginnings of romance are budding between Brie and Taeo, and Brie's uncles all have lives of their own beyond protecting her. At fourteen years old, Brie does not visualize herself as the leader of a country, but she begins to realize just how important she is to a positive future for Predonia.

It is important to have read the first book in the series before beginning this second one, and even if it has been a while since reading the initial installment, this book does a good job re-immersing readers in Brie's world. Believable dialogue and a strong plot keep readers engaged throughout the story, and though the novel is primarily focused on building a foundation for the dynamic conclusion to come, it is nonetheless enjoyable in its own way. Heartwarming and cinematically written, this series is excellent for early young adult readers who are prepared for the challenge of more difficult literature with a plot that is well suited to a younger audience. This is a highly recommended fantasy adventure series for young adult readers.

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