Title: The Golden Apple
Author: Michelle Diener
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: The Golden Apple, book one
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A romantic, fun thrill ride of an adventure, I enjoyed The Golden Apple, despite some flaws--a light, fun fantasy.
This novel was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Kayla, Princess of Gaynor, is her own woman. But despite that, her father has offered up her hand in marriage to the highest bidder--that is, the man who can snatch the golden apple from her lap--like a piece of meat. Rane, a simple woodsman, has just deflowered Kayla the night before, having his own reasons for participating in the contest. But when the contest ends, the two find themselves thrust into a web of power, deception, and danger--leading across the country in a desperate race against time, to save what they both hold dear, and each other.
What I enjoyed:
-The premise of the novel was really interesting, a combination of the movie Brave and a fairy tale--I really liked it
-Kayla--I liked the way she was such a strong character, defiant, headstrong, beautiful and yet still full of depth
-Rane, and his devotion to his family--at first he really seemed like quite the rake, but I really grew to like him
-The journey that is led throughout the novel, full of magic and danger and romance
-The chemistry between Kayla and Rane, crackling with heat and electricity throughout the entire novel
-The pacing of the novel was breakneck, but it wasn't hard to follow at all--it was very smooth
-The mythology of the novel, particularly with the way magic tied into the novel
-Eric, a truly terrifying villain--he was frightening and scary and truly evil
-The cliffhanger ending, promising a sequel
What could've been better:
-Kayla, in the beginning, was hard for me to relate to, acting like a spoiled brat for the first part of the book
-It was very light, lighter than I was expecting
-I wish Rane's and Kayla's origins were both explained better, more deeply
I liked The Golden Apple--a light, enjoyable romp of an adventure! Next on deck: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong!