Thursday, May 19, 2011

Book Review: Nia by Mella Reese

When one kingdom conquers another, it's customary for the surrendering army to present a gift of some kind to their conquerors.  Sometimes it's land, or crops, or gold ... but in "Nia," a new fantasy novel by Mella Reese, the gift is a man.  That's right - the conquered kingdom offered up one of their own, a young man named Garreth, who will serve as Princess Nia's personal guard until her life, or his, comes to an end.

This is a nice concept, but in practical application, it's not working out so well.  Nia is not a typical princess, and she's not interested in being treated like a piece of glass. She'd rather ride her horse than wear fancy dresses and sit at tea.  She'd rather travel around and administer to the sick and needy in her kingdom than stitch tapestries.  The thought of being shadowed every minute of every day annoys her beyond belief, but if she doesn't accept Garreth as her guard, the other kingdom will be offended, and it would be a bad move, politically.  She knows she must do her duty to her kingdom, so she grudgingly accepts, and finds herself with the constant presence of a man who will not even meet her in the eye.

As time goes on, she finds another reason to be angry.  Garreth is a good man, one of kindness and talent, but he has committed himself to her service forever.  He will never marry or have children, and he will never have a life of his own.  Nia values human life and the individual's right to choose their own path, and she badly wants to free Garreth from his servitude, but he will not leave her.  His honor is stronger than his own personal desires, and he refuses to break his oath.

I enjoyed this novel on many levels.  It showed a smart heroine, a believable political struggle, and a true friendship that touched my heart.  I liked the twists and turns near the end, I loved how it didn't conclude the way I had thought, and most of all, I appreciated the examples of honor and true courage throughout.

Mella is going on tour with this novel, and you can follow all the reviews by clicking on this button.  Just check out the right-hand sidebar to see where "Nia" is appearing - the links will be updated as each review goes live.

FTC Disclaimer:  I was paid to coordinate this virtual book tour, but I was not paid for this review.  My opinions are my own. 


Author Mella Reese said...

Awwwww...thank you so much, Tristi! You summed it all up beeeaaauuuutttiiiiffffuuuulllly!
Do you mind if I put some bits and pieces of your review on my blog and fb?

Emily said...

Thanks for the review and the recommendations!

Nichole Giles said...

Sounds like my kind of book. I'm intrigued. Thanks for the review.

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