Daughter Of No One by Sam LedelDaughter Of No One by Sam Ledel is the first book in The Odium Trilogy and it is a captivating fantasy that took me to book lovers’ paradise from the first page.

We don’t chose who we fall in love with because the heart wants what it wants…

Princess Aurelia has always longed for a life filled with never ending adventures and unconditional love. Her monotonous existence is shaken to the core from the moment she meets Jastyn, a woman who has been shunned by many in the Kingdom of Venostes. Aurelia will not ignore the burning passion she has for Jastyn because she’s never felt this way before and she can’t stop thinking or talking about Jastyn even though an unforeseen disaster strikes her family and pierces the heart of her kingdom.

Jastyn Cipher hates everything the royal family stands for because she holds them responsible for her family’s low social status in the village. She struggles with her budding attraction to Princess Aurelia because she only wants one thing from the royal family—a cure for Alanna’s illness or so she keeps telling herself.

When Aurelia is abducted and the Kingdom of Venostes is turned upside-down, Jastyn and Aurelia must engage in the battle of their lives against their fae and human enemies if they wish to see another day.

Will Jastyn be able to find the cure for her sister’s illness? Will Princess Aurelia and Jastyn be able to defeat their enemies and restore order to the Kingdom of Venostes? Will these two head-strong women be able to explore the desire that is brewing between them or will they allow their differences to keep them apart?

The Characters

Jastyn Cipher is an outcast in her village because of the peculiar circumstances of her birth. She will do anything for her ailing sister, Alanna, who is suffering from a deadly illness. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel drawn to Jastyn because she has a tender heart for others even though she tries to bury it under all the anger, disappointment, rejection and pain that have been her constant companions for as long as she could remember. I’m the proud giver of long, embarrassing and mushy hugs and I’m barely five feet tall. I would be delighted to give Jastyn a couple of those hugs because she has become my fictional Woman Crush Wednesday kinda woman (Saucy wink!)

Princess Aurelia Diarmaid is the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Venostes. She longs for a life of intrigue and adventure and she knows that she won’t find any of those things behind the castle walls. I really admire Aurelia’s desire to travel to uncharted territories and experience new things because even though I’m extremely curious—I’m more of a meticulous planner, not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of gal. So, I’ve got to bestow my coffee cup honor on Princess Aurelia because I just love a feisty, badass royal with a bad case of wanderlust.

The Writing Style

I was pleasantly surprised and blown away by Sam Ledel’s world building and her vivid descriptions of the Kingdom of Venostes. I just love the way the author portrayed Princess Aurelia and Jastyn’s personalities because she brought them to life for me and I felt as though I could easily picture these awesome women in my mind. I’ve got to admit that I also enjoyed the sizzling attraction and the entertaining banter between Princess Aurelia and Jastyn.

The Pros

Who can say no to devouring a captivating supernatural fantasy? I know for a fact that I have zero self-control when it comes to delightful stories like this one. This story ticked off all the right check boxes for me because it has a formidable fae population, a hilarious hedge-witch and magic-wielding humans! I just love a good armchair adventure because I got to live vicariously through Princess Aurelia and Jastyn.

The Cons

There were a few scenarios that were a bit rushed and they could have been expanded to give the story a smoother flow.

aprils favourite booksThe Conclusion

If you’re a huge fan of fantasy novels, especially if you love stories like this one that contains a host of supernatural beings, quirky characters coupled with action and excitement around every tree, winding path or humble abode, then this is definitely the story for you! This compelling story also deals with poverty, isolation and the huge chasm between the royal family and the low-class villagers. Well fellow book lovers, it really looks like you’ve just received a winning ticket to a literary lottery.

Excerpt from Daughter Of No One by Sam Ledel

“Jastyn, is it?”

The woman nodded.

“Please, what is your surname?”

A tint of color swam in Jastyn’s cheeks. “I am the daughter of Elisedd Eidhin of Marcra.”

“The horse master?” Drest stepped forward. “He has spoken of a daughter, but of a much younger one.” His hand drifted to the grip of his sword. Jastyn’s eyes followed this carefully.

“Yes, that would be my sister, Alanna. The one who is sick.”

Curiosity ran rampant within her, but Aurelia worked to maintain a calm façade. She imaged once again what her brother might do.

“I am sorry for your sister’s state,” she said. “But I’m afraid my mother and father, well, the whole castle, for that matter, we are frightfully busy at the moment. Things are…” She racked her mind, realizing news of potential war probably shouldn’t be shared with villagers. “We are simply handling too many affairs right now. I don’t think my mother, or rather, Queen Dechtire, would have time to offer aid at present.”

Jastyn’s eyes flashed with something, and her jaw tightened.

“Yes,” Drest added, “very important matters of the kingdom.” He put on his charming smile and moved past Aurelia into the pen. He walked up to Jastyn and placed one arm around her as Aurelia watched, wide-eyed.

“We are terribly sorry at the news regarding Elisedd’s daughter,” he cooed, and Aurelia cringed as he led Jastyn out of the pen and back to the stable doors. She had never minded Drest talking his way into a shorter lesson, but for some reason, his tone mixed with his arm around Jastyn felt wrong.

Aurelia and Coran, who had extracted his foot and was now untangling feathers from his hair, followed them outside. The sky was nearly dark, and the first few stars shone overhead. Drest was still talking when Jastyn slipped out from under his arm. Aurelia used the darkness to take in her fit figure, the hunting blade tucked against one boot, and the lightness of her hair under the rising moonlight. She had gone down into the village many times, usually on a solstice day or a kingdom holiday. Yet she couldn’t recall ever seeing a woman like her at any of the events. Jastyn’s clothing indicated a lower status, but everything else—from the swagger of her step to her strong-looking hands—exuded pride. There was a hardness to Jastyn, and Aurelia couldn’t help but find her intriguing. 

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The Odium Trilogy

Daughter Of No One: Book 1

Bits and Bobs

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