Today, I am very excited to be posting a review as part of the Cadet of Tildor blog tour through AToMR tours! Some of you may have noticed that I've been a little obsessed with this book...having already posted an Anxiously Awaiting... about Cadet, the book trailer reveal, and then as one of the Tildor Heralds (Alex's street team for the book), I created and oversaw the book's online scavenger hunt in November! Now, with the book coming out later this week, I'm so happy to finally be able to post a review and tell you what I thought of the actual book!!
The Cadet of Tildor
by Alex Lidell
Publication date: January 10, 2013
There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown’s inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right.
Reminiscent of my all-time favorite author, Tamora Pierce, Alex Lidell's debut book is a story of a young woman determined to make a difference in the world. To do so, Renee refuses to let her father buy her a post in the kingdom's guards (as most nobles would have done) and decides to enter the Academy of Tildor to train among the country's elite regardless of social/economic standing, and to become a Servant to the Crown.
Struggling to compete with boys who are bigger and stronger, Renee finds herself on probation, with the possibility of being asked to leave the Academy. With a father who does not support her life decision, the Academy is the only place that Renee truly feels at home and she cannot bear to leave it and her close friends, Sasha and Alec. Even when she returns for her final year at the Academy and finds herself clashing with her new instructor, the enigmatic Commander Savoy, legend and reluctant teacher, Renee refuses to give up her life and her pursuit of justice.
Set in a medieval style world, I found Lidell's setting for the book to be fascinating. Not only does Renee want to help protect her kingdom, especially as a very young ruler has just taken over and assassination attempts seem to be piling up around them, but she is also coming into contact with members of both the Vipers (a drug cartel style family run by a matriarch) and the Family (the mafia like group that extorts people for protection, etc.). Add to that political boiling pot the existence of mages, strictly controlled by the government, and you have a world full of unrest and potential disaster.
With a main character who has a strict sense of morality, a firm belief in justice, and unwavering loyalty to her friends, The Cadet of Tildor will most definitely appeal to fans of Tamora Pierce's books. The political unrest and intrigue will appeal to fans of Meghan Whalen Turner. The blend of a medieval setting and fantasy elements will appeal to fans of Sarah J. Maas. I would personally recommend this book to just about anyone. It has swordplay, betrayals, BIG secrets, friendships, parties, dancing, and even kissing...but not too much kissing.
This book right now is a stand-alone, but Lidell left just enough open that there could be *at least* one more book about Renee...in fact, I'm keeping my fingers crossed because I would love to see her take on the world! (Hear that, Penguin? I vote, YES!, on another book!!!)
Don't forget to check out the blog tour schedule over at AToMR tours to get more of the scoop on The Cadet of Tildor and to enter the author's giveaway!!
You can also find out more information about the author, Alex Lidell, on her website or
stalk, I mean follow her like I do on twitter @alexlidell.
Full disclosure: eARC received through NetGalley as part of the blog tour