Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vouched Book! The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell

The Cadet of Tildor
Alex Lidell
Publication: January 10th 2013 by Dial
Genre: YA Fantasy

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Tamora Pierce meets George R. R. Martin in this smart, political, medieval fantasy-thriller.

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.

It's so hard writing reviews for books I absolutely love. I feel as if I can't ever give them the justice they deserve, and I don't want to give too much away or build your expectations so high that you walk away disappointed. The Cadet of Tildor  is one of those stories. After turning the last page and closing the book, I gave a little sigh and pet the backcover a little because I was so satisfied, as well as a bit sad that it was over.

Alex Lidell created a wonderful, exciting world I wanted to live and stay in. Soldiers and mages, highborn and criminals, the content middle-class to the trapped—they were captured all so well, showing how people aim for the same ends but by different means and how their actions affect everyone. Her descriptions were vivid, but not too much that I felt it dragged out, and every single one of her characters were distinctive. I felt as if I knew most of them within a few paragraphs.

Even better, the female protagonist, Renee de Winter, though flawed, was realistic and strong. She didn't have superpowers or do anything extravagant or outrageous. It was her loyalty, determination, and sense of self that made her amazing. I especially appreciated how, with every experience, her views would shift slightly; nothing happened without reason or consequence. And she didn't pine over a boy or let him change her. It was so refreshing.

Though some might not like him, I loved Korish Savoy. His arrogance worked for me. He had a reason to be so confident and kind of a brush-off. Not only is he a legend of all soldiers and cadets, but he knew his priorities. Sure, I would've enjoyed more romance between him and Renee, but it wouldn't have been them, and it's the consistency and gradual growth of these characters that I really appreciated.

There were a lot of events that happened in this book. The action was non-stop, and I couldn't put the book down, but the plot was well paced. I could easily keep up, and I was never impatient or felt that everything was rushed either. The rules and philosophies of the world were complex and believable, too. Alex Lidell's storytelling is fantastic. I couldn't be more thrilled to have stumbled upon her and this book. The Cadet of Tildor  is must-read. NOW. Especially if you like strong males, even stronger females, and a vivid world to lose yourself in.