In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love. Quoted from Goodreads
That didn't happen---well, not really. I love that there were consequences to what Lia did, and horrible things did happen because of it. It emphasized her weakness, but then she does try and make up for what she did. Lia's character grows so much throughout the book. She isn't perfect, but she's likable, impulsive, sticks up for herself, and is willing to change.
Plus the author has some fun with the "love triangle." First, I guess I should explain, while it is a bit of a triangle, it's not the kind I hate. One guy is a clean winner for Lia's affection at the end, but up until then, she's just a girl who's kind of interested in two guys. Their relationships progress in a realistic way. We, also, get POV not only from Lia but from the prince and the assassin as well, which is excellent. For the first half the book, you don't know if she's falling for the prince or the assassin because their chapters could be from either POV of the two men Lia is falling for. It's delightful.
The action of the first book is kind of slow---but not boring. It's more romance, mystery, fish-out-of-water, and deception then sword fights and chase scenes, but it changes about half way through. That's not to say I didn't love the first half, because I did. The author put enough mystery and tension in there that you have to keep reading
Plus, the writing is beautiful. The first sentence begins the book with, "Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born." Gorgeous, right? And the rest of the book continues in that same vein.
Basically, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It came as a bit of a surprise how much I liked it, but if you loved The Winner's Curse half as much as I did, this is the next book you need to pick up. I'm giving it a stellar 4.5 stars. Now I'm desperately waiting for the next book in the series, The Heart of Betrayal, to come out.