I really wanted to like this one, but I just couldn’t get behind it. The plotline is pretty generic and I’ve seen this trope done before a bunch of times. The MC is a girl who’s pretended to be a boy for most of her life. I guess the twist is that she’s not an orphan or a runaway in the military – she’s still at home. Her father needs to provide a male heir and so after her mother dies giving birth to her, he pretends that she’s a boy. This is where I started having trouble. The mother’s dying wish was for the father never to remarry, and that’s a big ask because there was no male heir. This is a society where women absolutely do not inherit and do not do much outside get married and have kids or have some sort of ‘feminine’ job like a seamstress. To ask this of a nobleman without an heir is … sort of unbelievable. The fact that for 18 years the father HASNT remarried and instead commits treason by pretending to have a son is a little ridiculous. I feel like with tweaks to the story this could have been written in a way that’s more believable. Mildly different circumstances for why she has to pretend to be a boy would be easier to swallow, at least for me.
I also wasn’t warming up to the main character. She went from being mature and someone who thinks ahead and plans… so someone who’s impulsive and puts herself in danger frequently. When it’s revealed to a couple people that she’s actually a woman it wasn’t as much of a problem as you’d expect it to be, it went down a little too easily.
Eventually, Reid finds herself caught by the duke’s sons and found out to be a woman. In return for their silence, they require her to come and serve the king, and once they no longer have use for her, she can go back home and they will allow her father to break the rules and let her inherit – solving the heir problem, and the beheading for treason problem. It seems too good to be true, but she doesn’t have a choice if she doesn’t cooperate she’s going to be hanged along with the rest of her family.
I got a bit further than that in the plot, I made it to about 50% before I put this one down. I didn’t find myself motivated to continue listening because there was no hook that really sunk into me. The world was pretty generic, the characters were too, and so was the plot. Maybe something happens later on in the book that would prove me wrong, but I didn’t get there.