Sunday, August 25, 2013

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Short stories are awesome.  They give us in-depth insight into characters, providing anecdotal proof of why some characters are they way they are.  They entertain by creating a certain mood or focusing on a singular effect...some instance in a previous body of work (or one to follow) that might have been glossed over or ignored completely in a longer novel. 

And so, every Sunday for the foreseeable future, I would like to highlight short stories and novellas set in worlds I've already come to love and learn a little more about some of the secondary characters in my favorite novels.  I'll be underscoring some of my favorite aspects of these short works of fiction, in addition to offering up a mini review of each work.

This week I'm featuring a prequel story from the Fire and Thorns world:

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Title: The King's Guard
Author: Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns, book #0.7
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

At fifteen years old, Hector is the youngest squire in the most elite military force in the country. And his first day is disastrous. Everyone assumes the only reason he was recruited is his close personal association with King Alejandro, not because he's really earned it.

But Alejandro needs Hector for a secret mission, one that gives him the chance to prove to everyone—including himself—that he is worthy to be a Royal Guard. Hector must break into the ancient Fortress of Wind to retrieve something so important that the kingdom's future depends on it. What Hector finds in the fortress will stretch his bond of friendship with his king near to breaking. And it will prepare him to become the fearsome warrior and lord commander Elisa will never let go.

A riveting prequel to Rae Carson's epic and acclaimed Fire and Thorns series.

HECTOR!!!!!!  Hectorhectorhectorhectorhector!!!!!  Okay, I'm done.

Admittedly, I was hesitant to read this novel because I knew the Elisa/Hector swoons would be non-existent since this is Hector's POV prior to Elisa's reign in Joya d'Arena.  But then all I had to remember was how I love Hector and that he's quite possibly one of my favorite love interests ever, and I was convinced this novella needed to be read, despite the fact that I've already finished reading the full-length novels in the series.

And I'm really glad I did.  Not only do you get a peak at Hector as a young man, vying for his spot as a member of the Royal Guard, but you get to see Alejandro with his first wife, Rosaura.  Oh, and how Hector is instrumental in Rosario's birth.  It's quite priceless.  I never would have guessed...

Also, Fernando.  I had to double-check the name, but as soon as he was described as a superior archer, I knew it had to be that Fernando.  Not that he was given much mention in the books, but the fact that I remember him is significant.  But I do have a fondness for archery.  =)

I've loved all of the novellas in this series, but I think this is my favorite because even though we know Hector as the honorable man he is now, it was nice to see that he was the same at the tender age of 15.

**You don't have to read any of the prequel novellas, but you totally should.**

Rating:   photo 4-1.png

the Fire & Thorns series
The Shadow Cats (Fire and Thorns, #0.5)The Shattered Mountain (Fire and Thorns, #0.6)The King's Guard (Fire and Thorns, #0.7)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)

About the author:

I write books about teens who must do brave things. I'm originally from California, but I moved to Ohio to marry my husband, who is the smartest and therefore sexiest man I know. We live in Columbus with my teenaged stepsons, who are awesome. My books tend to contain lots of adventure, a little magic and romance, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. I especially love to write about questions I don't know the answers to.

Find Rae:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

1 comment:

  1. I've heard great things about Hector and this series! I have the first book so I hope to get to it someday.


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