Author: Alex Lidell
Series: I think so
I love a good fantasy. What's more I love a good fantasy with a coming of age, kick-butt heroine. Check and check. This book had it all for me. Maybe a little more in the romance department Lidell. But if there's a sequel, and I'm betting there will be, please put in a little more smooching. And that smooching better be between Renee and Savoy. That would be perfect...
Against her father's wished, Renee is enrolled and training at the Academy of Tildor. It is her dream to become an elite soldier for the new king of Tildor. But this quest for Renee is going to be an uphill battle. On the brink of being sent home by the Academy, Renee must refine some of her skills, most importantly sword fighting, to continue at the school. This will be no easy task as most of her peers are male, and their strength and physique grow stronger with every passing year. Renee and her friend Alec hone their skills with their teacher, Savoy, a decorated and successful general who was forced from the battlefield to mentor the "brat" cadets.
Despite Savoy's wrath, Renee is determined to succeed at the Academy. But when Savoy's younger brother is mysteriously kidnapped, Renee and Alec face some difficult decisions. For Alec is hiding a secret that could doom both him and Renee. What are Renee, Alec and Savoy willing to sacrifice to save each other and Savoy's brother? Will there be a way to return home respectfully?
What I LIKED about this book
As I said before, fantasy done right is hard to put down and this book was no exception. The pressure Renee experiences feel real and endear her to you. You want more than anything for her to succeed. This was not a book where the main character already is powerful and skillful. Renee truly worked hard to earn her standing and she made many mistakes along the way. But after every fall she got back up, brushed herself off and tried again. This coming of age story is so refreshingly honest and realistic. I could easily see Renee as myself.
The story was well thought out and added a touch of mystery and magic where needed. The story pulled me along and the twists kept me turning the pages.
What I DISLIKED about this book
I'm not one to say this often, but I would have liked just a little more romance. The Cadet of Tildor teased you in this aspect. Yes Renee did kiss someone but it was not who you wanted and meant very little to her. You can see a relationship forming between Renee and Savoy, so for my sake I hope there is a sequel to quench my romantic mind.
Overall I'll award The Cadet of Tildor 4.5 out of 5 stars. You have to read this book if you enjoy fantasy. I'd recommend this for fans of Tamora Pierce, Rae Carson and perhaps Kristin Cashore, though compared to this book, Cashore and Carson have considerably more romance in their novels. I really need the sequel to this book. I need to witness Renee's progress and pray that Savoy enters the picture somewhere!