Sunday, September 8, 2013

Short Story Review Sunday: The King's Guard


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.


I like Hector. But for some reason this almost-too-long-to-be-a-book novella just doesn't do its magic and hook my mind on it. Part of the reason is because I really don't care about his past. It sounds cruel. But to be honest, other than finding him fiercely loyal and really care about Elisa, I don't find other stuff that makes him stand out from my favorite male characters. Another reason is that I don't feel the author shows much of bravery and loyalty in this novella and these two characteristics are exactly what makes Hector... well, Hector. 

But there's one thing that is portrayed well. It's the desperation and cruelty that a character in this novella experiences. That scene shows just how dark a world can be for one person if you are not treated well. And it's quite interesting to read that scene, for I can still see the determination to try to make everything better even though it's pretty fucked-up (sorry for my language, but that's the only way I can think of expressing it). I guess that's why I like Fire and Thorns, for the author can portray such things well.

I won't say this is a must-read if you are reading the main books. But I think it well help you understand better about the spirit of the series.

Rating: 6.5/10

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