Author: Sally Slater
Type: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 5 stars
Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam of Haywood is the most promising Paladin trainee in the kingdom of Thule… and knows it. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady Samantha, daughter of the seventeenth Duke of Haywood, and if her father has his way, she’ll be marrying a Paladin, not becoming one. But Sam has never held much interest in playing damsel-in-distress, and so she rescues herself from a lifetime of boredom and matrimonial drudgery. Disguised as a boy, Sam leaves home behind to fight demons—the most dangerous monsters in Thule—alongside the kingdom’s elite warriors. Pity that Tristan Lyons, the Paladin assigned to train her, is none other than the hero of her childhood. He hasn’t recognized her-yet-but if he does, he’ll take away her sword and send her packing. Sam is not the only trainee hiding secrets: Braeden is a half-demon with a dark past that might be unforgivable. Whether he can be trusted is anyone’s guess, including his. As demons wreak havoc across the land, rebellion stirs in the West, led by a rival faction of warriors. A war between men is coming, and Sam must pick a side. Will saving the kingdom cost her life-or just her heart?
I loved this book from the first few pages. Paladin was absolutely magical, with a touch of danger, adventure, and romance. This read is fast-paced, and keeps you at the end of your seat. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends, that’s how good it was.
The first thing I liked about the book? Sam, otherwise called Lady Samantha. She was such an amazing main character, who definitely knew what she wanted. She also was willing to fight for her future, and the men who fight alongside her. She’s the daughter of a duke, so she struggles with either doing her duty decided from birth or finding her own path that she created. I liked her way of thinking and the way she never backs down from a fight. I also loved it when she fights the demons, with complete badassery, although she eats a slice of humble pie every once in a while when sparring with Tristan. Of course, no one is perfect. Sam has temper tantrums once in a while, and doesn’t censor her words a lot, which may damage some relationships. However, I still loved her. Just for this main character, I gave the book 5 stars.
Braeden was such a great love interest. He perfectly complemented Sam, and had the perfect balance of dangerous bad boy and shy boyfriend. He was utterly adorable whenever he protected Sam, although it was frustrating that he wouldn’t let her fight for him until the end. Did I mention he also fight like a demon? (Yes, pun intended.)
Tristan…I actually didn’t like him that much, since he couldn’t see Samantha for what she truly was. I mean, he didn’t even recognize her when she was with him for months! He has some good points, however, like having a conscience and being a good swordsman. Still, I’m glad Sam likes Braeden more.
Last but not the least, the author did not make the relationship between Sam, Braeden, and Tristan a love triangle! At first, I was scared of this, because I’ve read so many books with love triangles. Paladin did not have a love triangle, since Sam clearly knows who she wants and who she doesn’t want. My final verdict: Paladin is an amazing book. This is a great debut novel, and I’m definitely looking forward to a sequel!
(This book was provided by Netgalley)