Book Review: Royal Decoy by Heather Frost

About the Book:

Title: Royal Decoy

Author: Heather Frost

Series: Fate of Eyrinthia #1

Page Length: 370

Publication Date: June 18, 2020

Synopsis: A SERVANT blackmailed into becoming a princess’s decoy.
A BODYGUARD determined to keep her alive.

A PRINCE forced to execute his father’s brutal laws.
A PRISONER used to keep him compliant.

A WORLD on the brink of war.

In one horrible night, Clare goes from kitchen maid to royal decoy. She has three months to become the princess’s perfect double so she can ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard. The danger increases when a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, intent on ending the tenuous peace.

Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. He carries out the king’s harsh orders because the one person he cares about is his father’s prisoner. Grayson’s silent obedience is tested when his father plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die.

The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos.

LINKS:   Goodreads     Amazon

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links.


My Review:

Royal Decoy is an intense and intriguing story and the first in the Fate of Eyrinthia series. I loved it! A young adult fantasy with layered characters, wonderful romances, great friendships, and many jaw-dropping moments, the story hooked me from the very start.

Freedom didn’t exist. Not when you cared about someone more than you cared about yourself.

The story switches between two different perspectives. Clare is a servant who, after witnessing an attack on the princess, is blackmailed into being her decoy. Grayson is a prince from another kingdom tasked with enforcing his father’s restrictive and unfair rules. Their stories are very different, though equally dangerous. I like that it switches points of view, as Grayson and Clare are both compelling characters in high-stakes situations. I have a feeling their paths will cross in future books in the series, and I’m excited to see if they become friends or foes.

Grayson’s life is very dark, and he spends much of it as his father’s puppet. Known for his violent and vicious ways of enforcing the law, Grayson is feared by the people of his kingdom. If only they knew the person underneath this cruel façade, but the only person who seems to know and care for him is a prisoner named Mia. The relationship between Mia and Grayson is lovely and the one bright spot in both of their lives. They are pawns in other people’s games, and they find solace and peace with each other from a young age. They have some wonderfully tender moments, and it was so heartwarming to see Grayson let his guard down, as he can do with no one else.

The love story between Clare and Bennick, a head guard, is positively swoon-worthy, and I love the small ways Bennick shows how he cares. Clare is in an impossible situation and is forced to act as a decoy, but she finds a friend in Bennick. Eventually, she realizes the friendship has turned into something more, and it was fantastic!! Like Grayson, Clare finds a bright spot in her otherwise terrifying situation. Her budding romance with Bennick is angsty and brooding and slow-building swoon-tasticness.

Anyone can pretend to be something they’re not. I’m proof of that. But it’s who you are when you think no one is watching that reveals your true character.”

The plot is super intense since Clare’s life is in constant jeopardy as she pretends to be the targeted princess. It seems like she must always watch her back, as nowhere is safe, even the palace. Attempts on her life grow more and more dangerous, and she doesn’t know who she can truly trust. Political intrigue, social unrest, and so many other complications force Clare to embrace the life of a Royal decoy, and she knows that her life is not in her hands. Grayson’s story is equally suspenseful as he deals with unrest in his kingdom as well as threats from within his own family. Both characters lack control over their own lives, which adds to the intensity and suspenseful tone of the story.

The settings are also interesting and immersive, and I like how the two kingdoms contrast each other. From the landscape to the way the leaders rule, the juxtaposition is intriguing and well-crafted. I also like the many different relationships in the story. From romances to friendships to a variety of family relationships, many of these contrast each other too. Clare’s relationship with her younger brothers, for example, stands in stark contrast to Grayson’s connection to his siblings. You see the detrimental effect of toxic and abusive relationships and the benefits of loyal relationships built on respect and love, and I’m looking forward to seeing how some of these connections grow and change as the series progresses.

This was the first book I read by Heather Frost, and I now need to binge every book she’s ever written. Royal Decoy captivated me from beginning to end, and I’m eager to continue the series even though I have a feeling a couple of my favorite characters might break my heart. Talk about fantastic storytelling! Frost is a skilled writer who engrossed me from page one and made me so emotionally invested in the compelling protagonists and the suspenseful plot that I couldn’t put the book down until I finished.


Rating:

5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars

Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The intrigue and suspense.
  • The writing.

Favorite Lines:

“You’re the most beautiful part of my world.”

“A woman’s heart should only be able to break once. But we’re never beyond more breaking; each shattered piece can break again.”

Life isn’t predictable. Tragedies happen, and there are consequences beyond our control. But we choose the people we want close to us. We choose to be lonely, or embraced. Don’t choose loneliness,

Recommendations:

Royal Decoy is a fantastic read for people who enjoy YA fantasy with tons of suspense, memorable characters, and a swoon-worthy, angst-filled romance!

8 thoughts on “Book Review: Royal Decoy by Heather Frost

  1. Great review, Julie! This is a great YA series and I’ve really enjoyed all the books so far. The romance is sweet, the characters continue to evolve throughout all the books and I love learning more about everyone. There’s a lot more characters to love and hate moving forward 😃 I hope you keep enjoying this series!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Dini! I’m eager to continue the series. It’s soooo good! I just read an arc of the author’s new book (different series), and it’s fantastic!! I think you’ll love it – it’s called Esperance, and it releases in November.

      Liked by 1 person

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