The Princess of Aenya by Nick Alimonos was a good book, but I think I would enjoy it more reading it a second time. From the beginning, there’s an onslaught of action and story coming from multiple characters at once. The main storyline follows Radia and Demacharon as they fight to survive. But Hugo and Esse, a soldier and a servant, are introduced, as well as Ugh, a Bogren, and Eros, an assassin hired to kill Radia.
Through alternating chapters, the reader has to follow all of these storylines before they eventually intertwine in the end of the book and, for me at least, this was difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the individual storylines and characters.
Hugo and Esse deserve their own book. I would love for a companion novel to be made about them leading the rebellion in Tyrnael while Radia had to be in hiding. Esse was bred to be a servant, someone designed to not stand out or aspire to anything more than serving others. But she fought against that lifelong training to lead a rebellion against a sadistic tyrant. Before Zaibos, Tyrnael was at peace for a thousand years. No one had any experience protesting or rebelling because there wasn’t a need. But Esse stepped up and started to lead! Honestly, her story is just as fascinating as Radia’s, and a lot more relatable. I love stories about people who take their fate into their own hands so Esse’s story would be a great one.
I really liked Eros as well. He represents the dark side of Tyrnael. Just because there was peace doesn’t mean everyone was happy. Sexual intercourse is forbidden in Tyrnael. Eros was born from sexual intercourse so he and his mother were branded and ostracized. He was forced to become an assassin to support and protect his mother. Honestly, I wanted him to fail and succeed at the same time because succeeding meant killing Radia but it also meant the brand getting lifted from his mother.
However, while I enjoyed the characters and could follow and enjoy the plot overall, there’s still a lot I’m confused about. There are five storylines to juggle, six if you count Demarchon’s flashbacks. Not only are we following Radia, but we are also following Eros, Ugh, Esse, and Zaibos through their stories. It’s a lot to take in and keep straight.
The Princess of Aenya was an enjoyable read and the ending was satisfying. However, I would get a lot more out of the story if I reread it.
Nick Alimonos is a member of the Read for a Better World Hall of Fame for donating to Trees for the Future in exchange for an honest review. Learn more about my Read for a Better World program here.