“Paladin” by Sally Slater

4 stars

Lady Samantha was born into aristocracy and has grown up loving swords and wanting to be a warrior. Well, her father is just concerned about finding her a proper husband, so she can start having babies and fulfill her duties as a lady. A major tragedy occurs, which spurs Samantha to take control of her life and begin a controversial and secretive career.

She assumes a new identity as a male and signs up to train with an elite group of warrior protectors called the Paladins. Her trainer and mentor, Tristan, is the man who was present during the major tragedy I mentioned before (he had saved her life) and her co-trainee is a sort of half-demon shifter named Braeden.

Apparently, this is the debut novel of Sally Slater and she is a Wattpad phenomenon (I don’t really know anything about Wattpad, but I’m guessing that means that she is a huge indie sensation).

For a first book, I think this was pretty damn good. It took awhile to get going, but I found myself quite engaged in the story and by the end, I couldn’t put it down and fought to stop skimming because I wanted to find out what was going to happen.

There were some twists I didn’t expect and this had some interesting politics and intrigue that I like in fantasy. I like that the usual tropes were not present, Sam was not a special snowflake, and there was no love triangle. There was romance, but it wasn’t heavy-handed (well, at the end it got a little sappy, but it worked). The romance was based on friendship and was a slow-burn.

I might add to this later, as I’m just writing this up right after I finished. I would be interested in reading another one, if this continues (I believe there will be another book). This is more “fantasy lite” in that it isn’t complicated and reads easy, not like your typical “high fantasy” books. It also reads more as Young Adult, but I didn’t find it annoying or stereotypical, which I always appreciate!

I received a copy of this from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thanks so much!

Review also found at Goodreads

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