❋ ❋ ❋*I received a free advanced copy of this in exchange for an honest review.*
After the king is murdered without a legitimate heir to the throne, the Kingdom of Arenhed falls to the rule of a cruel dictator. When Hedy's village is attacked by the dictator's men, her life completely changes and she loses everything she once held dear. Hedy then gets pulled into a resistance group called Phoenix Rising to help restore Prince Lukas to the throne. She finds herself in the middle of an extremely dangerous political game where everyone and everything is not what they seem, but she must find her way without a single misstep if she is to get her revenge, or, suffer a horrific fate.
Birthright by Vivian Eve is a very fast-paced, action-packed, brutal page-turner with a lot going on and pretty decent world-building and character development for the first installment of a series. It was all very exciting! That said it just seemed to be lacking something though I'm not sure if I can put my finger on what exactly. It might be the sheer number of WHAT?! and Well, that escalated quickly moments throughout that makes it all feel a little bit contrived. It may been that Hedy, although we get to know a good deal about her, comes across as a little vague, if you know what I mean. It's just like when you're watching a movie or a tv show and it just seems like the director could have stuck any old actor or actress in there and it wouldn't have any bearing whatsoever on the final production. In a way, I felt the same about the fantasy setting, too. It could have easily been a dystopian like The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins or the Legend books by Marie Lu. The plot of Birthright actually parallels that of The Hunger Games. Mainly, a 16-year old archery-practicing non-girly girl gets swept up into a political rebellion against a despot after undergoing extremely traumatic and violent events to become a figurehead of her people. The Hunger Games has Katniss, Birthright has Hedy who at one point goes by Azalea. The Hunger Games has a mockingjay pin, Birthright has a phoenix ring and you know what phoenix's do - they just catch fire.
Even so, I liked Birthright, so something about it still really worked! You might like it too if you're a fan of The Hunger Games or Legend. It's definitely worth a shot, but my money's still on Katniss.
I read this May 25 - June 1, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.