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 have to admit I didn’t have the highest of expectations when I first started reading Paladin by Sally Slater, it was my desperate need of something new to read that made me request a copy. I was more than pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading the book, Paladin is an enjoyable and fast-paced read that I was unable to stop reading. I read it cover to cover in a single sitting without once putting it down, something I haven’t done in awhile lately.
Lady Samantha of Haywood dreams of becoming a warrior but is expected by her father to marry well and further consolidate her families political power. Samantha however, has no plans to follow the path her father has mapped out for her, instead, she enacts a plan of her own. To pose as the boy Sam of Haywood and join the Paladins, a quasi-religious order founded to protect the realm from the thread of demons. The only question is can Sam pull off the lie, and if so for how long?
Paladin was surprisingly well written for a debut novel, not full of the errors I typically expect to see from first-time authors, Sally Slater does an amazing job of showing you her world without bogging down the story with too much detail. Samantha of Haywood is a strong and likable female character who is not too proud to know that even the best warriors need help at times and that it is not a weakness asking for help from your friends and allies. Slater does an amazing job creating a cast of fully fleshed out and believable characters, I found myself rooting for the bad guys as much as the good, and that isn’t something I usually do.
I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series and hope that we will be getting more to read from Sally Slater for a very long time.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.