Nia is a princess--but not your typical prone-to-faints, delicate princess. Nia has a deep, caring heart--and a father whose chief goal in life is war. The king's philosophy? Conquer or be conquered, even if the land you're conquering doesn't stand the remotest chance against you. Thankfully, Nia doesn't agree.
Princess Nia is in line to take the crown, but she struggles with the idea. Luckily, she's engaged to Andras, the man she loves more than anything, and he's studying under her father so he will be worthy to rule the kingdom one day.
To Nia's astonishment, a large, strong man from one of the kingdoms her father conquers presents himself to her. He makes a blood oath to be bound as her servant for the rest of his life.
Nia learns the man's name is Garreth, but not much else at first, as the man won't meet her eyes unless ordered. He is her shadow constantly, which annoys her, as she goes around the kingdom warring with her inner self regarding her duties as a royal while doing what she loves best--healing people with her extensive knowledge of herbs.
I was pleasantly surprised by this story, and even more when I discovered that this is a first novel for Mella Reese. The characters were well thought out, and I enjoyed watching a friendship develop between Nia and Garreth at the same time she was in love with her betrothed, Andras.
There were only a couple of minor things I felt needed to be addressed. One was that I couldn't get a good picture of what Nia looked like. Any description of her was very subtle, so much so that I missed it entirely. The other thing was an ongoing comparison with life and trees that I wasn't quite sure fit in the story, because I wouldn't have missed it if it hadn't been there and I kept reading deeper meaning into it than there ultimately was.
I liked that Nia wasn't a strict romance, but rather told the well-rounded story of a princess whose life had romance in it. Even a person with romantic feelings for someone has other facets to her life, and the dynamic of a princess having a dearly-loved fiancé and a blossoming friendship with a male servant while trying to figure out her royal role was really interesting. She was a character I would have liked to have as a friend.
I enjoyed reading Nia and I hope to read the next book because I would like to know what happens! Congratulations to Mella on a great debut novel!
Purchase Nia here: Amazon