Audiobook Review: The Princess Will Save You (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky #1)

Published July 6th 2020

Author: Sarah Henning

Narrator: Katherine Lee McEwan

Audiobook Length: 11 hours 41 minutes

When a princess’s commoner true love is kidnapped to coerce her into a political marriage, she doesn’t give in—she goes to rescue him.

When her warrior father, King Sendoa, mysteriously dies, Princess Amarande of Ardenia is given what would hardly be considered a choice: Marry a stranger at sixteen or lose control of her family’s crown.

But Amarande was raised to be a warrior—not a sacrifice.

In an attempt to force her choice, a neighboring kingdom kidnaps her true love, stable boy Luca. With her kingdom on the brink of civil war and no one to trust, she’ll need all her skill to save him, her future, and her kingdom.

The Princess Will Save You is the first novel in the Kingdoms of Sand and Sky trilogy. I believe this started as a duology that was later expanded to be a trilogy, so I am curious how it will turn out. Sometimes expanding the number of books works and other times it feels very drawn out, so I’ll have to wait and see. Unfortunately, it will be a long wait as the third novel is not due for publishing until August 2022. This series is stated to be inspired by The Princess Bride. Since it has been a long time since I have read or watched it, I could not fully make a comparison; however, I could see some inspiration present here and there on the surface, but not in the big picture. Essentially, it seems it is best to separate the concepts and think of this series as a separate entity and not related to the “source” material. This is how I read this novel and will for the next two.

Princess Amarande of the Kingdom of Ardenia is 16-years-old and cannot inherit the crown after her father, King Sendoa, dies due to outdated laws that require her to marry to rule the kingdom. She is not interested in any of her potential prince options as she loves the stable-boy, Luca. The two of them have feelings for the other, but are both shy to fully express them out loud. Unfortunately, Luca is kidnapped and one of her suitor’s seems to be behind it. Without thinking about the aftermath, Amarande sets off to rescue Luca and will need to think about how to deal with the crown afterwards. The story is an adventure tale where she is on a quest to locate Luca and then transitions to trying to figure out how to deal with the suitor, Prince Renard and his brother, Prince Taillefer.

So far, this series is not bring a lot of new ideas to the table. There is a fierce princess who knows what she wants and will fight to become the type of ruler she wants rather than following conventions.  Despite being sheltered in the palace, she is gifted in skills that will aid her to rescue Luca. I think this story needed a little more set-up to establish her character and skills. While it is insinuated that she gained skills, I did not connect with the believability aspect for this part of her character.  This is also the case for Ama and Luca’s buildup of feelings for each other. It is apparent that they potentially love each other, but it would have been nice to have more during the initial set up. I think when this series was originally a duology; the author rushed the beginning to get right into the action. If it started as a trilogy, maybe the author would have taken a little more time to set everything up. Since it is all speculation, I can only wish that maybe the rest of the series will maybe give me glimpses of these aspects through flashbacks or conversations.

Luca is an intriguing character as I am very curious about his history and to learn more about it. He was very sweet, but there feels like there is still a lot to learn about him. The other characters were interesting, but, again, I do not feel fully connected to them yet. The story is largely told through Ama’s perspective, but actually changes at times to be Luca and the other characters.  Together the cast of characters reveal some interesting elements of political intrigue. The pacing is slower in the middle, but picks up towards the end using these elements. Overall, this novel gives the series a lot of potential, although it is not perfect by itself. If this was a standalone, I would feel that it is missing a lot of elements to make it feel complete; however, as a series, it does offer a lot to set up the next two novels.

3 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: The Princess Will Save You (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky #1)

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