Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Cadet of Tildor - Alex Lidell

Title: The Cadet of Tildor
Author: Alex Lidell
Publisher: Dial Books, 2013 (Hardcover)
Length: 408 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Started: May 1, 2013
Finished: May 7, 2013

From the inside cover:

There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown's inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, Cadet Renee de Winter fights to maintain her spot as an elite soldier in training-with no help from her instructor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty. But when an underground crime lord goes too far, Renee and her best friend Alec are thrust into a world rife with crime and conspiracy, torn between what they want, what is lawful, and what is right.

A gritty, complex debut from a powerful new voice-not to be missed.

I picked this up mainly because it was compared to Kristin Cashore's work as well as Tamora Pierce's, two of my favourite authors. Unfortunately, the novel didn't live up to the claims.

The book starts off well with a strong introduction of Renee and her desire to serve the crown as a solider despite going against her father and essentially getting disowned in the process. However, the novel doesn't keep up with that impressive start.

The politics, the issues of the Vipers and the Family, and and world-building in general aren't explained enough; not only was I often confused and trying to figure out exactly what was happening, I also didn't care enough about the majority of the characters to really get into the story. I liked Renee well enough, but Alec, Savoy, and even Diam I just couldn't connect with. I became especially turned off by Savoy after he essentially beats the crap out of Renee, I don't care how it's justified that he did it to keep another officer from doing it and it's to make her stronger, etc., I can't get over a commanding officer beating his students, plus the whole thing screams of the cliche abusive relationship.

The novel is indeed well-written, and Renee is a very strong character that I feel for, but everything else just doesn't click, it was disappointing.

Thoughts on the cover:
Also disappointing, it could've been better.

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