Princess Jovi's sheltered life has taught her nothing about Orendor, the kingdom she will one day rule. Longing for adventure isn't the same as being thrust into the middle of one, which is exactly what happens when the Frost Mages attack the castle in Kingsperch.
Determined to save her kingdom, Jovi must gather an army of brave warriors to defeat the Frost Mages and protect the people she loves. She seeks help from the bravest Mammoth Rider in all of Orendor—her fearless uncle, Meical.
Jovi will endure harrowing trials she never imagined she’d face, but as a daring new enemy emerges from the darkness, Jovi will discover a startling truth about herself that might open the door to a brand new future.
Will she choose the lives of many or the heart of one?
*May Contain Spoilers*
Cassandra Fear begins a new fantasy series with her novel, Land of Strength and Sorrow, in which a sheltered princess finds herself the key to stopping an all-out war -- if she can provide a cure for her father's curse, cast twenty years before.
Jovi represents the idea of a typical sheltered princess, but she differs from the stereotype through her strong personality, her understanding nature, and her intelligence. It's obvious through the choices she makes that Jovi would truly make a good Queen of Orendor, if she isn't killed by the enemy first. I think readers will like her determination, her caring heart, and her loyalty. Those three things motivate her to make the right decisions and stay calm in the midst of chaos. The only aspect of Jovi's personality that bugged me a bit was that she seemed a little wishy-washy at times. I also didn't really enjoy the love story as a side plot. It felt a bit awkward to me. She falls for a guard within a few days of knowing him. At one point she does admit her feelings could be because he's the first male her age that she's connected with and I think that was exactly what happened. I also struggled with the writing style at times. As the beginning of an epic fantasy, I expected more detail and a bit more weight given to the situations.
The plot of the novel was interesting and held my attention throughout. To break it down a bit, there are three main groups: Jovi's people, Fire Mages, and Frost Mages. Twenty years prior, Jovi's father (the King) cast a curse on the Mages so that they could never have children because one Mage murdered his only son. Now, the Mages want to be cured of the curse and will either get their way or kill until they do. Thus, Jovi sets out to find the cure to save her parents and her kingdom. Though readers know that Jovi's journey for the cure is doomed from the start, there's still an air of hope that she'll succeed somehow. As this is the beginning of a series, there was a cliffhanger ending that sets up the next book pretty well. I would recommend this book to fantasy lovers who enjoy a female leader who's coming of age and building her strength.
Rating: 3/5 Cups