Author: Anne Osterlund
Series: Aurelia #2
Publication Date: April 28, 2011
Source: ARC from author in exchange for an honest review
Crown Princess Aurelia stands in the face of exile. Behind her are the sister who tried to kill her and the father who ignored it. In front of her are the entire kingdom and Robert—the friend she can’t help but fall in love with. Aurelia may finally be living her dream . . . but danger is not far behind. When Aurelia and Robert are betrayed by the very guards assigned to protect them, their expedition becomes a fight for survival that carries them from frontier to desert sands. Even with a hunter on their tail, the risks—to their lives, the throne, their hearts—only fuels Aurelia’s determination to see her kingdom. And when their perilous journey is finally complete, she will discover just how much her people need her, and just how much of a risk loving Robert can be.
While I thoroughly enjoyed Aurelia, I have to say that I enjoyed Exile even more. For me, it’s pretty rare that I like a sequel or companion novel more than the first, but Exile was one of those exceptions.
While all of the typical elements of a good historical fiction story were there, the action, mystery, and intrigue were elevated to a whole new level. I found myself plowing through the book so fast that by the time I was finished, I had to take a few deep breaths to come back down to Earth. I devoured this book in one sitting and was sad to see it end.
I loved Aurelia, Robert, and their blooming relationship in Aurelia, and Exile showed us a deeper level that can only be found when a relationship is tried and tested. The biggest draw for me was the realness and believability of the story – nothing seemed forced or unrealistic. Not only was the story realistic, it was gut-wrenching and tumultuous, creating the perfect drama-filled story that makes you root for the couple against all odds.
Exile is definitely a must-read and a story that will suck you in and leave you wanting more.