Title: Contessa of Rebellion
Author: Shannon McRoberts
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Rating: Four stars
“To save her people, she must marry the villain.
Lady Alessandra, eldest daughter of Contessa Lia, just buried her mother. Altamonte tradition dictates Alessandra must pick up the mantle of Contessa as the first-born daughter. As Alessandra prepares to accept her duties while battling her grief, Alaric, her step-father, surprises Alessandra with a last-minute royal decree from her late mother. In order to claim her throne, Alessandra must wed by her 26th birthday or they will strip her of her birthright. Alessandra has no qualms about getting married, but the deadline is less than a month away and she has yet to be introduced into society. Finding a husband on such short notice is hard, but finding one without a proper introduction into society is near impossible. Of course, Alaric has a solution for her—he’ll marry her.
Disgusted by the thought of marrying Alaric The Usurper, the foreign man who killed her father, Alessandra departs Altamonte in secret and rides for her cousin’s home in Giradeau. Once safe in King Lysander’s castle, Alessandra learns just how high the odds are stacked against her. The only thing holding Alaric back from reviving the war he once waged on Altamonte and the surrounding lands is his lack of control of the throne. If Alessandra doesn’t marry before the deadline, the throne will pass to her younger half-sister Jessa–and Alaric becomes Regent. However, if Alessandra concedes and agrees to marry Alaric, she may end up losing her life.
Faced with trying to protect both Alessandra and his own kingdom from Alaric, King Lysander hatches a plot to introduce his cousin to society. He hopes to free her from the impossible situation she finds herself in by finding Alessandra a suitable husband. But will Lysander’s efforts be enough to counteract the lies Alaric spread over the last two years? Or will Alessandra have to sacrifice herself to keep Alaric at bay?”
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This is my first historical fantasy for a while, so definitely opened this book up with eager fingers. (Figuratively speaking, I have an e-reader).
Alessandra is the future Contessa of Altemonte after the untimely death of her mother, but her step-father, Alaric, has other ideas. He intends to marry Alessandra and take control of the kingdom of Altemonte for himself, or if Alessandra doesn’t marry by her 26th birthday, pass the title down to his daughter, Jessa.
Alessandra flees to a neighbouring kingdom, where her cousin Lysander rules, in order to find a husband. Alaric sends thugs and his sorceress mistress Sabine to disrupt Alessandra’s plans and bring her back to Altemonte. With the eyes of every nobleman across all kingdom on the throne of Altemonte, will Alessandra find a husband she can trust in time to stop Alaric?
This was a fast-paced, twist-filled, saucy read that has you guessing at every turn. Alessandra is a determined young woman who has the fate of the kingdom on her shoulders, as well as her own. She can be a little too trusting at times, but is steadfast in her standards and values.
A lot of the events of this book were unexpected, and the plot was impossible to predict. Alaric was very much a puppet-master and controlled what so many of the characters thought and did, that their intentions and actions were never predictable.
I would have enjoyed learning more about the kingdoms, including what they looked like, the differences between them, and the kinds of magic found throughout the lands. The inclusion of magic was a bit secondary as the main storyline didn’t involve much magic at all.
But I enjoyed reading this book, and it’s a shame that it’s a standalone because there is so much potential for more drama in the kingdom of Altemonte.
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