Wednesday, January 2, 2013

BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY: The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell


Tour organized by: AToMR Tours

ABOUT THE BOOK

Tamora Pierce meets George R. R. Martin in this smart, political, medieval fantasy-thriller.

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, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right.

Alex Lidell (www.alexlidell.com) was a finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award competition and lives in New Jersey. This is her first novel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alex Lidell is a YA fantasy writer and author of ABNA Finalist THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013).

Although English is Alex’s primary language, it wasn’t her first. Coming from Russia, Alex learned english in elementary school and fell in love with reading when the school librarian put Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA into her hands. Years later, in college, it was another book that re-united Alex with Russian, which she had shunned in adolescence. The Three Musketeers.* Alex thanks both books, and the writers who created them.

Beyond writing, Alex is also a photographer, a horseback rider, and a paramedic. The latter two go hand in hand more often than one would like. She is trying to self-teach herself and her horse to sword-fight.

Alex would love to see THE CADET OF TILDOR in the classroom and is working on developing teacher guides for the novel. She enjoys “e-meeting” both students and educators.VIEW

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REVIEW

Wow! What a story!  Full of twists and turns and difficult choices, Lidell has written a book that is not only an exciting, intense read, but thought-provoking with serious ethical and moral questions. I found the book compelling and definitely one of my all time favorite reads. Here's why.

Characters:  Renee makes a fabulous main character. Not only is she determined and courageous but loyal as well.  Not that she is perfect, she is far from it.  She, like most people, makes some foolish decisions and even some that are downright stupid.  Yet she eventually steps forward to accept the consequences of those choices, even when it could mean the end of her long held dream of being a Servant of the Crown.  While attending the Academy, the sole means of attaining her dream of being an officer in the King's prized army, Renee must deal with not only schoolwork but bullies, a combat instructor who constantly challenges her, and a friend with a dangerous secret.

Savoy on the other hand is NOT where he wants to be. He would much rather be with the Seventh, the military unit he commands, not teaching cadets how to use a sword. Returning to the Academy forces him to face ghosts from the past, both friend and foe. To be honest, Savoy reminds me a great deal of Eugenides in the Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner and Sage in Jennifer Nielson's The False Prince, in that his natural tendencies, such as deliberately goading a long time enemy, get him in trouble all over the place, yet whose tough exterior contains a very loyal and honorable heart.

The other characters were great as well, even the 'bad guys' had there good points (most of them anyway). Alec and Sasha are great friends for Renee. Diam, Savoy's eight-year-old brother and his dog, Khavi, are a delight. I felt like the characters in this book reflected reality, people with strengths and weaknesses who make choices they then have to live with for better or worse.  For me, strong characters are a necessity in order for me to get really involved in a book.  This book accomplishes that task quite easily.

PLOT: I need to be careful here because I don't want to give away anything, but the story moves quickly.  I honestly did not feel like I was reading a 400 page book.  I read for hours without much noticing the passing of time. I enjoyed the intricate connections between the different characters and their choices in the events that occur, for better or worse. I appreciated how the author slowly reveals to Renee and King Lysian the fact that their world was not as black and white as they thought it to be. The maneuvers of the crime families and the crown involve everyone around them and entangle Renee, Savoy and the others in dangerous situations where loyalties are tested and questions of ethics and morality take center stage.

What takes precedence? the life of one man? or the good of the crown? How do Renee's and Savoy's personal loyalties play out against a background of violence and politics. Interestingly, there is little romance in this book, although the potential is there and I'm eager to see what happens in what I hope will be coming sequels.

I highly, highly recommend this book, however, it will not be for every reader.  Because of the issues involved there is a good deal of violence as well as swearing.  The fight scenes are impressive and action packed.
GIVEAWAY

Giveaway: The author is offering the below giveaway. AToMR Tours is not handling this giveaway. If you would like to offer the tour giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter code below. Copy/paste it into the html or text tab when creating a post.

$20 Amazon Gift Card, PLUS a copy of THE CADET OF TILDOR with swag – US
$20 Book Depository Gift Card – International

a Rafflecopter giveaway


BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE TOUR.



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