Cover Image: Realm of Knights

Realm of Knights

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Oh man I don't know what to think of this. I had more cons with this than pros.
I thought the writing was really inconsistent.
I didn't like that all of a sudden she really liked Gordon when she had so much more chemistry with Ackley. I swear she better not get with Gordon especially because he's married. He's pretty sleazy because he was still trying to get with her.
I really hope she and Dexter are perfect for eachother and she stays in the other kingdom because it's such a better fit for her.
I will still red the next book just to see what happens.

Was this review helpful?

Realm of Knights is the first installment in author Jennifer Anne Davis' Knights of the Realm series. 18-year old Reid Ellington lives in the land of Marsden where women have no rights, nor can they inherit land from their fathers. They are basically cannon fodder for political reasons. Reid is the youngest daughter of 5 who has to play the part of a man until one of her married sisters has a son. Reid has spent 18 years hiding the fact that she was born female so that Duke Ellington's land stays in the family.

In Marsden, lying about your identity is punishable by death. What's worse is that Reid is getting to that age where it’s obvious that she is not a boy, even by those who grew up with her. Trouble soon arrives in the form of Prince Gordon and Prince Ackley who demand that the Duke provide them with 500 soldiers to protect the border from incursions. They realize almost immediately that Reid is a girl, but instead of exposing her and charging her father with treason, they ask her to serve the realm and in doing so, she can earn a pardon for her father for lying to the king.

As a female who was trained in combat, the young princes believe her to be the perfect person to spy on the neighboring nation since she can "pass" as both male and female. Reid, in trying to do what's right and prove herself the pardon for her father, ends up involved in a family squabble. Ackley claims that his Uncle Henrick, who rules over Axian, is after the Marsden crown which his brother Eldon currently holds. After passing several challenges put forth for Reid to join the exclusive Realm of Knights, she finds yet more trouble. King Eldon, not knowing that Reid is a member of Ackley's Realm of Knights, is sent to Axian to steal something that is supposed to hold a life changing secret.

Thanks in part to Princess Idina and some blackmail, comes out in public as Lady Reid Ellington. She gets to experience what life as a woman in Marsden and Axian really means. Reid finds that Axian is a place where she should be living, not Marsden where women have no rights and no freedoms. In Axian, Reid meets the so called enemies who are not what they seem. Axian isn't a country preparing for war. Axian is a country that appears to be thriving. In fact, almost all of the family seems rather friendly to Reid except for one. Are they for real? Or, are they playing a game Reid as a pawn in a deadly game?

I liked Reid just fine. I would have liked the author to show more of her skills as someone who was trained in combat, but it's early in the series, right? I totally blame her situation on the fact that her father refused to remarry after his wife died thus leaving Reid to shoulder all the responsibility of being her fathers heir. In reality, I do believe that he loves his daughter unconditionally as is shown later in the story. There's so many things that need to be uncovered.

I would have liked a wee bit more world building in order to suss out this world. Is Ackley really who he pretends to be, and not just another hurdle for Reid to jump over? The question really is, who is the true antagonist, and who is not what they seem? If Ackley actually cared about Reid as he claims, why then stand silent when she is ordered to do the King's bidding? Not sure if I am all in on the suspected romance between Reid and Gordon.

However, yes, I will continue with this series since I trust this author and the stories that she writes. I loved her Reign of Secrets series, but need to finish reading the final (2) installments in the series.

Was this review helpful?

I love girls who dress as boys trying to disguise the fact that they are boys, Mulan style. But it is hard to believe and I am not that easily fooled anymore.
Pros- I do like how the author weaves sexism in this world it does mirror our world. The MC is not annoying and horrible, feminism.
Cons- slooooooooooow pacing, not intriguing enough of a story, not knowing what the hell was going on, instalove.

I received a free arc copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, my opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Realm of Knight was a very interesting read. Reid, the youngest daughter of Lord Ellington, had to pretend her whole life to be Lord Reid in order to ensure the safety of her family and lands. When a few select and powerful people found out the truth, Reid had to keep pretending in even more dangerous ways to keep her father from trouble and to gain her freedom. But does she really want her freedom to be herself, a woman without many rights or does she want something more?.

Fans of strong and independent female MCs and action packed fantasies will enjoy this first book of the series.

Was this review helpful?

*I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

This book and series has great potential. I really liked the main character and I really enjoyed the struggle of identity and sexism/feminism in this story and world.

Reid Ellington, 5th daughter to a duke in a kingdom that only allows for men to inherit, has been raised to be a man since the day she was born. Her 18th birthday unexpectedly brings change, either good or bad, she does not know yet. Now she must travel to the new king’s city in order to save her family, but nothing is ever as it seems.

I quite liked Reid’s character. I like her introspective narrative of her always trying to find her place in the world. Her frustration really fit in with how the world was created.

I also liked how many of the other characters’ motives were not revealed. Usually books have paragraph long dialogues of everyone explaining their every thought and move, but in Realm of Knights, I found everyone hiding a secret and for good purpose too. I like not knowing intentions of others. In a way, it’s a different kind of foreshadowing. It created a lot more mystery to the situation and had me asking a lot of questions and keeping interest. The main character also doesn’t know a lot of the history and she’s not naive because of this (she’s actually quite intelligent) but just uninformed.

Romance-wise, I kind of hated it haha. It wasn’t too in your face but it was a little too shallow insta-love for me. That being said I’m really excited for book 2 romance-wise, and you’ll have to read this book to find out why ;)

The writing was fine with me, I feel it got better as time went on. Although I did find the middle of the book to be a bit weird and slow in pacing. The beginning and end really made the book for me. As for the “other”, I hope that there turns out to be some kind of flaw because of right now it’s a little too perfect and progressive. Either that or I’d like to find out why it has turned out to be this way.

Overall I’m getting strong ACoTaR vibes sans magic from this series which makes me look forward to the second book all the more. Please release the sequel soon, Jennifer Anne Davis, for you have made a devoted fan out of me.

Was this review helpful?

3.5 stars Realm of Knights is a quick and easy read. It started off very slow. Characters not telling main character Reid what they need her for, you dont get to know until you are a third ways through the book even when these characters are talking in whispers to each other the reader doesn't get to know. It was annoying me so much I nearly DNF. But kept reading and it got much better, I really enjoyed when she went to Axian, wished she stayed longer. I will be continuing this series for sure.

Was this review helpful?

This review has also been posted to Goodreads. I will not be posting it to my blog, because I rated it lower than 3 stars. I reviewed this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I did not enjoy this novel, and I wish I had. The writing was extremely boring, the world-building was vague and uninspired (it's a collection of scattered kingdoms with no history and no significant characteristics except the royals which rule them) and the book overall was way too long. I was bored. The plot slouched around repetitively, and incidents went from vaguely threatening to vaguely interesting to underwhelming and then started the cycle up again. The structure was there (in terms of meeting plot points, etc) but the story was dull and unfocused.

In addition, it became increasingly hard for me to suspend disbelief. Reid masquerades as a boy to protect her father's kingdom (which as a daughter she would not be allowed to inherit) but she takes contrived, reckless risks and frequently outs herself (she decides to strip and bath in the countryside, where naturally a prince discovers her and discovers she's a woman - she's <i>that</i> dumb?!).
It's also very poorly explained - in fact, it never is. We're just supposed to accept that the sexism is there because it just is. There's no real significance to it and no backstory that explains it.

Reid also talks about how she looks forward to acting and dressing like a woman again and how that's an option in the future, but surely there would be consequences if everyone suddenly discovers that her father's been lying to his kingdom this whole time by disguising his daughter as his male heir? It cannot be that simple! Furthermore, am I honestly supposed to believe that no one in the castle knows she's actually a woman? What about when she was a child? There's no way a secret like that wouldn't slip out sooner!

The characters were one-dimensional. The tinge of romance was extremely unconvincing, and all of the secondary characters were flat and unoriginal. Reid herself had very little personality.

With some major changes to the plot and significant fleshing out of the characters, this book could have been - at best - a fun fantasy story. Unfortunately, the weak writing, pathetic plot, and flat characters sapped all the potential out of it.

Was this review helpful?

Recieved the ARC from the publisher on NetGalley!
I really wanted to love this. For me, the plot felt a lot like Tamora Pierce. There were pieces that were good, but overall the writing was to simple. I was look for some flare, some heavy description in this type of world, and it just fell a bit short.
Maybe the sequel will be better? Not sure.

Was this review helpful?


Realm of Knights is a fast read about how a girl (Reid) pretending to be a man must work for the Royal family in order to pardon her father's crimes and to keep their land. This is a story full of secrets, betrayals, violence, and a fight for the throne.

Reid has always acted like a man and been treated as such. She has trained with men, only has male friends, and has never before worn a dress or makeup or allowed her hair to grow long as is typical for females. Only her family is aware of her true identity. However, when the King sends his sons to her home to ask her father for soldiers, one of the Prince's finds out her secret. After years of hiding her female identity, Reid is thrust into a situation where she must embrace both sides of herself, and is left unsure of who she really is and where she belongs.

Everything seems to happen very quickly in this book; Reid is discovered within the first five chapters, then she must travel with the Princes to somehow help them and keep her family safe, and then she is taken to the King and thrust into a whole new situation. To keep her Father safe she must do what the Princes and King tell her to, even if it means putting her life in danger or wearing pretty dresses and announcing herself as female.

While I always enjoy a fast paced book, I do think perhaps this one is a bit too fast. We don't really get time to love Gordan or Ackley or Idina. We barely know Reid's own family, friends, and home. While this made for a much quicker read, it also left me with many questions about the characters and the world. And also how the MC gets away with so much, or how she is not reprimanded or punished for certain things (such as stealing or being obvious at spying).

Due to the fast pace, I did not like the romance. There was no real build up (just attraction and then a confession). I hope it is not continued in the next book (maybe a new potential romantic partner would be best?).

I absolutely love the fact that Reid is not our only strong female character! Yes, they live in a time where women married and had babies and never really worked or could have a title of her own, and yet there are still women in the novel who are strong willed and independent. Not only are they intelligent, but they also support each other instead of trying to bring each other down.

I also love that while Reid loses some friends, one remains at her side through it all. Her family loves and supports her, female characters are not trying to tear her apart for being independent or different, and she has friends who stand by her no matter what is thrown at them. It is not often I read a book with all of these aspects (usually there is no family or one who hates the MC, fake friends, bitter females who make their lives miserable because they are different) and I am 100% okay with getting them in Realm of Knights.

Overall, this is a good start to the series and I am interested in reading the next book.

Was this review helpful?

I received a free e-arc of this book provided by the publisher - Reign Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Realm of Knights is about a character named Reid Ellington who is the daughter of the Duke of Ellington. They live in a kingdom in which women are not allowed to hold land or titles. Reid is the youngest of five daughters, and her mother died in childbirth. Duke Ellington does not wish to remarry, so in order to keep their lands and titles, he raises Reid as a boy to be his heir.

Reid has been living her entire life as a boy and she is getting to that age where it’s beginning to be obvious that she is not a boy. They are visited by two of the Prince’s in the royal family, who nearly immediately realize that she is a girl, but instead of exposing her they ask her to serve the realm and in doing so, she can earn a pardon for her father for lying to the king.

There are a lot of interesting twists and turns in this book. I ending up enjoying it WAY more than I expected. It was kind of like a guilty pleasure read for me. It is so quick and fun, I ended up finishing it in one night!

Reid is such a fantastic character. I really loved her character. Since she has been raised as a boy her entire life, she has a lot of mannerisms that a boy in her society would. But she also, to be a woman. She has never been allowed to be a woman. So the dynamic here is very interesting with her trying to figure out her femininity. I really loved that struggle, and it is definitely an interesting coming of age story.

I also really liked her relationship with some of there other characters. There is a romantic relationship, but it wasn’t the relationship that I was expecting. At first, I was kind of angry that it wasn’t the relationship that I was expecting, but eventually, I did resign to it, and then even started rooting for the couple. I think that this relationship actually really works because the conflicts that they go through aren’t easily overcome. The conflicts are irreconcilable, so the characters just have to deal with those emotions. I really liked that aspect of it.

I did love pretty much all of the characters. Some of the characters seem like good characters but have darker sides. While other characters seem like bad characters, but then we get to see their good sides. I really like it when I’m not sure whether I should like a character or not.

The really took me by surprise. It had expected to be kind of a simple plot but it had a lot more twists and turns than I was expecting. That being said, I really didn’t feel any closure from the ending of this book. It felt like I read only half a book, rather than a whole one. So while I’m disappointed that I didn’t get a lot of closure from this book, I am really excited to continue on to the next book in this series.

I think the worldbuilding is one of the weaker points for this book. It does have interesting worldbuilding, but I do think that it was overly simplified at times. And there were some aspects of the worldbuilding that just didn’t really make sense. For example, at one point it mentions that the king’s army has 1000 soldiers. Which may seem like a lot, but when talking about the military it really isn’t much at all. Which doesn’t make sense for a large kingdom with quite a few “counties” (dukes) in it, especially if they are expecting a war. But like I said, it was kind of a guilty pleasure read for me, and it’s YA, so I wasn’t really expecting it to have the best military strategy.

Writing Style:
I really loved the voice of this novel. It was so fast-paced, easy to read, and it took you on this ride that was so fun and quick. I absolutely loved it.

I ending up giving it 4.5 stars. If I was rating this book objectively, I don’t necessarily think it would be 4.5 stars. But this book made me so happy when I was reading it, that I can’t rate it anything lower than that.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you for the Advanced Readers Copy

Stories like this where a woman is pretending to be a man have always interested me, even though I believe that it is almost impossible to getaway. I'm not surprised when the Prince's knew about it straight away.
But I can't wait to find out what they want Reid for.

The writing style is very interesting, it's not hard to follow or confusing. I find myself sucked into the story and not wanting to stop reading about Reid's story.

I feel like the royal family trust Reid way to quickly. They put her in charge of the Princess very quickly, let her stay alone, send her on important missions, and then the King is telling her deep, dark secrets without even knowing her. You would think they would need more than a couple of days and watch her a little longer to trust her that much.

I did not like the trajectory of Reid and Gordan, not because I didn't want them together, but because it happened way to fast with very little interactions between the two. I would have loved to see more interactions between the two so we can see the build-up of feelings.

Basically this is how some of the plot goes.
Ried: I have an idea. - Reid's father: Don't do it.
Reid: I have an idea. - Knox: Don't do it.
Reid: I have an idea. - The Princes: Don't do it.
Reid: I have an idea. - Everyone in Ellington: But...but... You're a woman? A woman can't think for herself!
Reid: I have an idea. - Harlan: Don't do it. Well... Maybe. Actually seriously, Don't.
Reid: I have an idea. - Princess Nara: Don't be stupid.
Reid: I have an idea. - Harlan: Seriously, don't do it.
Reid's father and Royal Family: We have an idea. - Reid: Dammit!

I think the plot twist with the Axian Royal family is very interesting. It opens up so many more questions about the other characters in the book and who to trust.

And seriously, a box with letters in it rattled! You don't investigate? Seriously Reid? *facepalms*

The end of the book left me craving more! I really NEED to know what will happen when Reid reaches Axian and faces Dexter!

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and am waiting anxiously for book two!

Was this review helpful?

I'm having a hard time writing a review for this book. The ideas, world and and story are great. But the execution leaves somethings to be desired. A lot of the book is completely flat. Where I wanted emotion and feelings I got nothing. And it was made worse by the fact that I liked the story enough to finish it! In fact, despite this poor review, I will be looking for the next book in the series!

Was this review helpful?

This was quite exciting to read. Reid, due to her upbringing masquerading as a son instead of a daughter, knows not what it means to be a submissive woman. It’s almost like Mulan, but the story maintains its own bit of individuality. She’s not a rough and tumble character, but she remains strong throughout the book. She finds new friendships, loses old ones, and navigates her way through royal politics. While that may sound familiar, there is a twist in the last third of the book that made me eager to see how future books will play out.

Was this review helpful?

ARC provided by publisher on Netgalley.

This book is the story of a girl, Reid, who's father had raised her as a boy all or life because in the land of Marsden one can only pass is titled and land to a male heir. But one day, the Prince's of Marsden visit the Duke Ellington, Reid's father, demanding soldier to protect the border and they asked that Reid leads the soldier's all the way to the border. But the problem is that both Prince's knows that Reid's a girl.
And then began the journey of Reid, Prince Ackley and Prince Gordon, following by Reid's friend Knox, Harlan and Royce.

First of all, I loved that book ! It was a quick read since it's not a long story to begin with, but also because I really loved the plot and the main characters. We have a lot of little plot twist all the way through until the end of the book and I didn't saw most of them coming. Every time the author put another twist in the story I wanted to know more about the adventure of the characters and didn't want to put the book down. Until the last few page we had new plot twist and the last one was the best of all. I didn't know it was the end until I saw the "end of book one" at the bottom of the page. And now I need to know what will happened to Reid.

Regarding the character, I really loved Reid's character. It's important to know that, since her father raised her as a boy all her life and she always appears as a boy everywhere, she really struggle with her identity. The way the author transfert the struggle into the story is really interesting. She explain really well how women are treated in the country of Marsden and it's an important topic since it influence a lot the actions of the characters and the story.

Even if the majority of the men in the country think women are inferior to men, we have some characters that have an opposite view on this situation, like both prince's. One of my favorite quote is this one, from Prince Ackley : " I could see myself marrying if the right woman cam along. Someone feisty and strong-willed. Someone who challenges me."

Finally, the only issue I have in this book is that sometimes we lack in description of certain situation. Some part of the journey is past through really fast and I think we can have a little bit more of the story.

I'm looking forward for the second book in this new series of Jennifer Anne Davis. This book is really good and you should give it a try on it's release today !

Was this review helpful?

Overall, this was a fun, easy read. Just like everyone who already reviewed this book, Mulan was the first thing that came to mind when I read the summary. A female character disguised as a male, who sounded legit with her sword skills? Sounds like a fun adventure!

The plot was promising, and while I wasn't 100% disappointed, I do have a few gripes. The first one, the character building was just okay. I never truly felt connected to any of them, and I felt like relationships happened awfully fast. I mean, what is up with everyone trusting the main character (Reid) so quickly, and with SO MUCH?! Apparently she has superpowers, because everyone in the book was immediately divulging their biggest secrets. Trust issues are not a thing in this world apparently.

The second, along the same lines, everything was way too easy. All of these dangerous tasks could have been set up for intense situations that left me on the edge of my seat... instead they really fell flat. Everything felt unrealistic and lacked suspense.

With that said, I will definitely read the next book in the series. With that ending, how can I not? This story has huge potential, and I am ready for it.

Was this review helpful?

Possibility of a hate-to-love romance in coming books, but this one was a little too short to really get into much. Otherwise, the story is a little predictable, but still a good read.

Was this review helpful?

A promising start to a new series.

As with most of Ms. Davis’ books, this is a clean and typical YA. If you’ve read any of her other books, the writing style is the same. Simple and straight forward. Some things were quite predictable, but that might just be me.

- A strong-willed heroine who can actually hold her own in a fight
- Mysterious Third Prince who isn’t a love interest and is actually dedicated to his job
- Smart and friendly princess who treats the heroine as an equal
- Heroine‘s father and sister love and support her
- One solid best friend who stands by the heroine through all the craziness
- Main “villains” aren’t dumbed down in order to make the heroine seem smart

- A plot that’s rather predictable
- Heroine accomplishes supposedly difficult missions far too quickly and easily
- Generic Second Prince who catches feels for the heroine, who unfortunately does the same 🙄
- Book is too short to give characters enough time for growth and development

The ending has me excited for a potentially promising hate to love relationship aka the one of best kind. So chances are I’ll probably pick up the second book to see where this adventure goes.

Was this review helpful?

An amazing start to a new series by Jennefire Anne Davis. Reid Ellington has been raised a boy all of her life. However once the Prince Gordon and Ackley arrive at her home her secret is discovered and her families future rests on her shoulder. As Reid learns to navigate this new world she's thrust into; she finds everthing she thought was true may not be. She will have to learn who she can trust as she begins to unravel the secrets of the kingdom in the hopes she can save her father and maintain the family lands.

Loved this book from the first page. I could not put it down and can't wait for book 2 and 3. I will most definetely be picking the next two books up to as soon as they come out to find out Reid's story turns out.

Was this review helpful?

As with all series by Jennifer Anne Davis, I enjoyed this well-written YA fantasy. Reid is an easy character to relate to and root for. The tale begins on her eighteenth birthday, as she is biding her time until one of her sisters gives birth to a boy, so that Reid can finally be known as a Lady and stop pretending to be the Lord and heir to her father’s dukedom. Instead, two royal princes make a surprise visit to her father’s castle, discover her secret almost immediately, and insist that she join them as her father’s troops are led towards the border to prevent war. Though the princes insist upon her presence and treat her well, she is left to ponder the mystery of what they could possibly use her help with.

Reid goes through much of this tale without knowing who to fully place her trust in, which translates to the reader also not knowing which members of the royal family to trust. Not necessarily in a malicious way, but everyone has secrets, and this intrigue was one of my favorite things about this book.

Read quickly over 1.5 days, I found it difficult to put this book down, and even harder to reach the end and realize I’d have to wait until December for its sequel. Very much looking forward to continuing this trilogy.

Was this review helpful?

[[I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]]

thank you to netgalley for another superb arc!

i love a good "female pretending to be male" trope, and this was no exception. i enjoyed that our main character, reid, started to realize that women are so much more than what men and society thought they were back in medieval times. reid had been brought up her whole life to be a male, and i'm sure after she was forced to be a female for certain people, she missed the freedom of being a male.

i enjoyed this book very much. however, i did think that there was something missing from the plot, and it was a lot of description. everything moved so quickly. there was hardly any description of places or people, other than maybe what they wore or what their hair looked like. i'm super into description and i'm driven by characters, and i felt that that was lacking in this book.

i also wish i connected more with the characters. there were a lot of them, and some i just knew by name and never really got a full picture in my head.

however, i will say, this was a quick book to read and very enjoyable. i will for certain be reading the next one.

Was this review helpful?