Paladin

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Pub Date 14 May 2015 | Archive Date 07 Dec 2016

Description

Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam of Haywood is the most promising Paladin trainee in the kingdom of Thule… and knows it. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady Samantha, daughter of the seventeenth Duke of Haywood, and if her father has his way, she’ll be marrying a Paladin, not becoming one.

But Sam has never held much interest in playing damsel-in-distress, and so she rescues herself from a lifetime of boredom and matrimonial drudgery. Disguised as a boy, Sam leaves home behind to fight demons-—the most dangerous monsters in Thule—-alongside the kingdom’s elite warriors. Pity that Tristan Lyons, the Paladin assigned to train her, is none other than the hero of her childhood. He hasn’t recognized her–yet–but if he does, he’ll take away her sword and send her packing.

Sam is not the only trainee hiding secrets: Braeden is a half-demon with a dark past that might be unforgivable. Whether he can be trusted is anyone’s guess, including his.

As demons wreak havoc across the land, rebellion stirs in the West, led by a rival faction of warriors.

A war between men is coming, and Sam must pick a side. Will saving the kingdom cost her life–or just her heart?

Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam of Haywood is the most promising Paladin trainee in the kingdom of Thule… and knows it. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady...


Advance Praise

"Imagine Game of Thrones with less blood and more gender confusion and you get a taste of this knightly epic."
The Guardian

"Imagine Game of Thrones with less blood and more gender confusion and you get a taste of this knightly epic."
The Guardian


Available Editions

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ISBN 9780989463324
PRICE $2.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 126 members


Featured Reviews

Rating: 5 stars I loved this book from the first few pages. Paladin was absolutely magical, with a touch of danger, adventure, and romance. This read is fast-paced, and keeps you at the end of your seat. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends, that's how good it was. The first thing I liked about the book? Sam, otherwise called Lady Samantha. She was such an amazing main character, who definitely knew what she wanted. She also was willing to fight for her future, and the men who fight alongside her. She's the daughter of a duke, so she struggles with either doing her duty decided from birth or finding her own path that she created. I liked her way of thinking and the way she never backs down from a fight. I also loved it when she fights the demons, with complete badassery, although she eats a slice of humble pie every once in a while when sparring with Tristan. Of course, no one is perfect. Sam has temper tantrums once in a while, and doesn't censor her words a lot, which may damage some relationships. However, I still loved her. Just for this main character, I gave the book 5 stars. Braeden was such a great love interest. He perfectly complemented Sam, and had the perfect balance of dangerous bad boy and shy boyfriend. He was utterly adorable whenever he protected Sam, although it was frustrating that he wouldn't let her fight for him until the end. Did I mention he also fight like a demon? (Yes, pun intended.) Tristan...I actually didn't like him that much, since he couldn't see Samantha for what she truly was. I mean, he didn't even recognize her when she was with him for months! He has some good points, however, like having a conscience and being a good swordsman. Still, I'm glad Sam likes Braeden more. Last but not the least, the author did not make the relationship between Sam, Braeden, and Tristan a love triangle! At first, I was scared of this, because I've read so many books with love triangles. Paladin did not have a love triangle, since Sam clearly knows who she wants and who she doesn't want. My final verdict: Paladin is an amazing book. This is a great debut novel, and I'm definitely looking forward to a sequel!

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I received a copy of this book from Perfect Analogy Publishing via NetGalley in return for an honest review um...I...LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!! *clears throat* sorry, I got a little carried away there. I haven't been able to start a review like this in a while, this book was SUCH a pleasure to read!! Rating- 4.5 Stars Let's talk plot Lady Samantha is good with a sword, her father the Duke wants her married. One day her life and naive delusions are shattered when a demon kills her Mother and turns it's eyes to her. Samantha knows she can't win, she wouldn't know how to kill a demon. Until a man, with hair like the sun rescues her. His name is Tristan, and he is a Paladin, a warrior who eradicates the world of demons. Not only is he a warrior, but he is the master of the sword. Samantha grieving her mother means only one thing to her...revenge. You killed my mother," She told the demon with a calm she didn't feel, "and now I'm going to kill you." Samantha decides one thing, to have revenge, she can no longer be weak. To no longer be weak she needs to be trained. To train she needs to join the Paladin. To join the Paladin, she needs to become a man. And so Samantha becomes Sam of Haywood. SOOO GOOODDDD. At first i had that moment of fear, like oh crap, is this going to be another story where a girl impersonates a guy and everything will be so predictable? UGH NO. NOT. AT. ALL Don't get me wrong, she does impersonate a man BUT this story is not predictable, it is freaking enjoyable! The adventure, the fighting, the world- building (you guys know i love me a good world- building) just made it so good! I started reading this late at night and i was so mad when i had to sleep! This is a story you can't stop midway and honestly, you probably wouldn't want to. Okay, lets have a chat on the characters...I loved all of them, even the bad guy. Our three main characters is Sam/ Samantha, Tristan and Braeden. While we might think that this story is all about Sam, honestly, it felt like this story was about Braeden. I just LOVE him! These characters are not your perfect characters, they are angry, they mess up, they struggle. However, they try their best at doing what's right and bless my little heart if i didn't fan girl. Seriously, you won't regret reading this. To me this is a great story! It also had a lot of funny parts too, which made it all the more enjoyable. THERE IS AN AWESOME ROMANCE IN THIS BOOOOOOOKKKKK!!!!!!!! *cough* I mean, there is one and the wonderful thing about it is that it's not the focus of the actual story! BUT! You can see the characters falling in love...that's my favourite part. There is some heart- melting moments too! " I would rather bleed till my body is dry and empty," he said, "than draw a single drop of your blood." You may think that sounds cheesy, but trust me once you read this and this happens you're dying on the inside. There is also something that is not seen in a lot of books. Sam is a strong female character and in the love aspect of the story, they treat each other like partners, not one stronger than the other. "One day I'll get you to stop trying to protect me." (He) laughed softly. "That's never going to happen." Sam scowled. "Fine," She said. "Then I'll just have to protect you back." SO CUTE! " (He) was a noble, self- sacrificing idiot, but he was her idiot." READ THE BOOK PEOPLE. Did I mention this story has a pretty fascinating bad guy? I didn't see that coming when it was revealed who it was. So good. I can't wait for the next one. If you like Fantasy, good but imperfect characters, an adorable romance, adventure, strong characters and sword fighting. You'll enjoy this one for sure!

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Paladin is AMAZING! And that's an understatement. Forget five stars I need five more! Where have you been Miss Slater? It doesn't matter, you're here now. ;) We meet Lady Samantha, the daughter of a Duke, who wants to marry her off right. Sam has different aspirations for her future, she wants to be a warrior. After her mother is killed by a demon, Sam cuts her hair, binds her chest, ditches her gowns and runs off to join the Paladin ranks. Now she has to train under the man who inspired her to become a Paladin in the first place, Tristan Lyons, whom ends up with an additional charge... Enter Braeden, the half demon trainee who will change everything... The world building in this book is incredible, the characters are 3 dimensional, you feel what they feel, their struggles, frustrations, their joy, they will make you laugh, and pull at your heartstrings. The romance is so cute! I just can't get enough of it! There's not a dull moment, it's fast paced, Slater grips you tightly and doesn't let you you go until the end. When you get there you feel satisfied, yet somehow bereft, because you just want more.... Fantasy nuts, rejoice! I can't recommend this enough! Miss Slater is on my radar! Happy Reading!

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Exciting page turner...I did not want to put it down...this book has reached top ten for my favorite reads!

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OH MY GOSH This book was the definition of amazing. I have not read to book that I really loved in such a long time and this novel really blew me away. The Plot: Sam is meant to marry in order to continue her father's lineage. However, she has always dreamed of becoming a warrior so she ends up running away to join the elite force of Paladins. There she is a trainee to the handsome Tristan whom also saved her life two years prior. In a odd turn of event Tristan ends up with two trainees since everyone else refused to train the half-demon, Braedon. The group of three go on an adventure to discover what exactly is causing the increase in the number of demons and whether or not the new group of Uriel is a threat. My Thoughts: When I first started reading this story I was sucked directly into the action. However, I still expected it to be like all other novels about a girl falling in love with her betrothed that she ran away from on accident or her incredibly handsome trainer. To my delight I could not of guessed how the book ended up. The author was able to flawlessly create a character in Sam that everyone could relate and the type of girl that was not afraid to get dirty and fight for what she wants. Braedon really pulled at my heartstrings with how he perceives himself to be a horrible monster and I loved how Sam's no-nonsense attitude helped to bring him out of his shell. Sam and Braedon created a highly unique and special friendship that any person would love to have. The conversations between characters never seemed forced and the book progressed at the perfect rate. I found myself dreading the end of the book almost as much as I wanted to quickly read the book to find out what happens. I ended up having to force myself to set down the book and go to bed because I didn't want to ever stop reading! The author created a unique book and I will definitely be looking out for more novels by her. Everyone should pick up this book to read. It is amazing!

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All reviews appear on Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing plus LT Facebook and Twitter, eyes.2c review blog Amazon http://smile.amazon.com/Paladin-Sally-Slater-ebook/dp/B00WL64DLI/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8 (May 31, 2015) LibaryThing and LibraryThing Facebook and Twitter http://www.librarything.com/work/15635129/summary/118809725 (May 31, 2015) Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1294707450 (May 31, 2015) eyes.2c reviews blog http://eyes2creviews.blogspot.ca/2015/05/dreams-of-swords-and-honor.html (May 31, 2015) Dreams of swords and honor! Great new female hero. Slater's writing reminds me a tad of Sarah J. Maas with a dash of Tamora Pierce. A tried and true theme with a difference. Young woman (of noble birth) wants to be a Paladin, lives for sword fighting, and definitely doesn't want to be married off to decorate someone's holdings and birth the required heirs. Disguising herself as a boy, Sam (Samatha) heads off to paladin headquarters to try her luck. (I've got to say that all that breast binding and then hiding how the the 'call of nature' impacts differently for women would wear me out, let alone holding my own in sword fighting against a hulking successful Paladin. How did she get away with it? Privacy would not be the first thing on the travelling Paladins' minds). She succeeds. An unforeseen circumstance--her co-trainee Braeden is a half demon. Her trainer, her hero from her past, Paladin Tristan Lyons, First of the Sword. Training, fighting demons, following the High Commander's bidding, and the continued battle to disguise her gender do take a toll, as does entering the enclave of a rival organization, The Uriel. It is feared that they seek to oust the Paladins. Sam and her team find more than they'd bargained for. Frighteningly more! The Paladin are in trouble! Well written, Sam's story exercises such a pull that you soon find yourself deep into the action and just snarl at having to face the day's busyness. A feisty young woman who won't settle for any less than she feels driven to do. Translate that drive to today's young women and here's a message for all to follow their dream. They can come true! A NetGalley ARC

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While much of this book does use common tropes in this kind of YA fantasy, I still really enjoyed it, pay no mind to the cartoon-y cover. Sam, while a fairly cliche character, had better reasons for why she ran off to join the Paladins than "I don't want to follow the standard rules of high society." After a tragedy and her father becomes a recluse, Sam decides she wants to take matters into her own hands, and seeks training. She is still pretty annoying sometimes with her bravado of "I'm so tough I can beat all you men." attitude, she walks the line between cocky and confident. I liked Tristan. He wasn't really a cliche of a character, but at the same time he wasn't exactly original either. He's noble, and not the cliche "badboy" or "boynextdoor" he's mostly just a guy that is really good at being a warrior. His age was never really clear until closer to the end of the book, and it was only mentioned in years of how long he was in certain places but doing the math, he's 25. A bit old for a character in a young adult book, not really a problem accept he acts like he's the same age as Samantha, which is maybe 18 by the time the story really picks up. Braden, he was kind of interesting, but there was little that was actually all that special about him. his place in the story is what made some of the things I've seen before in the genre seem like something new, and his presence seemed to be the driving point for most of the plot, not Sam There is a little hint of a romance in this book, and while I dont know if it was actually needed, the way it turned out wasn't how I predicted; but I don't know if thats a good thing or not. The person she ends up with she didn't really share any chemistry with, but I don't mind that it went the way it did. I don't know if this is a stand-alone or not, but it had a little bit of an open ending, so I assume that there will be more.

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There's something different about Sam of Haywood, trainee to the Paladins. Though as brash and skilled as the rest of the recruits, Sam has a secret. She is the daughter of a Duke determined to make her way as a warrior in a world full of demons. The book opens on a tragedy which scars Sam for the rest of the story and spurs her to action. She is to be trained by Paladin Lyons alongside another recruit, a half-demon named Braedon. Sent out of the camp on a new mission, they bond and grow stronger on their journey. Sam is one of those rare characters who knows her own mind and won't back down, not ever, not even when it's in her best interests. There is always the risk with gender-bending stories like this that the woman will give in after the battle is over and go back to being a wife or a girlfriend or something other than herself, defined by her relationship with men. Yet although many of the characters of this story are men, Sam is not defined by them. Even romance does not make her lose her indepedence. There's a thousand things I enjoyed about this book. It was an easy read and addictive too. I could not wait to find out what happened next and though there was one particular plot point that was obvious long before it twisted, there were satisfying and unexpected ones along the way. The best thing about this is book is the way the relationships are handled. Without giving too much away, Sam gets entangled with someone who could do her harm and yet it reads more like a Black-Widow-and-Hulk than your generic Twilight romance. Yes, there's a risk involved, but Sam can handle herself and makes sure everyone knows it. A lot. Sam of Haywood deserves a place in the zeitgeist as one of the best characters around. The only reason I haven't rated this as five stars is because the ending drags its feet too much but it didn't take away from the quality of the story as a whole. If you're a fan of well-written and fun fantasy books with believable and interesting characters, give Paladin a try.

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I was afraid I wouldn’t like this as much as I did, because the ‘girl pretending to be a boy and falling in love while proving she is as good as any boy’ seemed to be hugely popular a few years ago. And I read a lot of them. But this book sucked me in from the first pages. There is a lot of gore and some fairly icky descriptions of battle with monsters and descriptions of wounds gone bad. So I wouldn’t suggest this for younger readers or those who are bothered by such things. However that said… I really liked Sam, and I adored Braeden! I liked Tristan and the Uriel’s leader. There wasn’t a huge amount of world-building, but there was enough that you got a sense of how things fit together. And while it has the ‘girl pretending to be a boy’ plotline, it was anything but predictable. One of the boys finds out she’s a girl fairly early on in the book, but it is not done in any way I’ve seen before. The bad guy was also a near total surprise to me, though I could see a bit of the foreshadowing of it once it was revealed. Sam is headstrong and stubborn, she is also sometimes a bit of an idiot. Mostly because she doesn’t often think before she acts or says things. Braeden is both dark, and a bit of a tragic hero. He tries so hard to do the right thing, but something always seems to go wrong. This is not a love triangle. Though for close to half the book I was afraid it might end up being so. But one of the two possible loves was never actually in love with her, and she was never in love with him. And I’ll leave it at that to avoid spoilers, you’ll have to read it to find out who Sam picks. I loved this book so much! And I'm thrilled to hear it is the first in at least a 2-book set. There are a number of questions left unanswered, and threads hanging that I want to know what happens with. The war, the trip across the sea, if Sam's relationship with her father changes like it looked like it might towards the end of this first book. If you want a story that will suck you in and make you read every page, with a slow-build romance that you can actually see growing, as well as plenty of action and characters that are highly developed, you need to read this book.

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THIS BOOK DESERVES ALL THE HAPPY GIFs IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH IT'S SO AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS AN AWESOME BOOK WITH A GIRL KICKASS FIGHTER!!!!!!!! WHO HAD TO PRETEND THAT SHE'S A BOY!!!!!! AHHHH COULDN'T IT BE CUTER??!! But on a serious note, I think her reason for pretending to be a boy is quite noble. Plus, unlike Mulan who had no idea of what she's doing, our heroine slash hero is already good at fighting. It's awesome!! Somewhere along the way, she gets stuck with two studs. One is already there at the top. A real hero. While the other is our unlikely hero, who in my opinion, is more handsome by the way. :) Together, they learn more about fighting demons, evading bad circumstances. Basically, they just become close friends. Friends who bicker once in a while, but understand one another. It's honestly the best part. Their camaraderie. :) But of course, there's also the romance factor. Watch out for that. It's as intriguing as it is lovable!!! I think there's a next book for this... so... I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT!!!!!!!!!!!1 GIMME GIMME GIMME!!!!!!!!! I PROMISE YOU... THIS IS WAY AWESOME TO MISS!!!!!!!!!! Full review to come when I'm already lucid. I feel like I'm dreaming. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Please see my review full of gifs here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1297308454?type=review#rating_45328514

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Loved this book and had a hard time putting it town. The plot was engrossing, the characters entertaining...can't wait for the sequel!

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This book was like Mulan, but under entirely different circumstances. The world building in this book was gradual (which I loved) so there was not a lot of info dumping (which I hate). The characters in this book had extremely complex personalities, the only thing I don't like about the characters was how their appearances was described as either strikingly beautiful or extremely average. The main character in this book was just following her dream, she wasn't annoying and she wasn't a special snowflake, just an "ordinary-ish" girl who found herself in realistic situations (as realistic as a fantasy book can be). The only thing this book really lacked was a plot line, it seemed like they were just going from one place to another and having mini adventures there (kind of like a T.V show). The only other problem I had with this book was the love triangle, it was completely unnecessary and felt like it was just there as a space filler. Otherwise this book was decent, not enough to love it, but not enough to hate it either.

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enjoyed the book.

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I received this book from Netgalley and Perfect Analogy Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review. I have to be completely honest here. When I first opened the book and read the prologue, I thought "A princess like character needing to find a husband?" and inside, I groaned a little. There are about 3 bazillion books that all seem to have that same start and I worried that I had stumbled across yet another one. This book didn't fall instantly into boring tropes and cliches, well, not completely. Yes, there is some romance and gender confusion as Girl pretends to be Boy wanting to be Knight (er, Paladin in this case) and Boys near said Girl get caught up into the story. This book is equal parts Shakespeare gender challenging, standard YA, Fantasy elements, with a little princess bride mixed in. I say Princess Bride because by the time that there was actually romance involved, I didn't actually mind reading about the "Kissy parts". I felt that Sam of Haywood, Tristan, and Braeden were interesting characters and I felt that the author conveyed why characters acted in the way that they did without compromising the characters themselves. The old romance ideal of the female character instantly falling for the first jerk male in the book in the end wasn't the immediate solution and the way that the story is told makes the twists and turns feel more fluid than many of the contrived plot lines that romance and even Disney stories seem to want to go. The editing in the electronic version was very well done even when I was looking for errors. The writing was easily followed although there were a few times that action events happened so quickly that I had to go back and re-read a paragraph to see what I must have overlooked or skimmed past only to find out that the event being referred to hadn't fully been explained yet. If I had to find a main problem with this book is was simply in it's title. I grew up on old school fantasy and even with Dungeons and Dragons and the like. As such, when I see the word 'Paladin', I instantly think of a pure and true knight fighting for a divine power. I associate Paladins as having healing abilities, some form of magic, and are almost priest like in their purity. This isn't what 'Paladin' was used for in this story. It was used more as a name of an order of knights with pure intentions although, since the main characters first action was to join a group of "pure and honest fighters", the fact that Sam joined based on a lie seemed a contradiction to the title. But that is just being picky. This was a solid read, enjoyable with some interesting characters and some moral choices and gender twisting fun that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy Mercedes Lackey and Melanie Rawn but also those who like series like Hunger games. I would say that grade 9 and above will all find something to enjoy in this book, especially girls who enjoy a good role model for not being trapped into the role that you feel life seems to lock you into.

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Okay, with this one it has been love at first sight. This book is... AMAZING! Paladin is action- packed, twisted, compelling and it literally blew me away. Maybe it's not perfect - there are some minor issues - but seriously, who cares when a book is this unputdownable? I loved the story and even more the characters, that IMO are the greatest strength of this book. Sam "All of her training had been for this. For a chance to become her own hero. It was now or never. The Paladins waited for no man. And certainly for no woman." Sam is not just a girl in man's shoes: not only there are serious motives behind her choice to join the Paladins, but she's also a fine swordman and a strong, kick-ass heroine. I loved her squabbles with Tristan and the funny misunderstandings arising from her secret identity (the brothel scene is pure genius!) and of course her relationship with Braeden! Tristan "Tristan was the one of them without secrets, the unflappable one, the one without a chink in his armor. What kind of sordid past could he possibly want to hide?" I had thought that Tristan had to be the knight in shining armor, the perfect guy, the one without fears and without stains. I was wrong and I liked it, because it made me enjoy this book and its complex, believable characters even more. Braeden "Braeden didn’t fear much in life. Why would he be afraid of monsters when he was one himself? He’d been told he was evil since he’d left his mother’s womb, and after a time, he’d started to believe it true. There wasn’t much to fear when he was his own worst nightmare." Needless to say, I have a twisted thing for this guy. He's haunted, he's torn and I simply adore him. So, in the end, this is my advice: READ. THIS. BOOK. You won't regret it.

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Plot In a world where demons exist, Paladins are the people’s protectors. Lady Samantha loves fighting with a sword more than tittering around the court in a dress. She wants to be a Paladin, to avenge the death of her mother, but the Paladins accept no females in their ranks. So she cuts her hair, binds her chest, and sets off to join them. There, Paladin Tristan Lyons is assigned to train her and Braeden, a half-demon. The other Paladins and trainees don’t trust Braeden because of obvious reasons and when demons slip through the wards and attack the fortress in the middle of the night, they blame him. As damage control, the High Commander suggests that Tristan and his trainees leave the training grounds and go to gather more information about the Uriel, a rival faction. Along the journey to uncover who the Uriel really are, they discover that maybe, just maybe, the Paladins aren’t as great as they appear to be. I first read Paladin while it was on Wattpad. For those who don’t know what Wattpad is, Wattpad is an online community where ‘non’professional writers post their stories for free. Sometimes, if the book is hugely popular, it gets picked and a newer, more refined version is written. Then it gets published. I absolutely loved the original Paladin and was so happy for Sally when she announced that she’s going to publish it. Originally, the book had a different prologue but I must say I liked this one a lot more. We got to see her mother and even though I knew that she was going to pass away, I was still in denial; I really didn’t want her to die! Characters Sam Sam, I knight thee “Sam the Kickass Lady”. I love a lady who fights. I love a lady who can use a sword better than a man. I love a lady who is no damsel in distress. We don’t need no men to save us, ladies. We can do the saving ourselves. Sam has sass, muscle, and playfulness. Without mincing my words, I freaking love her. She makes you want to look up to her. That’s how great she is. Braeden No words can describe how much I Iove Braeden. And so strong. and he’s really hot. In other words, he’s perfect. Did I mention he is shirtless in more than one scene?? In one scene he’s even down to his underwear. *giggle*. DEAR GOD HOW I SWOON. And he has a dark past. Oh you poor soul let my pet youuuuu. (Braeden no! Stop slapping my hands away!) If I didn’t like Sam I would’ve taken the sword and stabbed her so Braeden can be mine alone. #sigh But I trust Sam to keep my baby safe for me so I guess I can live with that. She’s also going to work on him to make him feel loved. This is probably my favorite line in the whole book "How could anyone tell this man—this man she would follow to the ends of the earth and back again—that he was undeserving of love?" Tristan I didn’t particularly like him especially when he went like “you know, Sam would make a good wife. She can wring her hands all day being worried about my royal highness”. Tristan, don’t you know her at all? But I do get his feelings. He’s been alone for so long that he just wants someone to call home. That broke my heart. And when we knew his story at last, my eyes might have teared up a little bit. I also felt bad for him after Sam and Braeden left. Now he’s alone again. On the bright side though, I can totally see him and Addie getting together. Bottom line If you’ve read my review above, then there is no need for me to say how much I loved this book again. It has all my fav things: kickass female lead (check), hot love interest (check check check), fantasy elements (check), pure epicness (a hundred checks). Recommended for: lovers of fantasy, kickass female characters, and swoon worthy romance.

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This book is a bit trope-y and shallow in terms of world building, but I don't even care because it's fun. We start of with a premise I usually enjoy -- girl disguises herself as a boy so she can go off and do warrior type things. Sam's backstory, however, immediately made me think of the anime Revolutionary Girl Utena for some reason. (There's also the standard Disney tragic backstory of killing off the mom which launches Our Heroine on her path.) If you don't know Revolutionary Girl Utena, the heroine is basically so impressed by a kind prince in her childhood that she decided to become a prince herself, although she doesn't have to disguise herself. This will not be the last anime reference I draw from this book. Anyway, Sam sort of does the same thing. She very frequently declares that she doesn't need saving because she's perfectly capable of being her own hero. And while she kicks butt with weapons, she's also impatient and whiny and snarky and insecure, which is actually kind of refreshing. All too often, girl warriors always seem to have to be perfect in every way -- mannerly, tough as nails no matter what, stoic and bad ass -- it's kind of nice that Sam isn't perfect. So Sam enrolls in training to become a Paladin, which is an order? Or something? dedicated to fighting demons. Where do the demons come from? What to they really want? There's kind of magic but it's really old and forgotten and no one can do it anymore! All of this is briefly touched on, then brushed under the rug of Mythical Legendary History, which is why I say the world building of the world is shallow. There's all these references to the various gods and some of the religious orders, but nothing in depth. Supposedly the gods gave man the ability to fight demons? Or something. I'm still not too sure. You just get this caricature of what feels like a place from Game of Thrones. But it also doesn't really matter. Sam's mentor is Tristan, who is pretty much a captain of the football team/frat bro/expert fighter. He's good looking, he's good in a fight, and he's none too bright. Luckily, he's also a decent person, so I ended up somewhat fond of him. He also has a tragic backstory, which seems to be a running theme. And Sam's fellow trainee is a half-demon named Braeden, who apparently is supposed to look a bit like Sesshoumaru from Inu Yasha? Long silver hair, wrapped in robes, slitted eyes....yeah. Except his attitude is a little more like Hisoka from the anime Descendants of Darkness, and he also has certain tattoo markings in common with Hisoka. And Braeden wants to be a Paladin to (tragic backstory!) atone for his past sins. And so the three embark on a journey to investigate an enemy, and there are shenanigans. There's even a blanket!fic moment, where they have to sleep in a huddle to stay warm, and it's silly but funny. Admittedly, Sam really doesn't make a very good boy in disguise...there's reference to her binding her breasts, but never anything about how she would deal with getting her period? Especially as she's constantly in close quarters with the other men with very little privacy. She's also pretty emotional and doesn't seem to be able to hide her expressions very well. It's sort of like She's the Man, where people just think Sam is a weird, scrawny guy with issues. And I won't ruin the end, save to say there's a bit of romance, and a plot twist that was a little obvious, and a plot twist that wasn't. I wasn't too fond of the romance bit -- it was a little too cut and dry -- but I also can't deny that there's a lot of sexual tension flying around, which was fun. Basically, if you want a fun, easy read about demon fighting, this is your book. The writing is simple and pretty smooth, for the most part. It does sort of slip into modern speech pattens sometimes, which makes all those "ayes" a little jarring, but it's not bad enough that it distracts from the story. If there's a sequel, I will probably read it too.

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This version of Paladin is clean and incredibly well-written. The story of what prompted Samantha to join the Paladins is much more believable and makes you want to pick up a sword and fight right alongside her. However, what isn’t different is the connection between the characters and the hilarity that ensues when the reader knows Sam is a female, but her male counterparts are clueless. Sally switches between characters at chapter breaks periodically, so you’re not stuck seeing the entire story from Samantha’s view point. However, she does it with great skill and it takes nothing away from the story With only 3 main characters, you’re never confused with who’s viewpoint you’re hearing the story from. If anything, it increases the allure of the book because you get to see just how clueless the men actually are. Okay, maybe as a female, I find that funnier than a male would. While you can still read the free version on Wattpad, be aware it’s NOT the same version that was printed here. I highly recommend you read both. Though after re-reading the Wattpad version, I’ve decided I prefer the printed version. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy and needs a good laugh.

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4.5 stars :'3 I'm actually kind of surprised that I liked it so much considering how the beginning was really not exceptional. Ok people. I have found something quite important that I needed to voice out. STOP COMPARING EVERY BOOK TO GAME OF THRONES. The only resemblance between this book and GoT is that there are kingdoms and that there are characters in the book. Wow such similarities. Much likeness. If anything, I would say that Paladin is more like Throne of Glass or even better yet, Alanna, but not Game of Fuckin Thrones, ok? When Sam loses her mother to a fight against a demon, Tristan, a handsome Paladin, randomly appears and saves her (wow that coincidence). Two years later, Sam decides to join the Paladin to avenge her mom. But there's problem. You have to be a boy. So she dresses up as one and goes to the institute. Wanna guess who's her mentor? You got that right. Tristan. She also happens to have another partner whose name is Braedon. (When no other team has a second partner) He's half demon half human, but he is the sweetest cupcake in the world. Training goes all well until the High Commander asks them to go on a mission to spy on the Uriel, another rival group that kill demons. But when they find the Uriel, they realize that everything is not what it seems and that the line between good and bad, right or wrong is incredibly blurry. MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS Take out the poor start and this book would've been a 5 stars for me. Not once did I ever know who were the good guys and who were the bad ones. The author always kept us guessing. What if they had hidden motives?What if they were truly saving people? What if they were traitors? What if, what if , what if... I think this might actually be the first fantasy book that this has happened to me and I loved it! Also, ah, the wonders of forbidden love. I ship them yo. Romance wasn't rushed and was very intense and sweet. It took time to develop and it isn't all based on physical appearance. Yes, the plot is pretty simplistic when you think about it because there aren't many sub plots and stuff happening outside the main storyline but it doesn't make the book any bad. I could still die a happy Camly without them. Characters: Sam is amazeballz. She is doesn't let anyone control her life. She knows what she wants and fights for it. I like that kind of shit. THAT'S MY JAM YO. Side note: why is she stuttering all the time? Does she have speech impediment or is she just always nervous? We don't really know:/ Braedon is such a cutie patootie. That's all I'm saying and Tristan is pretty cool too though I kind of feel bad for him. Honestly guys, I can't wait to read the sequel. This is also Slater's debut novel. It's understandable that it isn't perfect, but I have high hopes that the next one will be better.

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The rating is actually 3.5, I felt torn between giving it a four or three. I liked the plot well enough, the idea in fact everything in this book was what I love to chase in a book. This was just the exact trap for me but the question is why I gave this a three stars? You see the thing about what makes a book is just not about having a good plot, it's also making characters in a balance that doesn't feel overdo and underdo---don't know if that's a word but whatever. The characters in this book, especially the main character were overdone. There wasn't a balance, I disliked the main character though not at once, from the BEGINNING she was promising it was everything I ever wanted. A rebel duchess, a warrior at heart----could my day ever get better. Except as the story CONTINUED it felt like everything the character was doing was forced. The main character was too arrogant and stupid, I know I think the author tried to make a flaw in her characters---the flaw was too much, she behaved stupid and idiotic and sometimes I lost my patience with her. For the rest of the e characters I can say the same, they were either doing something too much or less. But something stopped me from DNFing this book, I just don't know what but every-time I find myself coming back to it. Samantha is the heir to the duke of Hayden, when her mother tragically died from the hands of a demon she promised to learn to fight and so she did----did I say she was also hot head and determined? She trained everyday even when she got discouraged ad even when the bigger discouragement was that the academy specifically to fight demons will trained her well and better was only for boys. What did she do? 'She went ALL she's the man' (I seriously hate all this gender inequality books so it's still a surprise i CONTINUED.) She chopped off her hair, threw aside gowns and makeup and instead dress in a boy attire---still wondering how they didn't notice she was a female. The Paladins: they are the ones who trained the best of the best to fight demons and they have a school. She trained well and hard her smoking trainer was a distraction---for me. And her half demons friend was a disappointment---still for me because the way he was described in the synopsis which made my blood boiled I was thinking---OMG he's gonna be bad-ass attitude and all. Sadly it wasn't so, I was really disappointed that the characters turned out to be something else but the author spanned a great story of treachery, freedom and a lot of ass-kicking. That's why I continued it ASSFUCKINGKICKING. Okay, I can't turn down a chance of ass kicking. The Paladins weren't the good they proclaimed well their leader certainly wasn't and now a war arises, the demons are FREE from their prison. Will the Paladins ally themselves with the east warriors or will their pride eat them and finish them? That's the question of the day.

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Even though the story had huge illogical moments (like arguing before demons' attacking, having the best swordsman blush and many more), the author managed to get me gripped until the last word. I wish it would have been better written as for characters and places descriptions but she developed a great plot. Bravo.

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Ok I have to admit, to start with this reminded me of Defy crossed with Summoner: Novice (I don't know why, possibly because that was the last demon book I read) but that was bad. Very very bad. I really didn't get on with Defy and I thought I was going to give up on this one, but I'm so happy I didn't! What put me off I think was the comments about her being a woman and weak, but far from it being all over and an obsession mentioned every 5 minutes, it seemed as though it was covered as part of the world truth. There was a tiny hint of a love triangle that was something I ignored. It was more the hint of a possibility rather than an actual love interest which was good. And I'll tell you what was even better, which is a SEMI SPOILER ALERT: At the end SHE GOES WITH HIM! No separation for book two! I'm so happy and excited it's ridiculous. There were a few things that I thought were perhaps missing, making the plot a little less complex which made me feel it was more a teen book, but at the same time I think it's meant to be a YA and they may have perhaps been missing by accident. I believe this is Sally Slaters' first novel and that people should always be given some slack the first time they do stuff. There was no hint how much time had passed at the start, it seemed as though it was week or months at most but it was in fact years and I thought that there would have been a sort of qualifying process before they were assigned to their trainers, unless it was mentioned in a line or two and I missed it. I liked how frank Sam was and that she was quite focused on what she wanted. I wasn't too fond of Tristan but I think that was just how we saw him. My favourite is certainly Braeden. A wounded underdog type, with silver hair whose kind when he almost shouldn't be? I like these types. I hope we get to see him lots in the next book...which at the moment is being written and no publish date is in sight.

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Sam of Haywood is the daughter and sole heir, but she wants none of it. Sam wants to be a paladin, protector of the land. After her mother is brutally killed by a demon, Sam runs off to train as a paladin, and becomes firm friends with Braeden (half human, half demon) and the paladin who saved her life when her mother was killed. Of course, the secret of her gender cannot be kept forever. This book was very very good at time, and other times I felt like I wandered a bit until I figured it out. The relationship between Braeden and Sam is tight. I enjoyed the book and would read the second, if there is one.

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Paladin is a doozie! Lady Samantha, aka Sam, lost her mother in a demon attack. With a father who couldn't care less, Sam takes on the journey to become a Paladin (think Mulan, except she's fighting demons, not the Huns.) Along with the half demon Braeden, she is assigned as trainee to Paladin Tristan . Aka, the dream boat who helped her during the demon attack that killed her mother. This book is a fine mixture of Mulan and The Night's Watch from Game of Thrones. It's got the whole cross dressing female ready to fight a war, backstabbing by allies,and a bunch of big headed men fighting demons (white walkers of this world.) It's so much fun!! I make it sound like this book is someone what silly, but it's really not. Aside from the fun, light bantering between Tristan and Sam, Paladin is a quite serious story. Sam is basically having an identity crisis throughout the book. It's emotional and slightly heart-wrentching if you try to put yourself in her shoes. Does she have to be just Sam, Paladin trainee? Or can she be Lady Samatha as well? Braeden, similarly, doesn't know if he is more human or demon. Doesn't know if he deserves to be loved or to love. Tristan...well, he has skeletons in his closets, demons in his past, etc. etc., you know how it goes. Really, this book is quite lengthy and you have to give it time. The length, however feels just right. Unfortunately, I didn't find this book particularly astounding. I wasn't bored, but the pages never put me on edge ever. Slater tries to pull off the whole Star-crossed lovers, the demon and human can never be, but doesn't do it very well. Braeden was kind of a pushover and too nice, while sam was the go-getter. What I can tell you is that if you're looking for a book with a strong female character, this is the one for you: "'This is no fairy tale, little girl,' he said into her ear as she started to slump. ' No one's coming to save you.' Before her vision could fade to black, she clasped her hands together and drove the hilt of the sword into his gut. 'I don't need to be saved. I'll damn well save myself.'" Overall, A definite 3 star. The sequel will be worth the read and I definitely will be picking it up, but it's not one of those books that I'll be counting the days till it comes out.

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Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you And thanks a lot to Vippi! Grazie, grazie, grazie! *_* So... I didn't really think that I could fall in love so "easily" after the end of Shin's and Olgun adventures, but I was wrong, and for once I didn't mind (usually I love to be right and I hate when I'm wrong, but for this one I didn't mind. I'm happy!!!!!). Wow. This book is amazing, and I mean it. From the start to the end, it's perfect. The story is intriguing, fascinating, absorbing (I really couldn't stop to read it!!!) and good. It's a good and I don't think that Young Adult is a quite right label, for me it's more appropriate the label "epic fantasy". Sometimes it reminds me of another book that I loved: [book:Blood Song|13569581] and I loved Paladin more for this. The writing is good and compelling and the characters... they're simply amazing! I loved them all! (Ok, I loved more Sam and Braeden and Tristan, but all the characters are good!). You simply couldn't not fall in loe with them! For once I was completely and utterly in love with the female charachter (and in this period is not an easy thing for me), I loved Sam, she's so funny, resolute, she knows her mind, and she's a really kick-ass heroine, yay! Braeden was my favourite. It was really love at first sight! And I am a superficial person, because when I firt read about him I fall in love and it was just a description (but, really.. silver hair and split pupils, how can you resist???). And Sam's parents... they're not to present in the book but they are in the starting, and they're quite good! I mean... they are really parents, they're the real thing! And ok, maybe they're a little bit medieval, but they are parents for true, and it's a very hard thing to find in books! So... wow! Maybe I'll come back to write something more sensible, but for now... wow, wow, wow! You have to read it! https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1302053768?book_show_action=false

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I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley and was not compensated for this review. Many thanks! This is the story of Samantha, a young noblewoman who dresses as a boy and sneaks off to become a Paladin. She wants to protect the world from the demons that plague it and she is willing to reinvent her identity to do so. A solid first book by the author. I think it might lack a little polish, but I won't trash it because it does a lot of things right. You might think a book about a girl living as a boy would be terribly insensitive and disrespectful sometimes, but it isn't. Some of the other trainees are nasty towards Sam and her half-demon friend Braeden, but they're only nasty in the way that young people usually are when they want to exclude those that are different. Sam doesn't trash other women just because they aren't tomboys like her. She also isn't a mary-sue who is the BEST at everything; she's actually quite weak in the beginning and has to earn her status as a good swordsman. Sam, Braeden and Tristan generally respect eachother. I like that pronouns for Sam are switched around. When she presents herself as male, male pronouns are used. When Sam is thinking to herself, female pronouns are used. Maybe that's silly, but I was just glad to see the author wasn't afraid to show both aspects of Sam; I think that we all have "masculine" and "feminine" traits and that's nothing to be ashamed of. There are two opposing factions that are simultaneously fighting the demons in this world, the Paladins and the Uriel. At first Sam sees the Uriel as bad, but some characters are presented to her and she begins to see the world as more than black and white. In addition to this intrigue, there is plenty of action. If you were worried this would be nothing but Sam falling in love undercover, don't be. There's plenty to see between point A and point B that's not romance. It's a pretty well rounded story.

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The well developed characters who populate the YA epic fantasy of Paladin are its biggest strength. They are dimensional, engaging, and often humorous. Sam's narrative voice offers a believable strong female protagonist whom most readers will connect with from the start. I like the fact that she is a good swordswoman but she isn't touted as "the one" who will save them all - she is just a trained girl who wants to fight the bad guys. The action is not too shabby either. The combat sequences offer a nice mix of detail and summary so that none of the fight scenes ever seem to drag on for too long. The magical system associated with the demons is easy for readers to grasp, and the half demon character of Braedon is put to good purpose when it comes to introducing the specifics that can't be implied. World building is adequate and descriptions easily translate to mental landscapes for readers, but the author avoids bogging the story down with the influx of alien details that can often choke readers in this genre. While all of these factors should have added up to a pretty engaging read, it was a slow start for me, and it wasn't until the second half of the book that I really found it compelling. I think the problem is that the structure of the book is similar to a quest story but the plot lacks a clear questing goal for the first half, focusing instead on character development that leads to the feeling of a somewhat pointless ramble through the countryside. This part of the story could have been more tightly plotted. I had a little trouble with the exuberance of the romantic relationship at the end, but I'm a sceptic of romance, so . . . Overall, I was pleased with this book and I think if you enjoy books like the Wheel of Time series this is a nice (much less convoluted and more YA friendly) book to consider.

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I honestly wasn't expecting much from this book, but it was AMAZING. I loved all the action in the book and the plot was well thought out. The duke's daughter running off to fight demons as a man, though a fairly classic storyline, pulled of well. I was hooked. It has been a long time since I have read a book that has kept me glued to it's pages and it Paladin gave that back to me. I really hopw there is a sequeal to this book.

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A perfect book for all the fantasy lovers out there. This book is a well balanced mixture of action, romance, and humour. The main protagonist Samantha of Haywood, is a full on badass who takes us along with her on a whole new level of exciting adventure. It blew me away with its simple straightforwardness and impeccable style of writing and a lot of giggles here and there. I definitely recommend this book to all the readers out there!

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If you love fantasy novels and young adult then you are sure to enjoy this. Paladin is the story of Sam, a woman who wants desperately to be a warrior, Braeden, a half demon who seeks redemption for his sins, and Tristan, their skilled trainer with a dark past. Together they set out on a journey to kill demons and gather information to report back to the Paladins. This is a really well written story with a well developed world and a nice blend of characters. It's fast paced, throwing you right into the heart of the story from the very beginning. One of the things that keeps the story fresh and flowing is the alternating perspectives between our three main characters. The story is also rather humorous. Sam is a woman pretending to be a man so she can train with the Paladins. As I'm sure you can imagine, this gets her into some very interesting situations. This, along with the friendly banter between the three companions, keeps the narrative rather light even in the darkest moments. The three characters play really well off of each other. I love character driven stories and this one certainly has some strong characters that kept me interested. Sam is cocky, sassy, talented, and nearly fearless. This combination doesn't necessarily sound the most appealing, but she is an extremely likable main protagonist. Braeden is loyal, brave, caring, misunderstood, and fun. He has a tortured past and an uncertain future. He is probably my favorite character. Tristan is arrogant, cocky, skilled, and kind. He has demons that haunt his memories and isn't always the most likable, but he's still interesting. There is a bit of romance in the story, but it's never particularly over the top. I actually really like the way it's handled and resolved without forcing Sam to give up her identity and independence. It's cute, fun, dangerous, and doesn't take away from the story, which is what I'm always worried about when any kind of romance is introduced in these kinds of stories. The overall plot was predictable at times and I was able to guess many of the key revelations that came at the end, but that didn't hinder my enjoyment of the story. I highly recommend this to any and all young adult fantasy fans. It's a fast paced and fun read.

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5 stars!!!! Faith in blood that was amazing!!! Sam is such a kick ass character and I loved her passion and her fearlessness!!! Tristan is the perfect knight in shining armor, and Braeden... oh, Braeden he is just PERFECT!!!! I really liked that the story was told from the point of view of a different character in each chapter. This made me connect even more with each one of the characters. No words can express how good this book was, and how I loved every word of it!!! I just didn't want it to end! Thank God I read that there are more books to follow, because my poor little heart would not be able to stand that this could be a stand alone!! Oh no! :)

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This is a great book. I read a lot, and few books hold me like this one. The concept of a young woman dressing as a man so that she can follow a path other than marriage is not new, but this is done with a unique angle and such skill and that that doesn’t matter. It’s a classic theme, one that raises issues of equality and equal opportunity that will always be relevant, and Paladin combines this theme with a budding romance and questions of loyalty and betrayal. The story is set in a traditional medieval fantasy world, but there’s no sorcery. There is, however, plenty of sword and plenty of demons. Our heroine is good with her sword and wants to be a warrior, not a wife. The plot is strong and the pace excellent. I never wanted to put the book down. The characters are fully fleshed, likeable, and not always predictable but always believable. On top of this, the book has been expertly written and edited. I could not fault it on technical issues at all. The prose is excellent and easy to read for the intended YA audience.

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This is a fun, character-driven fantasy in an old school style, with a girl pretending to be a boy in order to train for combat. I loved stories like this as a teenager (I wrote one that bears a few similarities to this one, minus the demons) and I still enjoy them now, though I’m a little more sceptical about the likelihood of pulling off such a ruse. For the most part, though, this one works, thanks largely to Tristan’s convenient dimness and Braeden’s sheer awesomeness. Before I talk about the boys, first I’ll deal with Sam. While she makes for a compelling lead character, getting out there, living her dreams and excelling, I’m still not sure I actually like her. She’s brash and impulsive, judgemental and rude and often pretty childish for an eighteen-year-old. A lot of her behaviour smacks of brattishness, and though she is brave and trains hard I could have done with less whining. Yet it didn’t matter how I felt about her personally, because I still wanted to know what would happen to her next. So even if she wasn’t likeable she was always interesting, which is not something to be sniffed at. Her interestingness is definitely aided by her two travelling companions. I didn’t always like Tristan either, though. He’s the perfect paladin – a master swordsman, has a personal vendetta against demons and is a glowing example of doing as he’s told. He’s also arrogant, light on praise and a bit of a jerk at times. He’s also prone to big-dumb-brute syndrome, but only when it’s convenient. I did find it a little odd that he’d be sent on such a trip right after he was handed two trainees, but hey, it helped the plot so let’s not quibble on details. Especially when one of those trainees was Braeden! I loved him. Not just because his half-demon status made him an even odder duck than Sam. He’s funny and quiet and smart and definitely my favourite character in this book. I loved the snarky banter between him and Sam at the start of their relationship, and the half-demon aspect of his character made him both different and fascinating. Sure, he has that noble streak that makes things a bit annoying at times, but I liked how he balanced out both Sam and Tristan. The characters are definitely the strongest part of this book. They’re well developed, interesting and have plenty of facets – unlike the plot, which is mostly trekking around the country on a bit of wild goose chase, while political and geographical details are revealed. It’s great for world building, but if the characters had been any less interesting it would have made the book itself a bit dull. Luckily that doesn’t happen, but if you like a well laid out plot, you won’t find it here. Which isn’t to say the plot isn’t interesting – because it definitely is – it just takes a good long while to get to the point, any point, before rushing through a few conclusions at the end. Overall this is a highly readable and enjoyable debut with some great characters, set in a well developed world. It’s not particularly original or massively different, instead it’s a good start to a new fantasy series that I definitely want to read more of. If you love fantasy, particularly in the classic style, then you’ll probably like this too.

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A fast-paced book, in which the pages turn faster than that of Sam's sword!

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Lady Samantha has dreams of being a Paladin, one of the heroic knights that protect the land and when her father tells her that she must choose a husband within a few months or he will choose one for her she becomes angry. Upset she runs to her favorite place on the estate and it there that her mother finds her and tried to comfort her and make her understand her father’s decision. The weather turns and they are making their way back to them manor when they are trapped by a demon…….. Afterwards, Sam is determined that she will do whatever it takes to become a paladin. This is a well-developed story with characters that the reader can relate to and the story alternates between the three man characters which I feel made the story more enjoyable. The story has action and also some humor (a girl masquerading as a man while trying to hide other things can lead to some amusing scenes). There is some romance, but it’s not the focus of the story and there is no unnecessary sex which is too often written into a story. If you are a fan of young adult and fantasy novels this is one that you should not miss. 4.25/5 STARS: **I want to thank the author and/or the publisher for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review; all opinions are mine.**

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review through Netgalley and this review is also posted on my Goodreads page and personal website: www.travelsinmedia.nl. The book that I am reviewing for you today is called Paladin and is written by Sally Slater. Paladin is her debut novel and I absolutely loved it! I can tell you right away that it is a must-buy for fans of Young Adult Fantasy novels. Paladin’s story is about a girl called Samantha. Instead of marriage and knitting, she spends her spare time training with swords and other ‘unfitting’ hobbies for a woman. When her mother is killed by a demon and Paladin Tristan Lyons saves her, she knows exactly what to do: become a Paladin herself and slay all demons. There is one minor problem: only men can become a Paladin. So she cuts of her hair, binds her breasts and changes her name to Sam. When she enters the academy for training, her mentor is none other than Paladin Tristan Lyons... The chapters are not too short, or too long. You can pick it up for a short read, or even continue until the end of the book if you prefer. It is written in third person, with changing perspectives. You look through the eyes of three main characters; Sam, Tristan and Braeden, a half-demon. This gives Paladin a nice variation and different insights to the events that are happening. Author Sally Slater created a noticeable difference between the female character (Sam) and the two males characters. It is how it should be, so well done Sally! Paladin is definitely a Young Adult book. There is an overall concept of politician-games, but it never goes deeper than some small mentions of them. People die, but there hardly is any emotion to it. And kissing is about the most explicit act that is going on. It means that Paladin is an easy read, but it does have some plot twists that will surprise you. Because you most likely haven’t read this book yet, I have adjusted the font colour of the next part. Do not read this and skip it if you don’t want to get spoiled! One of the things that surprised me was that the Paladins also turned out to be Braeden’s master. In the synopsis Sally mentioned that Braeden had a secret, but I was thinking more in the lines of his father being the one that killed Sam’s mother, or that he was the one that killed everyone in Tristan’s village when he was young. But this? Wow, it really was a pleasant unexpected surprise. Conclusion: Paladin had a solid storyline, well developed characters and a satisfying ending. It does imply that there is a sequel on the way, but there are no major cliffhangers. You won’t be disappointed, so go buy Paladin now! Storyline 37/40 Main character(s) 26/30 Chapter length 8/10 Plot twists 8.5/10 Ending 8.5/10 ------------------------------ Total score 88/10

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This is an enchanting tale. The characters are strong and engaging, the action scenes are fast paced and absorbing. The plot twists are unpredictable. It has all the requirements of an epic fantasy novel, and I couldn't put it down. Sam's strength and determination make her a strong character, while her wit and sass make the book a delight to read. I also enjoyed that it never felt like a love triangle between her and the two male characters. Despite the awesome first 3/4 of the book...the end fizzled a bit for me, and I found it slightly out of character from the rest of the novel. It felt rushed and awkward, which is the only reason I am not giving this novel five stars. It is however, still a great read which I would recommend.

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Where do I start with this one really ? The basic idea of the plot really interested me, you follow a seventeen years old girl named Sam. One day while she's in the wood with her mother, she's attacked by a demon who tried to kill her. But her mother as you can guess sacrifices herself to protect her daughter so she can run away. However, too shocked to do any other things, Sam attacks the demon with a stick and... she's rescued by a Paladin, a protector of the realm, named Tristan Lyons. He accompagnies her to her castle and leaves. You could think that this going to stop here ? It's so not because now Sam knows that she can learn to defend herself and the kingdom against those who murdered her mother. And the only way is to become a Paladin. The problem ? She's a girl and it's forbidden. What did I love in this book ? I loved this book because the character of Sam is really interesting, genuine and witty. She also knows what she wants and doesn't let people tell her what she should or shouldn't do. She is also super badass and kind of pretentious at times but still utterly loveable. I also liked a lot her relationship with Braeden and how it slowly progress from a real friendship to something more without being rushed (and also no love triangle here). The pacing of the story and the story itself were really good and I couldn't put the book down. It was definitely one of the (if not the) bes YA fantasy I read this year. Do I recommend this book to you ? You should definitely pick this up. If you enjoyed the Throne of glass series by Sarah J. Maas, I truly think that you won't be able to put Paladin down !

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I liked this book! It had a good story, was an easy read, and the characters were likeable. I cared about what happened to them. There was plenty of humor and they find themselves in many interesting situations. I found myself looking forward to my reading time! I'll admit, I was a bit unsure about this book in the beginning. The author seems to rush through the reason our main character joins the Paladins. In fact, that rushed feeling is prevalent throughout the book. If I had one criticism, I'd say more attention should have been paid to descriptions of how these characters got from point A to point B. Sometimes things happened so quickly, my head was spinning and I felt like I needed to catch up. Once I got used to it, though, the book was fine. I would recommend this to a teen interested in high fantasy.

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So the world that was set up here, while it isn't groundbreaking or too new, is pretty cool. Sam is a really badass character, and I enjoyed her arc of becoming stronger and one of the better swordsman (or swordswoman I should say) of the recruits. However, the whole forced love triangle thing, and her relationship with Braedon really sucked. Like cringeworthy sucked. I just couldn't get it any of that, and it kept me from giving this a higher score.

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What drew me to Paladin in the first place was that the synopsis reminded me of Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartet, one of my favorite series. Sally Slater did not disappoint. Due to a tragedy that happened in her past - a tragedy involving a demon, Sam wants to be a Paladin. She’s excellent with the sword, preferring to work at improving her swordsmanship instead of doing activities that a Duke’s daughter would normally do. The Duke has other plans for Sam. Add this to the fact that the Paladins don’t accept women and… what is a girl to do other than dress up as a boy and become a Paladin anyway? I really enjoyed Slater’s portrayal of Sam. Having a female character be “brash” and “cocky” is uncommon, unfortunately. That or I’m just not reading the right books. But I’m used to seeing those traits portrayed more in male characters. I loved seeing the author bring out these traits in Sam, frequently cheering her on in my head (“Get him, Sam!”) On that note, I did feel something was missing from the characters. This is why I gave it 4 stars, not 5. I like getting attached to my characters and one thing that helps me do that is knowing the history of the characters. While I feel the reader gets to know Sam quite well, I wish there was more about Tristan and Braeden. Not saying there is no background on them; the reader gets to see the story told from their point of view throughout the book, which is where we get some more backstory on them. But I guess I was hoping for more. There will be another book (at least one more as far as I know) so I still have hope! This ended up being one of those books that I had a very, very hard time putting down, sleep be damned. There was so much action! It’s fantastic but awful if you have other obligations to tend to. I think this book would appeal to those who enjoy high fantasy novels. If you’re a fan of Tamora Pierce, I think there’s a good chance you’ll like Paladin. If you’re a fan of strong female characters and/or action/adventure, you may like this book.

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Paladin by Sally Slater is a mystical coming of age novel. Sam has always been talented with a sword, and when demons strike her family, she is determined to put her skills to good use, becoming a paladin solder. Not only is sam a woman, asking for a mans job, but she is also the daughter of a duke, and is expected to marry. She trades in dresses for trousers, running away from home to confront her destiny. I am sure many of you have read similar girl goes to war undercover narratives. The stories confront ideas of gender norms and womanhood. I haven't gotten tired of them yet. Everyone brings their own plot to the narrative and It did help that sam was hilarious. I loved her relationships with her fellow trainees and Braeden. The book confronted the issue of her size when it came to battles and solved the problem with sam's unrelenting will. The demons, half demons, and demon controllers brought an interesting external struggle to the novel. This action-packed adventure had enough beheadings and blood to satisfy any fan. If you loved this book I would also recommend Eon, Defy, and Scarlet.

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I'd say this is more of a 4.5 stars than 4 stars, but it wasn't quite 5 stars, for reasons mentioned toward the end. I liked that the book was written from varying perspectives. It was an interesting opportunity to see what the other characters saw of one another, and it made the reveal of Sam’s gender extra fun. The three main characters were all likable in their own ways. Each of the characters were highly developed in the sense that they each had a set of complex pasts and motivations and goals. The storyline, as a whole, was decent. At some points, it felt a bit aimless, but the way it was all tied in together at the end made up for that. The main ideas behind plot twists were not utterly shocking, but the author did a good job of keeping the specifics of those twists a surprise, which I appreciated a lot. If I have anything to complain about, it would be that I wish the author had spent a bit more time on world building. Most of the facts about the world were just sort of slipped into the dialogue here and there. For example, why is the West so disconnected from the East? Is it simply because of the difficult terrain the characters mentioned briefly? I don’t know because it was never really stated directly. Furthermore, the book kind of read the way a fanfiction would. To me, there is a noticeable difference in the way a multi-chapter fanfic reads and the way a novel reads, even if they are the same length. I think it has to do with the manner in which different components of a story are revealed since fanfics are usually released one chapter at a time while books are released all in one go. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, but it was a bit unexpected and a bit distracting to me. I found out after reading it that the novel was originally posted on Wattpad before being published, so that could be why I felt that way while reading. In any case, I did enjoy this novel a lot. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel; I can’t wait to see what the author gives us next.

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Great fun read! I enjoyed hte shifting viewpoints among the main characters. The heroine is great and she definitely winds up with the best hero! hope there is a sequel

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Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness for older teens? Plus demons. Awesome, awesome demons.

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I LOVED this book. I haven't been able to do anything but read Paladin the last two days. Paladin by Sally Slater, is about a girl named Sam who rejects her fate of becoming the next duchess, runs away and disguises herself as a man. She leaves to follow her dream of becoming a part of the demon-slaying army of Paladins. This book of course reminded me of Mulan, and in the beginning I admit "I'll Make a Man Out of You" was running through my head nonstop. But this book is not just about her disguising herself as a man. A lot more happens in this action-packed fantasy story. And Sam is one amazing MC. She is strong and can stand up for herself, even when she is surrounded by men with huge egos. Even the other characters in the story are impressively fleshed out, and they all have interesting back stories. The book didn't revolve around Sam, which was realistic and refreshing. The dialogue was also well done and the banter was very entertaining. I just have a thing for journeys across the land, with three friends that all pretend to hate each other. The only thing about this book that annoyed me (and I admit this is very nit picky) was that almost every person was described as "handsome". There just needed to be more adjectives to describe all of these apparently attractive people. The romance aspect of the book was well done. It didn't over shadow the plot, but instead was the perfect balance. I highly recommend this book if you love fantasy books with a strong female character who is a badass sword swinging demon hunter.

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Lady Samantha was born into aristocracy and has grown up loving swords and wanting to be a warrior. Well, her father is just concerned about finding her a proper husband, so she can start having babies and fulfill her duties as a lady. A major tragedy occurs, which spurs Samantha to take control of her life and begin a controversial and secretive career. She assumes a new identity as a male and signs up to train with an elite group of warrior protectors called the Paladins. Her trainer and mentor, Tristan, is the man who was present during the major tragedy I mentioned before (he had saved her life) and her co-trainee is a sort of half-demon shifter named Braeden. Apparently, this is the debut novel of Sally Slater and she is a Wattpad phenomenon (I don't really know anything about Wattpad, but I'm guessing that means that she is a huge indie sensation). For a first book, I think this was pretty damn good. It took awhile to get going, but I found myself quite engaged in the story and by the end, I couldn't put it down and fought to stop skimming because I wanted to find out what was going to happen. There were some twists I didn't expect and this had some interesting politics and intrigue that I like in fantasy. I like that the usual tropes were not present, Sam was not a special snowflake, and there was no love triangle. There was romance, but it wasn't heavy-handed (well, at the end it got a little sappy, but it worked). The romance was based on friendship and was a slow-burn. I might add to this later, as I'm just writing this up right after I finished. I would be interested in reading another one, if this continues (I believe there will be another book). This is more "fantasy lite" in that it isn't complicated and reads easy, not like your typical "high fantasy" books. It also reads more as Young Adult, but I didn't find it annoying or stereotypical, which I always appreciate! I received a copy of this from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thanks so much!

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A unique, magical world filled with action, suspense, plenty of demons, and soldiers on separate sides of the coin that fight for similar reasons but may themselves be corrupt and not know what is good or bad anymore. This book brings to question of whether people, creatures, beliefs, and everything in the world are split up in black and white areas without a grey area. The pacing is well spaced throughout to leave room for world building, action, travelling, and character growth. The world building is up to par but could have been better especially in certain areas.

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As a brat, who didn't get her way, I want to rate this book 0 stars!! She didn't pick the man I wanted her to!! But... as a reluctant adult... I have to give this book what it's due. Sam was an absolute bad ass. most heroine in ya books are tough, but still like to be pretty. she flat out won't wear a dress. she just wants to kill demons to avenge her mom. She teams up with two boys, Tryston (The best Paladin out there, who also was the man who saved her the night her mom dies) and Breaden (a half demon who is fighting to make up for his dark heritage and past) The book was fast paced. Lots and lots of fighting scenes. Awkward love since they believed her to be a man. The ending set us up for a very good second book! Even though I'm wounded by her choice of guy, I will still read the next one and highly recommend this book.

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Faith in blood that was amazing!!! Sam is such a kick ass character and I loved her passion and her fearlessness!!! Tristan is the perfect knight in shining armor, and Braeden... oh, Braeden he is just PERFECT!!!! I really liked that the story was told from the point of view of a different character in each chapter. This made me connect even more with each one of the characters. No words can express how good this book was, and how I loved every word of it!!! I just didn't want it to end! Thank God I read that there are more books to follow, because my poor little heart would not be able to stand that this could be a stand alone!! Oh no! :)

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I will admit to being a bit of a sap for girl-disguised-as-boy stories. The writing was gorgeous. What really sold me was the characters; well developed, with believable interactions and complex motivations and relationships. I am very much looking forward to the sequel!

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I enjoyed this one. I'm always for badass women that can fight. Sam dresses as a boy to join the demon fighting Paladins. Her tale ends up with an unexpected twist when she is matched up with her hero Paladin and another recruit that is part demon. I like a character that takes things into her own hands but still makes mistakes along the way.

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Sam is the best swordsmen that Paladins have recruited thus far, but Sam is also a girl. She joined the rank of the Paladins to help save her people from being overrun by the demons that have plagued the land for centuries. Sam hopes that she can get through her training without her secret being discovered and become a Paladin. I really enjoyed this story and it maybe the run of the mill “girl undercover story” but the author presents it in a very unique and hilarious way. I found myself staying up late at night just to get one more chapter in and laughing in the dead of the night. “Paladin” has everything a reader could want action, romance, comedy, drama and tragedy. Can’t wait for the nest novel in the series.

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TURNING PAGES: PALADIN by SALLY SLATER I am a big old sucker for girl-disguised-as-boy novels; give me a tough girl with a sword in addition to a disguise and I'm in don't-bother-me-I'm-reading mode for hours. Add to this the fact that I'd read an article this author had written on Huffington Post and you'll know why I was so intrigued -- and in the end, entertained. "Imagine Game of Thrones with less blood and more gender confusion and you get a taste of this knightly epic." — The Guardian Summary: Lady Samantha knows her duty as an aristocrat of the kingdom of Thule - to marry well, produce an heir, carry on the lineage of her father, the Duke of Haywood. Lady Samantha's father is a politician before all else, and he knows the ways of power -- and if her marriage can be used as an alliance to increase his power, purchase, pull or potential, she knows he'll marry her not for her heart, but for her value. It's not fair, really - it's not what he got to do; everyone knows how he and Lady Samantha's mother married to follow their hearts - but at her mother's bidding, Lady Samantha is prepared to do what must be done -- until her mother is killed in an attack near their home. Though her life is preserved by the timely arrival of a gorgeous and heroic Paladin, Samantha's life at home is destroyed, and her father, in his grief, turns colder than ever. Left with nothing but duty the detested duty to marry well, Sam hacks off her hair, and becomes who she feels she's meant to be -- Sam of Haywood, a trainee Paladin. It's not that easy to shed who you are, even if you can fight okay with a sword -- As Samantha or Sam she is still impatient, impetuous, and brash. She manages okay, getting along with the other trainees, but then she befriends the "wrong" type of trainee - an odd boy with silvery hair and catlike eyes that react to the light, and bizarre tattoos on his shoulder and chest. He's half-demon, half the monsters that killed her mother. As, as it turns out, he's keeping secrets, too... Peaks: Fast paced adventure with a strong-minded protagonist and secondary characters who are just as intriguing - that's a major plus for this type of book, which has a dual hero/ine's journey going on -- inasmuch as Sam is the main character, her two partners are on their own journeys as well. Sam - as either gender - is as subtle as a chainsaw. She opens her mouth and sticks in her foot more often than not. Accustomed to apologizing before she gets yelled at, poor Sam is constantly being yelled at - because the behavior of a Lady of Thule does not come easily to her - good thing she can at least excel in swordplay. The girl-disguised-as-boy thing isn't played for laughs; Sam is very well disguised until she has to tell one person the truth. Though she is smaller, she is muscular and quick - but not supernaturally so; she has a lot to learn. I liked the reality of that. Of course, she works with men and boys all the time, and inevitably notices them a little more than she ought - and then to suppress her natural inclinations to touch familiarly the people she likes becomes harder - but not impossible. It's nice that the author doesn't depict males and females as so far apart in behavior that they're creatures from differing planets. And I'd also like to congratulate the publisher for allowing the character to look tough on the cover. While it's clear here the character is Lady Samantha and not her alter, Sam, the boots and the sword and the rocks give us a good preview into what's ahead in the novel. Valleys: This isn't a "valley," but the reader should be aware that this is the beginning of a series, and there's no guarantee of when the sequel is going to be out - however, as this is a durably written adventure, rereading it will keep you sated for a little while. I had questions as I read through the novel - not alarming, can't-keep-going ones by any means, but I wondered where the monsters in the kingdom of Thule had come from, why they were there, whether other kingdoms suffered from them, how it was that they were variously shaped, and not all one kind, and basically just the origin story of that world. When a novel is fast-paced and has a lot of action going on, these are the types of things that can be missed - not to the detriment of the story, but reading this made me want to KNOW. Though I may have misread or generalized, this novel reads as that sort of Fairytale Landscape that mimics old Europe, and the characters seem to default to having no ethnic diversity, which I hope is merely oversight in reading on my part, but I'm afraid not. Conclusion:I can strongly recommend this fast-paced adventure with a stroppy female wielding a sword - and if this is your particular catnip, grab a copy of PALADIN for an afternoon of reading that will leave you hoping for more - soon! I received my copy of this book courtesy of the indie publisher. You can find THIS BOOK by This Author at an online e-tailer, or at a real life, independent bookstore near you!

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How silly to think a girl, a high born girl at that, can even come anywhere near doing what a boy, let alone a paladin can do? Well, this fast paced, but not rushed, story of a young girl and her adventures are here to prove that statement wrong. The story flows at a good clip, carrying us along and while letting the characters gel together, the reader is introduced to each of their past's, yet, not overwhelming the present with too much information (as sometimes is the case). There is excitement, fear, friendship, love and hate all bound into this delightful book of girl who is hiding from what she is, trying to control her own destiny. Over all, it was a very pleasant read, in fact, I read well into the night to finish it and hope I will be riding along behind the two unusual young lovers on their many adventures together.

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What do you do when the fulfilment of your goal is held back by conventions? Fight harder! 4.5 Stars for this adventurous gem with a romantic edge to it. Sam was never your typical girl. Instead of dressing up prettily she is much more interested in getting better with the sword. When her mother gets killed by a demon and Sam barely manages to escape with her life, thanks to a Paladin, Sam sets out on a path of blood and revenge. But in order to become a Paladin, someone who kills demons, Sam has to leave behind everything. Including her gender. Mere minutes into being a trainee Sam fears that everything is already over. Of all people she could have gotten as a mentor it had to be the Paladin who had saved her life back then! Will her goal already be impossible to reach before her journey even started properly? The plot device of girl disguising as guy is nothing new but the author's execution of it was. Samantha is a strong and stubborn female lead who doesn't need protection. It didn't feel like she was a girl in disguise at all. Though her 'physical disadvantages' make some things more difficult for her it only spurs her on harder in order to proof herself. The book was so good and enjoyable that I found myself unable to put it down until I reached the last page. The end made me cry a little. Not because it is sad but because there is no sequel out yet. Please don't let me wait long for another volume of this beauty! I crave to read more about the world, the characters and their developing relationships. One in particular, but no spoilers. ^^ The romance doesn't start until well into the story and even then it doesn't suffocate you or takes over the story. And seriously, until the kissing scene I wasn't completely sure which pairing it would be. The cliche one or the one I was shipping hard. When I saw that this gem was first uploaded on Wattpad before being published I was even more excited to read it. My personal experience is that the best books I've encountered so far are those either not well known or not published at all. And Paladin just added another book to that category. Hey, mainstream novels, over here! Read and learn from this beauty right here! Read it or miss out on something that is more than just well worth the time and money you spend on it.

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This book was so fun!! It had a Twelfth Night aspect. The multiple POV gives this a well rounded look at everyone. Loved it!!

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Too many years ago, when I was just a child, my mom sat me in front of the TV and we saw together Yentl. Babs was this amazing woman in a world of men trying to achieve the impossible. Later, I couldn't let go the feeling that as a woman sometimes I would have to do more, try harder and even fight my way in. Paladin is Sam's story. As many women, she wants to stand out in a man's world. Her dream and biggest ambition is to be part of the most kickass group of fighters and avenge the loss of a loved one but she knows the only way to make it, is as a man. "She wanted to be a warrior and a woman, but she wasn't allowed to be both. So she'd made her decision." From the beginning, you just fall in love with Sam. She's strong-minded, she's genuine, she's confident with a sword in hand and frankly, she's freaking good at it. And there's a familiarity with her that wins your heart almost instantly. Paladin doesn't follow the usual romance rules. From the beginning I was ready to love the perfect, obvious love interest but as the story went by, my heart and admiration was leaning towards the bad boy underdog of the story. And I loved how Sam felt the same way about him. And how he accepts her love too *__* Plot wise, it was not perfect but it worked for me. Paladins and the Uriel were facing more than just a little rivalry. Dark forces are in our world and people will have to choose a side. The story is so character-focused that some elements of the plot were a little neglected. But if the plot was not amazing, the writing makes up for that. Mrs Slater is a "I'll show you" kinda girl and I love her for that. The camaraderie, banter and friendship that they shared was so enjoyable and it has almost an hypnotic effect that you just want to keep reading. "Sam glowered at him. "If you're concerned about offending my delicate sensibilities, don't be." Braeden's watery eyes found hers. "Don't worry, I get it. You're neither delicate nor sensible." I felt the resolution between Sam, Tristan and Braeden a little cheesy. But it's undeniable I need book #2 now. On a side note, I need to remark the important message this book sends, not only to young girls but also to anyone struggling trying to find their place or role in the world. Sam inspires us all to follow that thing that we're passionate about, no matter how many people tell us it's impossible.

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I had expected this book to be just "ok", but was I surprised by how much I loved it.

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Lady Samantha of Haywood has always been a tomboy, but after a demon kills her mother, she decides to become a Paladin--a demon-slaying warrior. There are no female paladins, however, so Sam practices in secret for two years, then runs away from home, chops off her hair, disguises herself as a boy, and invents a new heritage in order to begin her training. She is assigned both a mentor and a roommate. The first is her hero and the man who saved her life. The second is a half demon/half human whom the other students taunt and fear. After the trio save the training fortress from a demon attack--the first in its history--they are sent on a quest to learn more about a new fighting force rising in the East, the Uriel. Their orders are to capture the leader of the Uriel and bring him to meet their High Commander, but all is not as it seems, and new information shifts allegiances. I'm so glad this is the first in a new YA fantasy series! I absolutely loved it and stayed up way past my bedtime because I couldn't put it down. Sally Slater did an outstanding job building the relationships between Sam, Tristan, and Braeden, and I can't wait to read the next book. There were a few puzzling things here and there, such as how Sam managed to keep her sword practice truly a secret in a castle full of servants, why she thought her father didn't care about her in the slightest, and how she could hope to maintain her masquerade while traveling when her companions would know she never had to shave and did have to (presumably, unless on this world reproduction is different) deal with menstrual cycles which are never mentioned, but these were minor in comparison with the overall arc of the story. For readers' advisors: Most YA fiction has story as the primary doorway, but this book was more about character development and world-building, although plot was also strong. There was a small amount of swearing (mostly "shite"), and a some sexual innuendo (primarily during the scene when Tristan decides Sam needs to "become a man" and drags both trainees to a brothel...which doesn't go so well). Otherwise it's a pretty "clean read." This would be an excellent read-alike for fans of Tamora Pierce, particularly her Alanna the Lioness series. Many many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read a free Advance Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Note: I got this book from NetGalley. I didn't think this book would be much. I thought it would be a boring action story with an odd heroine. Something to pass the time, you know? I was so wrong. Sam was amazing. I loved her personality and sass. She had more sass in her pinky finger than I have in my whole body. She was fiesty and tough. She never backed down from a challenge. She went all out or nothing at all. She always had her fists up, waiting for a fight. I really thought that Sam was cool to the max. Normally, strong heroines are interesting. They have magical powers or something. An interesting backstory. Sam had that and more. She had a backstory and a desire to protect that no one could destroy. I admired her. I loved the action. So much. It was ka-pow and boom-bang! I loved that Sam knew had to fight, and she flaunted it. My question is how did she learn to fight like that? It takes speed and skill. Not a few years of practice fencing from a stiff teacher. Perhaps she learned through instigating fights. I imagine she did. Or was it something else entirely. The romance was rushed. I barely saw any conversation. Just some lazy, boring stuff. Was it physical looks? Intelligence? Something else? Tell me! I liked that Sam didn't care about Braeden's looks. She cared about the guy underneath. Even if he was a monster in everyone else's eyes. I actually thought she would be with Tristan at first. Whoops. I mean, he rescued her and all. You'd think that got him some boyfriend points. Rating: 4/5

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Paladin, by Sally Slater is an absolutely FANTASTIC book! Paladin is the story of Sam, Braeden, and Tristan who are sent out on an epic quest. Tristan is the best Paladin in ages, in fact, he holds the prestigious position of first Paladin. Meanwhile Braeden and Sam are his trainees. As Thule threatens to descend into chaos due to an increasing number of demon attacks, Tristan is sent on a quest to figure out who the Uriel are and what their intentions are. What follows is an adventure sure to grip readers as they delve in to the story. Paladin had a great mix of humor and adventure. Sam was a great version of comedic relief, not to mention, inspiring to women/young girls who read the book. After all, Sam is all about shattering her boundaries and doing what makes her happy instead of what society dictates. Another character I enjoyed in this book was Braeden. Braeden is a tortured soul who for his whole life has been ostracized due to his half demon heritage. In Braeden, the reader will find that piece of themselves who is never quite accepted. I really enjoyed this book because I found the characters easy to relate to. Sam, Braeden, and even Tristan were so wonderfully written that you could feel the emotion from the words on the page. I found it impossible to place this book down and unfortunately stayed up a bit too late. My only concern is, sometimes I was really curious about who the demons were, and how they could defeat so many of the fearsome creatures, even if they were without the logical reasoning powers of humans. Either way, for a great book and an engaging story line, I am giving Paladin 5/5 swords!

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“You best have dagger hidden underneath those skirts.” Sam patted the small lump on the right side of her hip,the bulge on her left,and then felt for a ridge by her ankles. She had three.” Holy macaroni.This was intense and beautiful.STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER ALERT!STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER ALERT!STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER ALERT! Sam,you beautiful human,you are probably one of my favourite female characters OF ALL TIME.I seriously loved reading about Sam and her adventures.I loved her character development and her actions.I loved how she didn’t give up,no matter what happened.I loved how she didn’t change just to please someone,she stayed true to herself and that makes her even more amazing.The story is PHENOMENAL.There are so many funny moments,awkward moments,sad moments,“OH MY FREAKING GOD NO WAY” moments-everything you never knew you wanted in a book.The characters are fantastic-Sam is really Lady Samantha,Braeden is a half-demon and Tristan is still haunted by the ghosts of his past.The strong friendship that blossoms between them is wonderful,you just want to read more about their mischief and their battles.There is also romance…some pretty lovely and intense romance.I’m not going to spoil it for you but be prepared for some epic romance scenes.And some swoon-worthy moments,too.And that ending…My poor heart.Also, Sally Slater is probably my new author crush -she is gorgeous! Overall,an amazing book.”Read it in one sitting” kind of amazing. *E-copy provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.*

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Although some of the outcomes of the book were fairly transparent I quickly became attached to the characters and wanted to know what was going to happen to them. I went into the story thinking it was a stand along novel, but about halfway through I realized that there was no way that was possible. I am anxious to read the next book and see how these characters continue to develop.

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Wait,that's it???No more demon slayers and kickass warriors and rebels and general awesomeness??Sally Slater,you'd better be writing a sequel! Thoughts I must admit,at first I wasn't sure whether I'd rate it with 4 or 5 stars,because despite the great story something was missing.I liked it but I didn't love it.And then the second half happened and faith of blood! it was intense! Paladin is a story full of gruesome fights,slow-burning romance,vivid characters and strong friendships,and I swear this is everything I want in a YA fantasy book!And let me tell you this:in a story where a girl pretends to be a boy,funny and awkward incidents are inevitable (I will never forget the brothel scene,nor will the prostitutes I bet!).Plus, it gave me the feels;a strong urge to grab a sword and kill demons,anger,elation,love,pain,relief,dread...Name an emotion,and I felt it. The characters “Get this through your thick skull:I am not some fragile flower.I don't break easily.I can defend myself from anything.Even you.” With a female protagonist like this,do you expect anything less than badassery?Meet Sam,an excellent swordswoman who pursued her dreams,defied the obstacles and never backed down.Stubborn,not particularly obedient and big-mouthed Sam did not need a hero,she was a hero and you can't help but love her. “Paladin Tristan Lyons.The man who'd saved her and the reason she was here.He would ruin everything.” Sam's mentor and the most famous Paladin,Tristan was loyal to a fault,brave,arrogant and bossy and extremely handsome.He was not always as mature as you'd think and his interactions with Braeden and Sam were hilarious! “He'd been told he was evil since he'd left his mother's womb,and after a time,he'd started to believe it true.” The feels I mentioned earlier?Most of them were caused by Braeden.My heart broke for him,he wanted to do the right thing and he was more noble and trustworthy than those who accused him of being a monster.He was in constant war with his savage side,he wanted to tame the demon but there were times he failed.He despised himself and the things he'd done but I assure you,there is not a chance that you will not love him. If a book of this magnitude is Sally Slater's debut,I can't wait to read her next works!

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Paladin is unlike any other book I have read. Normally I do not find the kickass female leads in books very relatable, but Lady Samantha, or Sam as she is better known, relates on myself on so many levels. Where do I start? There is only one part of Paladin that I did not enjoy as much as the rest. Just one! Which is around the romance at the end, it just felt to cheesy for my liking, but then again, I am not a great fan of romance in general. Paladin has 3 different Points Of Views, Sam, Tristan and Braeden, each aiding in moving the story forwards, as well as giving enough depth to their character. I found Braeden the most interesting, with his mixed blood of human and demon. Braedon has suffered in the past, but he does not let it get in his way. Sam was just the right mix of femininity and no-one-can-tell-me-what-to-do attitude. Sam should be an aspirations for all girls. And then Tristan just felt really whiney to me. Oh well, 2 out of 3 great characters is good. Apart from the ending, which I found 1) predictable and 2) boring, I throughly enjoyed Paladin. Paladin combines the right amount of action/adventure mixed with Demons and romance. I would recommend Paladin to anyone who enjoys YA and fantasy novels.

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I received Paladin as an ARC (advance reader's copy) book from NetGalley. The gifting did not determine the review/rating, which reflects my honest opinion. Absolutely loved this story. Strong female character; although young, wasn't an over emotional teen. Excellent plot. Character development was exceptional, and the story was well-paced with some nice twists. I'll be interested in reading more if this is a series (it ends with the probability of a next book, but this is a stand alone with a solid ending).

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Well... this book was totally unexpected but in an awsome way! I saw a fellow blogger's review of this book and the blurb seemed pretty exiting, so I didn't hesitate to request it on Netgalley. Oh and plus I saw there was no love triangle, (I know... what a relief!) so there was no harm in giving it a try. And oh boy! I absolutely loved this book! Paladin was packed with adventure, action, romance, it had all the elements that we fantasy lovers absolutely love and enjoy. Sam or Lady Samantha was always different than the other girls of her age. When she should be looking for her ideal marriage partner, she longed to be a Paladin i.e. a demon slayer. After an unfortunate incident where Sam's mother is killed by a demon, she decides to run off and join the Paladin as a trainee in the disguise of a boy. But she's not the only one harbouring secrets, there's Braeden who is a half demon and he might be dangerous to everyone around him, including himself. The trio forms an unlikely alliance as they set out for an adventure and they slowly discover that what they knew uptil now might entirely be a facade and the truth they discover is shocking as ever. I really enjoyed the plot. Though it started a bit slow but it didn’t take time to pick up its speed. The book is narrated in Sam, Braeden and Tristan's POV, mostly Sam's, I equally enjoyed reading all of them. I absolutely loved Sam, she is a kickass heroine, she's loyal, strong, caring, stubborn, sassy and she’s absolutely sure of herself. She’s also the girl who doesn't need a knight in a shining armour. “If this were a fairy tale, I'd be my own damned knight.” Sam's such a fine character, I absolutely loved and enjoyed reading about her. She disguised herself as a boy as she joined the training to be a future Paladin because girls were not allowed to do such things and she wanted to avenge her mother's death. There she meets Tristan who is none other than her hero who saved her from a demon attack and also her trainer. There were really many awkward and funny moments because of the fact that he didn't knew that Sam was actually a girl. It was pretty difficult to control my laughter, specially when they visited the brothel. I also loved the banters between Tristan and Sam. Then comes Braeden, he was a pretty great character. He was definitely not what I expected, I though he was going to cocky and arrogant, instead he was calm and gentle. I was rooting for him from the moment he entered the scenario. This book was filled with so much action which I absolutely adored. There were so many detailed fighting scenes with various demons and I've always loved fighting specially sword fighting fascinates me and I got excited everytime there was a fighting scene, which was very often. The plot twist was mind blowing, I could guess there was definitely something off about a particular character but never in the world did I guess that! It was pretty much an OMG moment where my ereader fell from my hands (thankfully in my bed). I loved how this book ended but I definitely need the second book because the ultimate fighting is going to take place. I can't wait to see what happens next! Overall, Paladin was a great read. The plot was well written and there was great characterisation. I loved the friendship between Sam, Braeden and Tristan, the trio formed a strong bond. Also, I loved the romance between Sam and Braeden although it wasn't a dominant factor in this book which I actually enjoyed for a change. The writing style was a bit different but I had no problem with it, it was smooth and easy to read. I was hooked from the start and it was a pretty enjoyable ride throughout the book. Recommend it? Definitely yes! Review also posted in: Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/review/R2ONZGVTF26NUA/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1441783731

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