My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Adelaide is an orphan thief. She meets a witch who holds her friend and her friend’s father hostage in order to blackmail Adelaide into stealing the lamp for her. The lamp is at the palace where a competition is taking place for ladies to marry the prince. Adelaide pretends to be a noble lady and competes for the prince’s hand.
The first chapter pulled me in. I was excited about the main character, Adelaide, and her thievery, but then the story turned to where she wasn’t brave or gutsy but was scared and unwilling to leave home. I wanted the main character excited and curious to find out what the eyes in the woods were. I wanted her to desire to go on the adventure.
It would’ve worked better if the character was pushed toward wanting this adventure in a few small ways in the chapters before the reveal about the lamp.
When Adelaide is asked to steal the lamp, I felt like the story got back on track. That was the kind of adventure I was hoping for.
I listened to the audio version and in the book, Adelaide’s friend, Cherine talks fast. The audio version also talked fast when this character’s dialogue came up. It was really jarring.
I was not expecting characters to be half-demon, half-witch, or half-beast. That threw me off a bit.
I got reinvested in the story again when Adelaide started the tests and met Cyrus, another thief in the palace. The relationship between Cyrus and Adelaide was lovely, especially at the shrine of the love goddess. This is what kept me interested and engaged.
The storyline weakened a bit with Cherine not knowing whether real events were a dream or not. This felt unbelievable.
Overall, the romance kept me intrigued. The writing about the romance was well done and gave the book a solid finish. I felt like the writing in the second half of the book was much improved compared to the first few chapters. If I could rate the second half of the book, I’d give it a 4.5. It made up for the flaws, and captivated me enough to want to read book two.