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Friday, June 8, 2018

The Soldier Prince by Aarti V. Raman Review

The Soldier Prince by Aarti V. Raman
***3.5 out of 5 Stars***

Thank you so much to the author for providing an ARC for me to read!

For those who don't know, The Soldier Prince is a royal romance that takes place (for the most part) in the Alps in a fictional country called Stellangard. It is fluffy and sexy and perfect for a break from the ordinariness of everyday life. The story picks up right away and follows Sasha as she accidentally throws herself into a situation that leads to a mandatory trip to Prince Alexander's castle for her own protection. Does that not sound like a perfect set up?


PLOT: Fully aware that this is a fun romance book, there was not too much of a plot to speak of- but it works in this case because the story is more about the relationship between Sasha and Alexander than it is of what the terrorist group is doing against the royal family. So going off the plot of building the relationship between the two of them, I think the story did a pretty great job.

Fisherman's Bastion at winter, Budapest | The 20 Most Stunning Fairytale Castles in Winter
I believe this castle is actually in Budapest
There was one series of events in particular that I just adored: their date in the city. The entire thing from the beginning at his mother's grave all the way through the apple pie was just so casual and adorable. What I think I really appreciate about that moment is that is shows the reader the two of them outside of the extreme situation of a terror threat. Yes, there was still some pretty high security, but it gave both of them a glimpse of what their lives could look like together. There were a couple of other really cute moments like that. There were a couple of awkward ones as well that I felt like were forced, and I was cringing the entire time Sasha was trying to talk to Xander about how they could make a relationship work. But the other moments make up for the few awkward ones.

Sasha: I really liked Sasha. She was just so completely normal. She wasn't too weak or too strong but completely believable and relatable without being bland. A bit impulsive, but that is almost excusable because she is in a very unique and strange situation. I loved hearing about her background and interests and I thought she was the perfect balance for Alexander and he was the best for her in return.

Alexander: While I can appreciate the general appeal to Alexander- prince, soldier, uptight, caring, protective- I wasn't completely on board with falling in love with his character. There were pieces to him that I really loved reading and were making me swoon, like when he was taking care of his family, but as a whole not really my type. He's definitely Sasha's type though and I think she really pushes him to relax a bit more into less of an overbearing ass, just like how he pushes her to challenge herself and reach for what she wants. A.k.a. I ship it.

Image result for harry and meghan
An actual royal couple ;)
There weren't too many other characters. There were a bunch of minor ones that all kind of filled in the gaps, but these two were the only ones that were really developed in the story. As far as the two of them go, Sasha and Alexander, it was pretty good development for the most part. A bit choppy at times, but then it still all made sense by the end of the book without being too disruptive.

WRITING: I have to say this first: Every time I read Stellangard my mind read Stalingrad. It is SO SIMILAR in spelling and it kinda drives me crazy. The only other thing in regard to the writing of the story is that it was all in third person but limited omniscient from two POVs, Sasha and Alexander (like how Cassie Clare writes in the Shadowhunter books- that kind of thing). I really like this kind of writing in general, but I wish that the sections were more divided so that there was a clearer distinction as to when who was thinking what. For example, a chapter would start from the perspective of Alexander but then randomly switch to Sasha when a thought from her perspective was needed. It required a bit too much work on the part of the reader I think and was slightly confusing. If it was divided into either whole chapters or even section breaks, I think it would work a lot better. And I'll be completely honest, it could be because I was reading and ARC, so that change may have happened in the final version- I just don't know.

Image result for swiss alps
Swiss Alps- near this fiction country
On a separate note, the country that Raman describes sounds like paradise to me. Mountains, castles, chilly weather, cabins and apples, oh my... how much for a vacation here? A house that I can buy? How much to change citizenship to this fictional place? The descriptions were really amazing and I can't help but wish this place was real. Not even for the royalty, but for the country itself.

The Soldier Prince is a book to grab and bring on vacation, read on a plane, or just before you go to bed to relax. It's both lighthearted and captivating, allowing you to fall in love with the couple and hope to see their happy ending. Apparently, this is also only the first book, so we'll see where this series goes. A part of me hopes that we get to see more of Sasha and Alexander to see just how they make their story work, but another part of me really wants to see one of the siblings and see a relationship with one of them. At the end of the day, I will be looking forward to the next book in this series no matter what.

Thanks for reading!

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