The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.
When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.
However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.
Ooh so this is a book that will definitely split opinion!
I will start by saying that it is definitely an uncomfortable read a lot of the time, and I hope the final copy had content warnings for triggers on it. I read an ARC, which definitely didn’t; though I had been warned previously.
I did enjoy it – it’s supposed to be awkward and hard to read. Emory is nice until basically they get to the castle, and then he’s a heartless arsehole. And Ama is struggling with her new place in the world and not having anyone to fall back on, not knowing anything about where she came from. So she can be a little too accepting. But I love her ending, and I also think it’s important to show scenarios like that in fiction as sadly it happens in real life. I’d have like to have seen her get a little bit more of a back bone first though, or for those around her to stop enabling it.
The story of the damsel and the dragon was just fantastically dreamt up, I love this take on a classic idea. And I quite liked the writing too, there’s something a little dream-y about it; it matches Ama quite well.
Buy Damsel from Amazon UK.