Review: Sword of the Guardian

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Reasons for Inclusion: Main F/F romance, lesbian minor characters, Talon’s family is dark-skinned

Publisher’s Summary: A shocking assassination creates an unconventional bond between a princess and her guardian in a kingdom filled with political intrigue, danger and unexpected romance.
Princess Shasta Soltranis enjoys a pampered life of court dances, elaborate finery, and the occasional secret fencing match with her twin brother, Daric. But in the midst of a birthday celebration, her world shatters when a mysterious assassin takes her brother’s life. Shasta, the only remaining heir to the throne, narrowly escapes the assassin’s blade thanks to the intervention of a traveling acrobat named Talon.
With the threat of another attempt on Shasta’s life imminent, her father declares that the young hero will be come the Princess’s bodyguard. But what Shasta doesn’t know is that her new guardian has a very well-kept secret: he is actually a she.
Talon and Shasta soon grow closer than anyone, especially her father, could have predicted. Will the truth of her guardian’s secret change their relationship forever?

My Review:

(4.5/5)

When her brother is killed by an assassin, Princess Shasta is assigned a new bodyguard. What she doesn’t know is that this former acrobat isn’t the young man she thinks he is. As time passes, their bond grows, but is it enough to stop the treachery threatens the kingdom?
The characters in Sword of the Guardian are captivating. Talon’s sisters are held at ransom to ensure her cooperation as Shasta’s guard, so she starts off hating the kingdom and the girl she sees as a spoiled brat. Shasta sees Talon as stern and cold. But then Talon sees how Shasta really cares for and wants to protect people: her family, her people, even her whipping boy. And Shasta learns that Talon cares too and isn’t really such a hardass, although it’s a while into the book before she learns that the man she has a crush on is really a woman.
The politics are well-done too; Shasta learns that there’s not an easy way to help her people overcome injustice, that even the King has had to make unfair decisions.
The sequel, Prayer of the Handmaiden, focuses on two of the minor characters: serving lady Erinda and priestess Kadrian. I’ll be posting a review once I read it!
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