Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Royal Companion

The Royal Companion (The Companion, #1)The Royal Companion by Tanya Bird

(Book abandoned at 70%)

Ohhhhh no. I should have read the trigger warning. I'm so ticked off.

The Royal Companion started off really well. Smart writing, a lovable heroine...what else can a reader ask for? But at nearly 70% the book becomes unredeemable for me. There are certain unspoken rules in literature you simply don't violate, such as never killing off a beloved animal or including graphic scenes of a child being hurt. Well I think it's time to add a third rule: (view spoiler)

Horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE. If this was an adult novel, or even a YA novel based on a true story, then...well...maybe. But for a YA/teen romance? NO.

After reading this scene, I now hate Prince Tyron. His wishy-washiness and cowardice led to him abandoning Aldara and leaving her to the devices of his sadistic brother, and frankly, he should have known better. I have no desire to see him and Aldara end up together. That's a huge problem for a romance novel...if the reader doesn't wants the heroine and hero to find their happy endings together, then the book loses all purpose.

Another thing. Tyron's little brother Prince Stamitos chooses a companion for himself, Sapphira. Not only is his companion smart and witty like Aldara, but she and Stamitos are both quite progressive when compared to others in their kingdom, and neither one has a problem openly showing their love and affection with each other despite the whole Prince/Companion dichotomy. So this begs the question: If Sapphira and Stamitos can have a relationship like this, WHY CAN'T ALDARA AND TYRON? It states in the book's synopsis that "there is no place for love between a prince and his Companion," yet no one seems overly concerned about Stamitos' and Sapphira's relationship. Those two make it look easy. I'm not sure why the author chooses to add these two little lovebirds into her story because they undermine her entire conflict. Stamitos and Sapphira show the reader that the wedge between Tyron and Aldara isn't an external conflict after all; but an internal, perceived conflict created by Tyron. In short, society isn't the problem. Tyron is. Like, dude, your little brother managed to figure this out and rise above it all...why can't you?

Bird did include a trigger warning in her synopsis and that's my bad for not noticing it. Plus the writing, other than a few minor editing misses, is elegantly executed. Bird is a talented writer, her subject matter is simply not my taste.