Royal Blood #1
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publishing Date: March 7, 2023
Page count: 368 pages
An American girl becomes the British Monarchy’s greatest nightmare in this thrilling new series where royal scandals just got deadlier.
As the King of England’s illegitimate daughter, 17-year-old Evan Bright knows a thing or two about keeping secrets.
But when she’s forced to spend the summer in London with her father and the royal family, who aren’t exactly thrilled she exists, her identity is mysteriously revealed, and suddenly the world is dying to know every juicy lie the press prints about her.
After a fun night turns deadly and Evan becomes the primary suspect in a murder investigation, the escalating rumors and fallout threaten to tear her life apart. As she fights to uncover the truth about what happened, she discovers royal secrets that are even more scandalous than she imagined – secrets that could change the monarchy forever.
And her own may be next.
Content Warning: attempted sexual assault, use of the date rape drug
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A stellar start to this new contemporary young adult trilogy!
Royal Blood is the first book in author Aimée Carter’s new contemporary young adult series of the same name. The book is exciting and full of intrigue, and definitely not the typical fairy tale or rags to riches story; it addresses some very serious topics. Evangeline, or Evan as she is called, is a wonderful heroine with a quick wit and a kind heart and carries some heavy issues on her young shoulders. I was rooting for this unique and engagingly sympathetic underdog from the first page.
Evan is surprisingly resilient and very understanding of the Queen’s and her half-sister’s feelings, even as they treat her horribly. So much information about her past, including her parents’ history with each other, had been kept from her, and it is no wonder that misunderstandings occurred. With the death of her grandmother, her mother’s mental illness, and her absentee father, she has way more hanging over her head than a child should ever have to handle alone. She deals with her situation the only way she thinks will be successful; she purposely acts out and gets expelled. Other than her having to change schools, though, her actions have no consequences.
Once ensconced at Windsor Castle and among the family and their coterie of relatives and friends, Evan is targeted by the media and attracts all manner of abuse from the press and their followers. But the intrigue starts immediately and although, Maisie, Gia, and Rosie start out as typical ‘mean girls,’ they eventually start to relent, especially when Evan holds the key to keeping their princess out of serious trouble. However, she finally has something she’s not had in the past: a friend her age.
The story includes an incident of drugging, attempted date rape, and death, and the author presents the events from Evan’s point of view without excuses from the perpetrator. As the tragedy unfolds, readers will recognize and relate to how easily the awful events happened.
Each chapter starts with either a text message exchange between characters, a news story, or a media interview related to what is happening in the story. These add some fun insight or extra needed information in an interesting way. Each chapter ends on a small cliffhanger that worked like magic on me to keep reading! The story completely hooked me from the start, and those teasers had me reading page after page until done. I am looking forward to the next book of the trilogy with great anticipation.
With its exciting plot, family intrigue, and great characters, I recommend ROYAL BLOOD to readers who enjoy contemporary young adult fiction, especially those who like a secret baby or fish out of water theme.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Aimée Carter is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the award-winning author of more than a dozen books, including The Goddess Test series, the Blackcoat Rebellion series, and the Simon Thorn series for middle grade readers, now a #1 international bestselling series under the title Animox and Die Erben der Animox. Her newest middle grade book, Curse of the Phoenix, will be released in June from Margaret K. McElderry Books.
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