While my contemporary, new adult reading might not be up to par thus far in 2013, my young adult fantasy reading has just knocked it out of the park so far. Y’all, I gobbled up The Cadet Of Tildor by debut author Alex Lidell in pretty much one day. That’s right I just could not stop turning page after page on my Kindle. The Cadet Of Tildor was totally one of those JUST ONE MORE CHAPTER sort of books filled with intrigue, SLOW BURNING, magic, and sword fighting. Legit, I straight up loved this book and found myself shipping two characters very very hard. Y’all, I stan for those characters.
Renee is a young lady who attends Tildor academy in the hopes of becoming a Servant of the Crown. This isn’t the sort of academy where you learn to sew and junk like that. Instead, students learn to be soldiers and magistrates. The Academy is entirely merit based, students are consistently cut if they are not up to par. Renee, the only female in the soldier division is currently in danger of being cut. She has two best friends – Sasha and Alec who totally have her back. This semester at the academy is going to be totally awesome though, because the legendary commander Savoy Korish is coming to the Academy to teach. ONLY OMG YOU GUYS, Savoy totally does not want to be at the academy teaching because like, he’d rather be with his division, the Seventh leading them on awesome missions and battles. AND SO, there’s like a ton of intrigue and rival factions and then some political controversy over mages and omg kidnappings and basically The Cadet Of Tildor was the right book at the right time for me and AH I hope you read it right now and like it as much as I did.
I kind of want Renee to be my best friend because she’s fierce and loyal and brave and kind. Girl does not give up even when all of the odds are against her. She constantly gets knocked around in training and she’s like GUYS I CAN DO THIS RAWRRRR. Sometimes she is irritatingly stubborn and thick headed, like when it comes to learning a new way of fighting that would actually be an advantage for her, but whatevs you guys, whatevs, I am stubborn like that too. Regardless she does a ton of super brave things and I just spent the whole of The Cadet Of Tildor saying, live your life girl. JUST LIVE IT.
Savoy is the other main character and he is wicked awesome. He’s all brilliant on the field and LEGEN-wait for it-DARY. Seriously though, he is quite similar to Renee. He’s stubborn to a fault, but he’s like 100% loyal to the crown, even when it’s to his detriment AS YOU WILL SEE when you read. Plus, he’s very dedicated to his craft, which is wielding a sword and training and fighting and being awesome. OH OH and he takes care of his younger brother who is kind of annoying but also cute.
Y’all, I was definitely invested in the world of Tildor. Like, I wish there was a map included in my egalley because you know I am a big fan of maps as I say in every fantasy review I write, EVER. Anyways, this is a world where there are mages — people who specialize in being able to Control life forces and can break through this thing each person has called the Keraldi Barrier. Anyways, mages can be a bit unpredictable so they have to register in order to be trained, but also controlled. Besides the mages, there are two factions who work against the crown and are kind of like the mob or like gangs. First, there is The Family which controls this drug called Veesi. They also ask that people make payments for protection. Then there are the Vipers who are totally a gang. The Vipers are against the registration of Mages and engage in little acts of terrorism, but also do various awful things. OH and of course, there’s The Crown which is basically the King and he wants to rid Tildor of corruption which causes him to make an enemy of the Vipers and the Family. AND THAT is the world we get to hang around in. Awesome, am I right?
HOWEVER! My very favorite part of The Cadet Of Tildor was Alex Lidell’s use of the slow burn. You guys there is totally a Dmitri/Rose situation and the entire book I was shipping like a fan girl. Like, Renee is 17 and Savoy is 23 and I’m like GIRL YOU GET IT. GET IT GIRL. And the attraction is slow to build and takes it’s time and both fight and deny it. And there’s emotions and feels and ugh you guys this book better sell a bunch of copies so that we can get a sequel or something. For real. I NEED TO KNOW THE ANSWER TO WILL THEY WON’T THEY.
I enjoyed how The Cadet Of Tildor was written, although I did take issue with one thing. I thought the passing of time and the shifiting of point of view between characters was kind of confusing. I would have liked I don’t know, different chapters with a timeline or date or something above so it was a little more clear and I wasn’t out in space with what was going on. On the other hand, Alex Lidell’s writing is very compelling and exciting. I wasn’t like omg this is so boring please someone put this book out of it’s misery, instead I was all OHHHH YEAHHHH KIDNAPPING YEAHHHH because I am a bizarre person and I love when the calvary is called in to save the day.
Honestly, I would recommend The Cadet Of Tildor to most fantasy fans. I did see a few reviews where they said it’s not wonderful in comparision to Tamora Pierce or Megan Whalen Turner. Personally, I’ve only ever read one Tamora Pierce book (you’ll pry my YA fantasy card out of my cold dead hands) and I’ve only read two books from the Queen’s Thief series, so there is that. Alex Lidell’s debut is richly drawn, exciting and peppered with characters I found myself alternately shipping and rooting for.
Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley
Other reviews of The Cadet Of Tildor by Alex Lidell:
Hobbitsies – “It’s fresh and visual and gritty.”
Imaginary Reads – “This book wasn’t at all what I expected”
Recovering Potter Addict – “The Cadet of Tildor wasn’t my ideal fantasy read”