The Cadet Of Tildor Alex Lidell Book Review

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.

The Cadet Of Tildor Alex Lidell Book Cover

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

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Slow burning relationship and you think it’s awesome fantasy? HELL YES.

    “Y’all, I stan for those characters.” What does it mean to stan for them? Is it stand? *tilts head*

    “Personally, I’ve only ever read one Tamora Pierce book (you’ll pry my YA fantasy card out of my cold dead hands)” *snorts* You are hilarious!

    • To stan for something basically means you’re like a big fan and will find yourself defending them in arguments and stuff. I learned the term from the comments section of Jezebel lol.

      I do try hard to be funny, it’s probably obvious hahahaha.

  2. DONE.

    Added to my TBR. I’ve only read one of Tamora Pierce’s series so far so I’m hoping that this is a book I could lose myself in. I mean, I don’t read a LOT of this genre, so I think I have less to compare it to.

  3. I saw this on Netgalley the other day and was definitely intrigued. I guess I get hesitant about newer fantasy because it’s SO hit or miss. However, you make this sound like a total DO, so now I MUST READ IT ALL. Your enthusiasm is incredibly infectious by the way!

  4. As we have already Gchatted: I AM IN!

  5. It sounds like you enjoyed it so much and like it’s an epic good read.
    I’m not that much into fantasy but I’m intrigued by this book 😀 the characters sound pretty awesome.

  6. You’re doing a great job selling the romance on this story-I’ve been disappointed with the reviews of this book as big-time fangirl of Tamora Pierce but I’m still keeping my eye on this read.

  7. I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this book.

  8. I am SO looking forward to this one!!!!

  9. I’ve read most of Tamora Pierce’s books, and I must say that I still like this one as much as I liked those! I thought it was awesome that we read it around the same time, and that we have the same FEELINGS for Savoy + Renee, because HELLO, those two NEED to get it on.


    Anyway, YAY for this book! It’s so good, and I simply cannot wait for the sequel/companion/next novel that Alex Lidell is working on 🙂

    • To me, that’s a pretty ringing endorsement for Tamora Pierce, not that she reads an endorsement but I feel like a total book blogging failure because I’ve only read Alanna and not any of her others and every single blogger I know is like OMG OMG OMG T-PIERCE IS THE BESTEST.

      Isn’t it awesome reading something at the same time as other people? It’s nice to share reactions. AND OMG OMG OMG Savoy + Renee = true love always.

      Word. I am on TENTERHOOKS for book 2.

  10. Ahh, slow burning is the BEST! I requested this one on NetGalley a couple days ago and am waiting with crossed fingers to get approved. It just sounds so good!

  11. Okay. This book. See, I had never ever heard of it until like two or three days ago when suddenly the entire twitter world was talking about it. What in the world? It sounds awesome and like I would really like it BUT the only drawback in a situation like this is that when I’m inundated with information about the same book at the same time I feel overwhelmed, even when it totally looks like a book that I would love. So I want to read it, but I may have to wait a little while and also limit the blog posts that I read about it. Meaning, I may read another one or two (maybe) but no more. Because I don’t want to hate the book before I get the chance to read it.

    But one day, I think I should read it for sure. I love the sword on the cover.

  12. I’ll be honest – the cover of this book turns me off just a little. It looks more macho and manly than the book actually sounds. BUT how can I possibly resist comparison to Tamora Pierce and George R.R. Martin? I love how complex this world sounds and overall it seems to have gotten high praise from you. Glad you liked it and I’ll definitely have to keep it in mind for future YA fantasy reading.

  13. I haven’t read ANY Tamora Pierce! But I did get the audiobook of Alanna today at the library, so hopefully I can remedy that soon. 🙂

    High fantasy has never been a favorite of mine. I don’t dislike it, but sometimes I find them kind of confusing.

    This one seems pretty amazing, though, so I will have to check it out. I love slow burn!

  14. So, I don’t think I’ve told you lately that I love your reviews, but this review is pretty much exactly why I love them. The enthusiasm is all CONTAGIOUS and whatnot, and I just finished Cadet last night (and wrote my review this morning) but now I feel like I need a re-read right NOW after reading your review.

    Because, yes, Savoy is amazing. And so is Renee. I feel like I could spend forever dissecting this book and never get sick of it, because I’d just be soaking it all in.

    And if you liked Cadet, I’m pretty sure you’ll love the rest of Tamora Pierce’s books. I’m a huge Pierce fan, but I also loved that Cadet stood all on its own; the comparison here is totally fair, but they don’t feel the same either. (This book is probably closest to her Bekah Cooper books, although I can see some comparison with Alanna and Protector of the Small).

  15. This sounds really awesome and right up my alley although I was reading the reviews on amazon and several say there is no romance at all which it sounds to me from your review like there is and its awesome.

  16. I’ve never been a huge fantasy reader, but I noticed myself picking them up more often last year… SO, that’s just to say that I’m really excited to read this! I haven’t necessarily read all of the “fantasy greats” so I don’t have as much to compare this to so I’m hoping that means I’ll love this!

  17. You lured me here with this tweet: “filled with intrigue, SLOW BURNING, magic, and sword fighting.”

    I need this. LIKE WHOA. Because I love shipping slow burns, I love magic and sword fighting and intrigue and just YES to all of this. Also, I’ve been told specifically that I would love this. So must be mine.