Friday Favorites #20: Aurelia & Exile

Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted here, that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that you love, recommend, and want to tell others about. Just pick one and link up to my post each Friday to share. You can use the graphic I used above, the other one here, or your own.

I read Aurelia back in 2009. It was a book that I found while browsing the library and I was so glad that I did! Since then I have read and added to my shelves all of Anne's books and have liked each one for different reasons. However, my favorites remain the first one I read of hers and its sequel.

(Aurelia #1)
by Anne Osterlund
YA Fantasy
April 17th 2008 by Speak
(first published April 2008)

Goodreads Summary:

An impressive debut, equal parts commercial appeal and literary prowess.

Princess Aurelia is next in line to rule the kingdom of Tyralt, but she would rather be one of the common folk, free to learn and roam and . . . not marry the next tyrannical prince that comes courting. Naturally, the king wants Aurelia to marry for political power. Aurelia wants to marry for love. And someone in the kingdom wants her . . . dead. Assigned to investigate and protect Aurelia is Robert, the son of the king's former royal spy and one of Aurelia's oldest friends. As Aurelia and Robert slowly uncover clues as to who is threatening her, their friendship turns to romance. With everything possible on the line, her life, her kingdom, her heart, Aurelia is forced to take matters into her own hands, no matter the cost.

(Aurelia #2)
by Anne Osterlund
YA Fantasy
April 28th 2011 by Speak
(first published March 1st 2011)

Goodreads Summary:

Crown princess Aurelia is a survivor. She survived attempted assassination. She survived the king's rejection. She survived her mother's abandonment. And now, in exile, she must survive her kingdom-from hostile crowds to raw frontier to desert sands. But even as unknown assailants track Aurelia and expedition guide Robert, she knows her greatest risk is falling in love...

Why these books are favorites:

I generally love fantasy and this series falls in that genre, but it also has a fairly historical feel to it as well and I also love historical fiction. It is definitely a great mix for me in a series.

What I really love about these books are the characters, their struggles, strengths, intelligence, and just how the author does such a great job writing them so that I relate to and feel for them. The characters aren't perfect, but I always think that those are the perfect characters - the ones that have to grow as their story progresses and make tough choices sometimes, even if they'd rather not have to make them. That's when they show who they really are or who they will be.

I also love the romance, the adventure, the intrigue, really, the whole plot. This series isn't predictable. I figured out some things, of course, but then others just completely surprised me. I always love it when a story can do that and keep me engaged.

I am impatiently waiting for the next book. I don't know when it will be published since it isn't listed anywhere. I know that the first two books were published three years apart and if the spacing remains consistent then that would put the next book coming out next year. I really, really hope that it does and I can finally find out what happens to Aurelia.

If you enjoy YA, fantasy, historical fiction, or just a generally exciting and well-written story, you should definitely pick these up!

About the Author
(from Goodreads) 

Anne Osterlund grew up in the sunshine of Eastern Oregon and graduated from Whitworth College. She lives in a cute little yellow house with her new feline friend, Charlotte, and her own library of young adult books. She also teaches sixth grade and enjoys immersing her students in language, literature, and imagination. Anne has written four novels, Salvation, Aurelia, Academy 7, and Exile, all published by Penguin Books. She has dreams of many more in the future.

You can find Anne here:

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