A story full of romance, betrayal, and danger... Royal Decoy by Heather Frost (Review)

Welcome to my tour stop for this upcoming YA fantasy! Read my thoughts below...

Royal Decoy
(Fate of Eyrinthia #1)
By Heather Frost
YA Fantasy
Print & ebook, 310 Pages
June 18, 2020


A SERVANT blackmailed into becoming a princess’s decoy. 

A BODYGUARD determined to keep her alive. 

A PRINCE forced to execute his father’s brutal laws. 

A PRISONER used to keep him compliant. 

A WORLD on the brink of war. 

In one horrible night, Clare goes from kitchen maid to royal decoy. She has three months to become the princess's perfect double so she can ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard. The danger increases when a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, intent on ending the tenuous peace. 

Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. He carries out the king’s harsh orders because the one person he cares about is his father’s prisoner. Grayson's silent obedience is tested when his father plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die. 

The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos. 

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My Review

ROYAL DECOY is a fantasy about a a girl who finds herself forced into serving as her princess's double and a boy who has become something he hates as he serves his father, the king. A story full of intrigue, danger, deception, and plenty of romance.

I really liked Clare. She is honest, loyal, and does the best with the situation she finds herself in. She also wants to do what is right. I also liked Grayson. He does all these terrible things for his father, but his heart is still good. He is surrounded by spies and can't trust anyone except a girl he befriended when he was a child who is imprisoned. There was plenty of action as Clare finds herself being the target of poisoning, an assassin, and rebels. I enjoyed the parts when Clare trains with Bennick and then when she has to defend herself under attack. It showed her strength of character. I also liked the romance that Clare starts to fall into. It was a slow-build, which is my favorite. Then there was Grayson's story where he is carrying out orders and fighting to survive among his family. He is constantly trying to hide his emotions and not let his family get to him. He's ruthless, skilled, strong, but can also be gentle and loyal. The romance is a strong aspect of this story. It builds over time while the characters try to ignore how they feel and then must decide what they will do.

I also had some issues with the story. There isn't really any backstory or even any light shed on the state of things for Clare's country. Why do the rebels want to kill the princess? Why wouldn't the choose the king? Why do they hate the royals so much? What have the rebels done to have such a torn people? Because of this I never felt a connection to any of the sides struggling for power. I couldn't side with the rebels, especially as they hurt and kill so many innocent people in their fight, and I couldn't side with the king (mostly because I just didn't like him, but I still don't know about any of this rulings or actions for the kingdom as a whole that were bad as those are never disclosed). I didn't know if I could side with Serene either. Really, I just knew I wanted Clare to be safe as she's stuck in the middle of it all. I also never felt like there was a fully fleshed plot. Just pieces kind of thrown together. And I would have liked to have seen Serene actually work with Clare one on one so she knew what to say and how to copy her voice and mannerisms. That was sorely missing. 

Then there was the switch in story to Grayson. I could understand part of his situation, but there too, things didn't make sense to me. A ruler doesn't usually do things for no reason or to just tear his children apart. Eventually they're going to kill each other or the king. I also didn't know why Grayson didn't just take Mia away or come up with a plan to keep her safe. It's like he really is powerless when he shouldn't be. Things just keep happening, Grayson goes on another mission, interacts with his family, and nothing really changes. He doesn't always act as intelligently or with the cunning I would think he would have at this point. The romance also gets just a touch overly sappy to me.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Overall, I enjoyed the story. It needed some more development in places, a more solid plot, but I liked the characters and the story generally. I'm hoping things will be more fleshed out in the second book. I know there is plenty of danger and some tough choices ahead for these characters.

Content: Quite a bit of violence, but nothing overly gory.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Exclusive Pre-Order Gift

Pre-order ROYAL DECOY and you can receive an exclusive bonus short story!

Grayson is his father's ultimate weapon--but he wasn't always. THE PRINCE AND THE PRISONER is the story of how a young Grayson met the little girl who would change his life forever.

To claim your gift, simply pre-order ROYAL DECOY and fill out the form linked below. (You will need to upload an image of your pre-order receipt.) After ROYAL DECOY releases, you will receive via email THE PRINCE AND THE PRISONER!

NOTE: Since you can only pre-order the Kindle edition of ROYAL DECOY at this time, I will also extend this to any physical copy purchases made on release day, June 18th!

Claim your pre-order gift HERE!

About the Author

Heather Frost writes mostly YA fiction and has a soft spot for tortured characters, breath-stealing romance, and happy endings. She is the author of the Seers trilogy and the Fate of Eyrinithia series. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and ghost stories and call it homework. When she’s not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and hold Lord of the Rings movie marathons. She owns two typewriters, sings in the car, and dreams of living in a castle someday. She currently lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains in Utah. To learn more about Heather and her books, visit her website: www.HeatherFrost.com.

Have you read any of Frost's other books? What do you think about this newest?

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