Alright, alright, I give up already! I really, really tried to finish this book. It's not that it was a bad book. It was interesting. There was political intrigue, murder, witchcraft, and sex.
How could I not like this book? I don't know. I read 338 out of 432 pages. It's just that I felt like I was waiting for something to happen that never did. The heroine is Belinda, from birth she's been secreted away in a castle, her parents were dead and her "uncle" would come visit sometimes. No, not that kind of uncle. Actually, he does have a secret but he's not Chester the Molester. Belinda realizes she has some kind of weird ability to hide herself, and once she realizes it, her uncle somehow makes it go away. She ends up as an assassin, craving her uncle's acceptance? favor? I don't know. Her motivation was unclear. If it was me and I had been in that castle, alone all that time I would have left at the first opportunity. I guess that was my first problem, I didn't understand why she did the things she did.
Then, there was also the fact that I can't keep up with all the characters and places. I thought there were two queens until halfway through the book when I realized there were three queens! I still don't know who held which country. I know Belinda worked for the Red Queen, but I can't remember which country is hers or what it is they're trying to do - kill the other queens or just take their lands? And it seemed like everyone had more than one name!
The prince, Javier, seemed like a pretty okay guy to me. He was the son of one of the Queens. I think he may have either been illegitimate or she faked her pregnancy and was not really the Queen's son. Again, not sure. I liked that he was able to help her discover her hidden talents. His friends were another story. I liked Marius, who seemed like a true friend, although I felt sorry for him, but Eliza and Sacha were unlikeable. I couldn't tell if Sacha was a friend of Javier's or was secretly working against him politically.
I'm not saying this was a bad book, as I said earlier, it's full of all kinds of interesting stuff - I just couldn't keep it all together. I've had a lot going on in my personal and professional life, so it could just be that it was not a good time for me to be reading a book that required this level of concentration.
*SPOILERS AND REQUEST*
Despite all my complaints, I'd like to know what happened to Belinda and Javier, I just can't force myself to keep reading... If anyone has read this book, I got as far as Javier asking Belinda/Beatrice to marry him and Robert and the Red Queen finding out she was engaged. I'd like to find out if they did eventually marry, or if she betrayed him. Did she find out who his parents really are? My secret worry is that they were actually related - ewww!!! And what about her father? And who in the hell is Dmitri?