Paladin (Paladin #1)
By: Sally Slater
Publisher: Perfect Analogy Publishing
Publication Date: May 14th, 2015
Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam of Haywood is the most promising Paladin trainee in the kingdom of Thule… and knows it. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady Samantha, daughter of the seventeenth Duke of Haywood, and if her father has his way, she’ll be marrying a Paladin, not becoming one.
But Sam has never held much interest in playing damsel-in-distress, and so she rescues herself from a lifetime of boredom and matrimonial drudgery. Disguised as a boy, Sam leaves home behind to fight demons-—the most dangerous monsters in Thule—-alongside the kingdom’s elite warriors. Pity that Tristan Lyons, the Paladin assigned to train her, is none other than the hero of her childhood. He hasn’t recognized her–yet–but if he does, he’ll take away her sword and send her packing.
Sam is not the only trainee hiding secrets: Braeden is a half-demon with a dark past that might be unforgivable. Whether he can be trusted is anyone’s guess, including his.
As demons wreak havoc across the land, rebellion stirs in the West, led by a rival faction of warriors.
A war between men is coming, and Sam must pick a side. Will saving the kingdom cost her life–or just her heart?
This book seemed so promising. It could have been good. It could have been about 3 stars if certain things didn’t happen. But, alas, certain shit happened and gets 1 star because I have to give it a rating. Basically the book left me all kinds of confused. Why are there demons? If they just kind of pop up anywhere, then why were Sam and her mom allowed to roam about without protection?
Let’s start with the least awful aspect of this book, Sam’s dad. So bad. So, so bad. First off, Sam runs off and joins the Paladin. She doesn’t tell anyone and later she finds out that her dad declared her dead. Without going and looking for her. She goes missing and because he himself admits that he is more invested in politics than his daughter’s life, he’s all ‘welp she’s dead’, I guess. Also, he is never anything but cold towards Sam, but this seems to be the only person he acts this way towards. He gets along like good friends with Sam’s Paladin teacher Tristan, as well as with anyone who isn’t Sam, honestly. Also, he sets Sam up, to be married, without her knowledge after telling her that she would have the chance to pick her own husband. No shit she ran away. In the end he apologizes and apparently that is enough to be forgiven for a lifetime of ignoring and icing out your daughter. Please.
There is also a love triangle here. Love triangles are quite squicky on their own, but this one is squicky with some extra squicky on top with squicky sprinkles. One leg of the love triangle is Sam’s betrothed, Tristan, who is pretty dumb since he doesn’t recognize that the obviously feminine Sam is a girl until he sees that she has boobs. He also handles the news that his betrothed is (supposedly) dead by getting drunk and hiring a prostitute. Though, the drunk and prostitute thing is apparently a common occurrence as his greatest desire was to have a trainee like himself that he could “whore together” with. And yes, at this point he is already engaged. The other leg of the love triangle is Braeden. Who was rather interesting and I was totally Team Braeden until I found out that he raped a prostitute and that is how he lost his virginity. Because obviously the reader needed to have details about the encounter. The book never calls it rape, and Braeden doesn’t feel bad about it, didn’t even think it was wrong, and his only qualm was that the prostitute didn’t enjoy it and that it was a bad experience FOR HIM. Fuck you, Braeden. Not literally, because no one should want to touch you with a ten foot pole, but karmically. When one person is not consenting, does not obviously want to participate, is fucking crying and then pukes afterwards, it is rape. And yes she was paid, and it was her job, but it’s not exactly like she had a choice when a demon overlord is like, have sex with my son. So, Braeden, you lose all the points and then some because you are a rapist. And that is unforgivable.
If you want to read a book with a god awful father figure and a god awful love triangle that is so bad it makes Twilight’s look like a gleaming shooting star, read Paladin. If you don’t want to feel squicky and gross and want to murder all the characters in the book, then read something else and forget this book ever existed.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.