Book Reviews

Book Review: Rise of the Vicious Princess

by C.J. Redwine

publisher’s synopsis:

Princess Charis Willowthorn is the dutiful sword of Calera. Raised to be ruthless and cunning, her only goal is to hold her war-torn kingdom together long enough to find a path toward peace with their ancient foe, Montevallo, even if the cost is her own heart.

When violence erupts in the castle itself and an unseen enemy begins sinking Calera’s ships, Charis realizes a threat much greater than Montevallo is coming for her people. So she forms a plan. By day, she is Calera’s formidable princess intent on forging an alliance with Montevallo.

By night, she disguises herself as a smuggler and roams the sea with a trusted group of loyalists, hunting for their new enemies. And through it all, there’s the one boy she can’t have—who guards her life but steals her heart.

But her enemies are much closer than Charis realizes, and her heart isn’t the only thing she has left to lose.

I meant to write this review sooner but didn’t get around to it. So sorry that it’s a little sparse!

Some Things I Liked:

-I liked the political aspects of the plot. Charis had to avoid others’ schemes while creating her own. It was fun to read, partly simply because it’s a plot style that isn’t done super often.

– I felt like Redwine did a nice job showing both sides of Charis–the girl who her mother shaped, and the girl who she longs to be. It allowed her to be a sympathetic character, but you also knew that you couldn’t get too comfortable around Charis (if that makes sense).

What Wasn’t My Favorite:

-I was expecting the disguised smuggler part to be a bigger plot aspect from reading the back cover. While Charis does go out as a smuggler at night, it isn’t introduced into the plot until halfway through the book, and even then it still doesn’t get a ton of page time. So that felt like a little bit of a letdown.

Other Thoughts:

-I was able to guess the ending plot twist from fairly early on. It didn’t bother me (I actually hoped that my guess was right), but I wasn’t surprised by how the ending went down.

-The fantasy elements of the worldbuilding initially felt a little random, but as the book progressed, Redwine wove the worldbuilding into the plot.


Rise of the Vicious Princess was an engaging read that I really enjoyed. I look forward to when the final book in the duology releases!

Content Warnings: five kisses; moderate romance; brief innuendo; moderate-heavy violence

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