Author: Sally Slater
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 386 Pages
Release: May 2015
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
I received a copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
If you love fantasy novels and young adult then you are sure to enjoy this. Paladin is the story of Sam, a woman who wants desperately to be a warrior, Braeden, a half demon who seeks redemption for his sins, and Tristan, their skilled trainer with a dark past. Together they set out on a journey to kill demons and gather information to report back to the Paladins.
This is a really well written story with a well developed world and a nice blend of characters. It's fast paced, throwing you right into the heart of the story from the very beginning. One of the things that keeps the story fresh and flowing is the alternating perspectives between our three main characters.
The story is also rather humorous. Sam is a woman pretending to be a man so she can train with the Paladins. As I'm sure you can imagine, this gets her into some very interesting situations. This, along with the friendly banter between the three companions, keeps the narrative rather light even in the darkest moments. The three characters play really well off of each other.
I love character driven stories and this one certainly has some strong characters that kept me interested. Sam is cocky, sassy, talented, and nearly fearless. This combination doesn't necessarily sound the most appealing, but she is an extremely likable main protagonist. Braeden is loyal, brave, caring, misunderstood, and fun. He has a tortured past and an uncertain future. He is probably my favorite character. Tristan is arrogant, cocky, skilled, and kind. He has demons that haunt his memories and isn't always the most likable, but he's still interesting.
There is a bit of romance in the story, but it's never particularly over the top. I actually really like the way it's handled and resolved without forcing Sam to give up her identity and independence. It's cute, fun, dangerous, and doesn't take away from the story, which is what I'm always worried about when any kind of romance is introduced in these kinds of stories. The overall plot was predictable at times and I was able to guess many of the key revelations that came at the end, but that didn't hinder my enjoyment of the story.
I highly recommend this to any and all young adult fantasy fans. It's a fast paced and fun read.