I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is also spoiler free!
Lions in the Garden
Written by Chelsea Luna
Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Recommended Age: 13 and up!
Ludmila Novakova--Mila--has barely set foot outside Prague Castle in her seventeen years. But with the choice between braving the bandits and wolves of Bohemia's uneasy roads or being married off to a disgusting old baron, she's taken what she can carry and fled.
Escape won't be easy. Even Mila has heard the rumors of a rebellion coming against the court. The peasants are hungry. The king hasn't been seen in months. Mila's father, the High Chancellor, is well known and well hated.
But Mila can't sit behind a stone wall and let fear force her into a life of silk gowns and certain misery. Her mother's death has taught her that much. She has one ally: Marc, the son of the blacksmith. A commoner, a Protestant--and perhaps a traitor, too. But the farther she gets from the castle, the more lies she uncovers, unraveling everything she thought she knew. And the harder it is to tell friend from enemy--and wrong from right...
I love how this book starts right in the action which pulled me in automatically. This is the first book in a historical fiction series.
The historical fiction aspect of this book was on-point and really made me want to find out more about the time period. I like how there was a lot of information about what life was like in that time period as it helped me understand what was going on more.
A little bit of the time period didn’t seem to fit right. For example, the fact that Mila could just run away from the castle without people wondering where she was kind of confused me. And the fact that she didn’t act as a lady should shocked me. In this time period, ladies had to stay indoors and were usually watched.
We first meet Mila when she is fleeing her home in Prague because she fears that her father is going to marry her off to a wealthy old man. Mila was a wonderful female protagonist who was sheltered for most of her life yet still manages to remain strong on her own. I feel as if she wasn’t completely developed in this book but maybe they will do that in the next book. She really cared about others and was independent, trying not to rely on someone else to solve her problems.
You first meet Marc when he rescues Mila from an attack by vagabonds. Marc was the typical male love interest but he really seemed to keep Mila’s best interests at heart. There was a time in the book when he ‘betrayed’ her and I was shocked but it didn’t turn out to be real. I feel as if we will learn a lot more about him in the next books.
I have mixed opinions about this character. When we first meet him, he seems like a genuine person but then later on, our opinion of him changes [or at least mine did]
There are also some other characters such as Marc’s family and Mila’s kidnappers but I’m not going to go into detail about them.
I found the plot enjoyable and it kept my attention for most of the time which is good. Everything in the book happened within a couple of weeks. A rebellion is brewing against the Catholics and Mila finds herself in the middle of it.
The romance in this book gave me different emotions. Any romance between Mila and Marc had me aweing in cuteness but between Radek and Mila, I was kind of disgusted. I also felt like the romance between Mila and Marc was kind of insta-lovey and that didn’t sit that well with me but the moments between them were adorable and had me wanting more.
This book didn’t quite make it to 5 Crowns with me but it might have if some of the minor details I didn’t like were absent. But I still highly recommend this book.
Quotes from the Book:
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Crowns