Review: Haven (Chronicles of Warshard #1) by Katherine Bogle

Author: Katherine Bogle
Publisher: Friesen Press
Publication Date: May 11th, 2016 
Source: ebook (given by Netgalley)


Princess Haven was never meant to be Queen.
Her immortality has saved her time and time again, but when the last of her royal family dies at her feet, she is next in line to rule a nation on the brink of war. With no formal training on how to be Queen, Haven must rise to the occasion with the help of her best friends, and personal guard, or risk losing everyone she has ever loved.
With war to the West, and no escape to the East, the evil tyrant Kadia sets her sights on the six kingdoms. Haven’s neighbors are quick to fall under the swords of Kadia’s shadow soldiers, leaving a sea of bodies and a clear path to Haven’s only home.
As Kadia’s obsession with Haven mounts, little time remains, and Haven must make a choice; join together with her fellow Royals, and test her immortality in a final stand against the evil Queen, or flee across the sea to a foreign republic in hopes of salvation. Both choices have a cost. Both plans could go awry. Haven must decide quickly, or she might be the only one left.

*The publisher provided this book in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley.*
Princess Haven never expected to be Queen. She had an entire family, parents, brothers, a sister, but now only her and her younger sister are alive. Her immortality has been seen by others as a blessing but to her, it is a curse: she has to live with the pain of knowing everyone around her will die and yet she will remain as she is.  She has to rise to the occasion and be the best queen she can, in order to keep her kingdom going.
Unfortunately, the mad queen Kadia trying to conquer all the kingdoms of Warshard she not only has to be a Queen but she also has to be a fighter and a strategist. She has to be capable of making connections with the other rulers - all older than her - and keep going without showing fear.
Assassins are sent to kill her and she doesn't know who is her friend anymore... Will she be able to distinguish friend from foe? Will she be able to escape the mad Queen with her mind intact? Will she be able to keep her people alive?
Reading the synopsis to this story - plus the beautiful and amazing cover - made me very curious to know what could happen to a young Queen that cannot die. Never have I ever read another story that combines magic with pain in quite such a unique way. I believe that strong female characters that do not need a "knight in a shining armour" figure to save the are essential in order for women to feel empowered.
Haven is a complex character, surrounded by astoundingly painful circumstances and yet she remains strong. Obviously, she has flaws and needs guidance, just as every person in the world. That aspect makes her character believable and less distant from the reader.
The whole cast of characters is diverse and very different senses of humour and personalities. That brings a touch of life in everything they do. Even if the overall writing could be improved I believe that the "uniqueness" of the story make it rather remarkable.
If you want to read about fearless yet flawed characters in an epic adventure here is your chance. Even if you do not you could give it a try.

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