Title: The Last Princess
Author: Jewel Allen
Review: Despite not reading the first book in this series I was still very excited to read the Last Princess. The prologue to this book was brilliant we meet Juliza who is Gurian’s princess currently on her first hunt with her people. We also meet Koda Juliza’s lover she hopes to marry after she is crowned and can change the laws. But when Koda had to leave on a two year exposition she calls off their romance only to regret it the moment he leaves. We then up forward two years, where we meet Raúl as he arrived in Spain’s Philippine colony. Raúl is there to negotiate docking rights for Gurian on behalf of the King of Spain but I’d denied because it is impossible. Gurian is the last sultanate resisting an alliance with Spain and any party that has sailed into their waters has never been seen again. Rather than scaring Raúl it fascinated him and he wants to know more especially about the Last Princess and what her weaknesses are.
As we approach the 1/4 mark in the novel Raúl meets Victor who can find him a sailor willing to take him to Gurian. We learn that Raúl is running from the same thing as Juliza; a broken heart and both have skewed themselves to be cold towards anyone seeking courtship but something about her is compelling Raúl to travel to her lands. After some work Raúl manages to get a boat that will carry him to Gurian courtesy of his new friend Victor. I loved the changing location between Manila and Gurian. When we return to Juliza’s point of view we learn that Koda never returned leaving the princess jaded and bitter. As Raúl sails to Gurian we see him procure an unusual gift for the princess in the hope of gaining an audience with her.
As we cross the 1/4 mark in the novel we see Raúl and Pitoy encounter some trouble as they approach Gurian. The next thing we see is Juliza’s coronation where both Raúl and Koda are present. We see Raúl take an interest in Juliza but we don’t see how he came to know about Koda’s past relationship with the princess and this would have been nice to see but we do have the foundations of a romantic interest between the two protagonists. We see Koda present himself as a suitor for Juliza and presents Raúl as his gift to her. Juliza rejects his suitor offer but tends to Raúl`s wounds rather than sending him back or killing him.
As we approach the half way mark in the novel we see Juliza get to know Raúl, she also reacquainted herself with Koda setting up a love triangle which I don’t normally like but I was willing to give this one a go. Just as they agree to marry Juliza realises the Koda that returned wasn’t the Koda she fell in love with and he is ultimately arrested for orchestrating a rebellion against the sultan because they want to trade with the Spanish. As Raúl and Juliza learn more about each other they grow to be friends even despite the slight language barrier between them. Eventually Juliza is faced with a choice between her love Koda and her family and her choice will change her future forever. As we cross into the second half of the novel we see someone within the palace repeatedly attack Raúl and Juliza possibly in an attempt to kill them. Raúl also tried to befriend the sultan who isn’t easily convinced but I have a feeling he will come round with time.
As we approach the 3/4 mark in the novel we see how Raúl makes Juliza a target by being close to her and eventually he has to leave the island although he doesn’t want to and Juliza doesn’t want him to leave either. During his time away from Juliza Raúl learns about the surrounding cultures to her island although Pitoy makes it painfully obviously that both Raúl and Juliza have feelings for each other and this is the first time Raúl it aloud. As we cross into the final section of the novel we see Raúl return and help the royal family flee before the rebellion arrives. Juliza has been ripped away from everything she knows and loves and now along with the other royals have to put their trust in the Spaniard. We see the group faced more trails including sharks, an deserted island and being used as slave before they are offered an escape. We also finally see Juliza and Raúl confess their live for one another and everything that has happened has only brought them closer together. The ending of this book was good but it was a little disappointing I was just expecting a little more from it.
Overall I found this to be very enjoyable and I actually finished it which is rare as I usually end up DNFing historical fiction books. I highly recommend it to prior who struggle reading historical fiction out are looking to break into the genre.
This book was sent to me for review consideration by Konstanz Silverbow
Buy it here: