This is a great book. I read a lot, and few books hold me like this one. The concept of a young woman dressing as a man so that she can follow a path other than marriage is not new, but this is done with a unique angle and such skill and that that doesn’t matter. It’s a classic theme, one that raises issues of equality and equal opportunity that will always be relevant, and Paladin combines this theme with a budding romance and questions of loyalty and betrayal.
The story is set in a traditional medieval fantasy world, but there’s no sorcery. There is, however, plenty of sword and plenty of demons. Our heroine is good with her sword and wants to be a warrior, not a wife. The plot is strong and the pace excellent. I never wanted to put the book down. The characters are fully fleshed, likeable, and not always predictable but always believable.
On top of this, the book has been expertly written and edited. I could not fault it on technical issues at all. The prose is excellent and easy to read for the intended YA audience.