They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.
The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.
With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.
Kate's father attacked the King: now she lives as an outcast. Corwin is the prince that Kate had a crush on, but everything is thrown to the ashes after she begged him to save her father and he turned away. Now, they've been living separate lives until fate brings them back together right as the creatures that haunt the night start to get worse...
Yes, this is another generic YA fantasy, but I enjoyed it! Yes, it seemed a bit longer in places than needed, but it didn't take away from the story itself. The magic system is nothing new but done in a way that I could easily understand and follow.
I loved the romance between Kate and Corwin for the most part. There's a scene that sorta made me feel that Corwin was really dumb for how he acted and what he assumed. Then it just got swept under the rug towards the end and now they're together. I did enjoy watching Corwin slowly coming into his own and finally standing up for what he believed in. I'm also glad that Kate now knows the reason her father did what he did.
I've already got the squeal ready to go and am excited to read it, even if I've heard mixed things.