February 13, 2016

Review: Sasharia En Garde by Sherwood Smith

Ms. Smith's Crown Duel remains one of my all time favorites, so when I found out that this book takes place in the same universe, just a different time period, I knew I wanted to read it! And am I ever glad I did. Because Sasha is awesome!! Add in swashbuckling pirates, magic, adventure, romance, mysterious princes, villainous kings, a little bit of modern day Los Angeles, and fabulous characters, and you have a whole lot of fun! :)

Characters will make or break a story for me and I'm happy to say that Sasha totally makes this story what it is. She's snarky and hilarious in her head. And when those thoughts get spoken aloud? You'd better be prepared to keep up or just get out of her way! Having grown up in modern day LA, but born in another world, her mother trained her well and it shows. Even when kidnapped through the World Gate and thrust into saving her father with no preparation, she's still been trained how to handle herself and shows it. Once she gets with the new program, grudgingly I might add, her adventures truly begin. Sasha is just one of those characters either you'll love or you won't, I suspect. She talks (and thinks!) a mile a minute, mixing pop culture-y things with old world knowledge. Her ability to sword fight is soon made apparent and she never hesitates to let everyone around her know that she won't be taken for granted. But she's got a kind heart and love of her family, so when she knows her father may be alive but hidden and her mother is in trouble, she jumps right in to do what she needs to.

Her mom, Sun, gets to tell bits of her own story and she's a fascinating woman. I enjoyed getting to see more of the whole picture of what was going on in the story, rather than just what Sasha was dealing with. But I still loved Sasha's parts best, so would skim the rest pretty quickly I admit. The romance is great fun as well. Sasha doesn't want to like him, but she can't help herself and that makes for a good deal of grinning and *happy dancing* on my part! :D

I love Ms. Sherwood's universe. Her world-building isn't grand and magnificent, yet the history and longevity of this world and it's characters is apparent. While we may not see every detail of what is happening, I could picture the different places without any trouble and could imagine the characters lives going on even while not on the page. Which is a sign of great writing in my book!

All in all, this book has now been added to my favorites list. And Sasha is a character not easily forgotten! I'm so glad to have her story on my shelf so I can reread all my favorite scenes again. Highly recommend for fantasy lovers!

"Zathdar," I repeated, wanting out of that argument before it started. My head hurt too much. I gave him a mock frown. "There wouldn't be any apostrophes in it, would there?"
"Apostrophes?" He pronounced the word in English. It hadn't translated out in Khani.
Seeing that Elva had stopped glaring and was curious, I reached for the smallest square of paper, dipped a quill into the ink and wrote Z'ath'd'ar in English.
"Flyspecks." The pirate turned the paper this way and that. "The letters seem clear, but the purpose of the flyspecks?"
"Well, in magic stories at home, heroes or villains have names that begin with Z," I said. "And a lot of apostrophes. Just checking. You know, if you're a hero--or a villain."


  1. Sold! This book will be read! Too bad the cover isn't something more fun or glamorous. It is kinda blah.

    1. Kami: The cover is definitely blah, isn't it? I completely agree. But the story inside is loads of fun! :)

      I do apologize, yes the story as a whole is sold in ebook only. BUT it was originally published as two separate stories and there are paperback versions of those on amazon. Try searching for Once A Princess and Twice A Prince. Those were the original titles. (Ms. Smith just meshed the two together in one ebook for our convenience.)


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