Ditch the Romance and Grab a Sword in Alex Liddell’s “The Cadet Of Tildor”
Much like acclaimed fantasy authors George R.R. Martin and Tamora Pierce before her, Alex Liddell ditches the Twlight-esque romance for a butt-kicking, sword-wielding heroine who would make Brienne of Tarth and Eowyn of Rohan proud to include her in the “shieldmaiden’s club.”
The plucky young heroine is Renee de Winter who is a senior cadet in the Academy at Tildor, a country that has just crowned a new king and is full of tension thanks to two warring crime families that are determined to wreak havoc and exploit the new ruler’s inexperience. Although she’s mournful over the fact that she’ll never be as strong as her male classmates, Renee trains 24/7 in order to defeat the naysayers and bullies that would love to see a female warrior fail.
However, her world is turned upside down when she learns her mentor has been caught by criminals who have made the seedy underworld their home base and are putting on illegal gladiatorial games, much to the dismay of lawmakers. Unlike the Bella Swans or Elena Gilberts, Renee is torn between following what her conscience dictates and what her career requires her to do.
Finally, Renee makes a decision—she’s determined to infiltrate the group’s inner circles alongside her best friend Alex. Her choice will throw her from the safe academic world into the crime-filled streets, but it will also allow her to not only pick up a sword but weigh the law against her loyalties as well.
Renee de Winters is a capable heroine who proves that you don’t need a sappy love story to engage readers or to create a compelling novel. Between the political intrigue that is so reminiscent of Game of Thrones and the sword-wielding, butt-kicking heroine, Liddell’s novel is a breath of fresh air because Renee is strong enough to stand on her own two feet without the help of a man.