Book Review | Pippa of Lauramore

Pippa of Lauramore
Eldentimber #1
Shari L. Tapscott

Createspace Independent Publishing Platform | February 18, 2016
Fantasy, Medieval, Romance, Action

{GoodReads}
Act like a lady. Don’t swim in the waterfall. And whatever you do, never steal into the woods for a romantic, moonlit ride.

For as long as Pippa can remember, she’s looked forward to her eighteenth birthday. The number represents freedom—and the end of her boring lessons with dreary tutors. Unfortunately for the princess, it’s also the age she is expected to marry Lionel, the stern prince of Vernow.

Eager to escape her future with the Lionel, Pippa convinces her Father to hold a traditional marriage tournament. Thirty men travel to Lauramore to compete, including Galinor, the dark-haired, blue-eyed prince of Glendon.

Galinor is everything Pippa dreams a prince can be. He’s handsome and strong, virtuous and true. Immediately smitten, Pippa decides she will do everything in her power to ensure Galinor wins the tournament—even if she must convince her friend Archer to win it for him.

Dragons and fairies, poison and lies—Pippa will let nothing stand between her and Galinor’s future.

But despite how well the tournament begins, Pippa may soon learn even the right prince can be the wrong man.


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WARNING: Possible Spoilers

{The Basics}
It's been quite a while since I've stumbled upon a random book that left me gushing praises.  I found this particular one as a free e-book on Amazon via my daily BookBub emails---a secular fantasy to boot!  But it was refreshingly clean! (Despite a few innuendos.)

I LOVED it.  The characters were fabulous and lovable, the plot fun and unexpected, and the story-world was so intriguing!  Definitely makes me want to try out the sequels.  :]

Pippa is a strong, stubborn, wild kind of girl.  Rather rebellious, and certainly not known for obeying ANY rules.  She is, however, kind and compassionate to those she loves, and you know she cares deeply for them.  The whole plot is centered around the marriage tournament, where princes and lords from all kingdoms and neighboring countries travel to Lauramore to compete for Pippa's hand.  It involves many tests which include a scavenger hunt, archery, a dragon hunt (for the dragon's treasure), jousting, and hand-to-hand combat.

{Spiritual Content}
None that I recall.  Though a character or two may send up a prayers for safety or healing or something, there's no mention of deity.

{Violence}
A group of noble ladies are kidnapped for ransom.  [SPOILER] They escape but are chased by the men responsible until they lose them and instead become hunted by a feared glasseln (a deadly cat-like creature with wings).  A girl is slashed in the shoulder by its claws, but no other injuries befall them (they're just terrified out of their wits).

Princes and lords are wounded during the tournament.  While it is a competition, some of the tests are difficult and dangerous.  Some men are wounded by burns and others from other injuries.  A man is stabbed with a poisoned blade, nearly killing him.  A dragon's mate was slain by one of the competitors, breaking a treaty between men and dragons, and the offended comes to the kingdom to exact revenge.  The male dragon seeks out the traitor and ends up taking him in his claws and flying to the man's own kingdom, where he said he would decide how to deal with the man in his own country.

{Language // Alcohol & Drugs}
None.

Festivities amidst the tournament serve alcoholic beverages and cider.

There's a flower, maid-of-the-shadows, that grows deep in caves; it is known for its beauty as well as its hallucinogenic properties.  The kidnappers use it on the girls, which brings on nightmares.

{Romantic Content}
Other than the usual attraction and some minor innuendos to sexuality of men and women (nothing blatant, I assure you!), characters embrace, declare their love, and kiss a time or two.  

Our first scene begins at Pippa's eighteenth birthday party.  She meets the handsome Prince Galinor here and persuades him for a midnight ride through the forest to one of her favorite places, a cave of beautiful lights (flowers).  Nothing happens!  But her father finds them punishes her.  She possesses an enchanted purity ring of gold.  Were anything to. . . happen, the ring would tarnish.  [SPOILER] Though temptations arise, nothing happens (other than some kissing).

Having grown up together for many years, Pippa has never thought of Archer as anything more than her kingdom's master archer.  They have a great relationship that gradually changes to a definite attraction.  It was so sweet to see them grow in their love---especially as Pippa begins to realize she cares deeply for Archer, and that he understands her more than most.  

Prince Lionel is said to be the one favored to win Pippa's hand.  He's a brute, to say the least.  At a feast, he dances with Pippa, handling her rather roughly and bruising her waist.

Irving, another prince from a different kingdom, likes to flirt with the ladies.  (He's one of my fave characters---love his humor!) 

{Conclusion}
All told, I LOVED this book!  And I'll eventually find the print copy someday.  The following sequels are set in the same story-world, and I'm hoping they're just as good.  :]

The story, the characters, the plot---I could go on and on!  Pippa's character, though kind of wild, was so refreshing, she seemed so real to me for some reason.  Her relationship with her friends and her family was sweet and fun.  And her older brothers are amazing!!  Pippa gets along very well with many of the competitors and friendships are formed.  I loved seeing how that played out.

Overall, it was a lovely story that I greatly enjoyed, and I would definitely recommend to all my medieval, fantasy-loving friends!

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Ages 16+

4 comments

  1. THIS LOOKS SO GOOD!!! The idea of the tournament sounds like a blast to read about it. Now I really want to get my hands on this one! Thanks, Sarah, 'cause I needed more books on my TBR list. :P

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    1. I honestly think you'd like this one. Hahaha! Yes, same! xD

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  2. GASP GASP GASP YOU READ IT!!

    (Sorry - please excuse that minor fangirl attack as I process that you also love the book as much as I do.....)

    Catherine

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    1. (JUST now catching up on comments...) YESSSSSSSS. LOVED this one!! Have you read any of the others? I was curious about them, but have yet to brave them...

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To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
And each must make, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.
-Anonymous-