Aurelia by Anne Osterlund
(Speak, Paperback, 2008)
Aurelia is the crown princess of Tyralt and lately there have been several assassination attempts on her life. Robert is her friend from childhood and the son of the king's last spymaster. As everyone in the royal court tries to hide the assassination attempts from Aurelia, Robert steps in and informs Aurelia of the danger. And he vows to protect her. Aurelia is headstrong, however, and Roberts seems to be chasing her as much as helping her.
Aurelia is a fun, old-fashioned court novel filled with romance and danger. I enjoyed reading about the fiesty heroine and her former classmate. In a world where it's impossible to trust anyone, Robert was a loyal and swoon-worthy hero. The thing that intrigued me most about the novel, though, was the kingdom of Tyralt. Tyralt seemed to have bits and pieces of the whole world rolled together - the African desert, the English court, and the wild American west. The novel takes place at court, so we don't see any of Robert's homeland or the desert where Robert's horse is rumored to be descenced. The whole time I was reading, I was hoping that Anne Osterlund would write another novel set in Tyralt so that I could see more of the country. Aurelia is a solid historical romance set in a semi-fantasy world and I hope to read more by the author.