Danika is a young princess who is struggling with a choice between duty and love. Her father would tell her duty to her kingdom is above all. Her mother would tell her that her only duty lies with her heart. Bron is the Chief of Arms in Ebonvale, bodyguard to Danika, and is very loyal to his position in the kingdom. Valorian is the minstrel prince from the House of Song who is enchanting just as much as he may be Danika’s last hope to save her kingdom.
This isn’t just a story of romance or fantasy; it leans heavily on sense of duty and loyalty, and the line one must make for themselves before they will give up their duty for their own desires. Bron and Danika both feel the heavy weight of the kingdom’s future on their shoulders when the wyverns attack, but it doesn’t stop them from feeling the deeper longing that’s been with them since Bron first left his farming village to join the soldiers.
Prince Valorian enters the picture which complicates their emotions and the future of the kingdom. He’s charming and has an army of minstrels that could save Ebonvale from the wyverns, but Bron has always been by Danika’s side. Danika herself isn’t just a pushover, either. She isn’t as well practiced as a soldier, but she enters the battles and manages to keep from being a distressed damsel too much.
The minstrels I love. They use music and song to get to the heart of their enemies and play havoc on their emotions. Ebonvale’s army could use a little work. If a kingdom is described as having a great force of archers, I do expect to see arrows fly more than once.
The world building is a big part of fantasy, and Dionne’s world fits together perfectly without getting overly complicated or skimping on the details.
I do love the characters, but there aren’t very many side characters named other than a boy named Nip (who I adore, by the way) and Valorian’s father. A few very good side characters give fantasy novels an edge.
Overall, I recommend Minstrel’s Serenade to anyone looking for a light fantasy/romance novel. Next please!