Book Reviews

Review: “Aurelia,” Anne Osterlund

March 4, 2011
Review: “Aurelia,” Anne OsterlundAureliaby Anne Osterlund
Series: Aurelia #1
Published by Puffin on April, 2008
Genres: Historical, Medieval
Pages: 288

Princess Aurelia is next in line to rule the kingdom of Tyralt, but she would rather be one of the common folk, free to learn and roam and… not marry the next tyrannical prince that comes courting. Naturally, the king wants Aurelia to marry for political power. Aurelia wants to marry for love. And someone in the kingdom wants her . . . dead.

Assigned to investigate and protect Aurelia is Robert, the son of the king’s former royal spy and one of Aurelia’s oldest friends. As Aurelia and Robert slowly uncover clues as to who is threatening her, their friendship turns to romance. With everything possible on the line—her life, her kingdom, her heart—Aurelia is forced to take matters into her own hands, no matter the cost.

I admit the cover hooked me in long before I read the storyline. How gorgeous is it? While Aurelia is an interesting enough read, I wish the plot had been somewhat more suspenseful and quickly-paced to hold onto my interest tighter than it did.

The problem with me and historical fiction is that it is often too ‘slow’ for me to really get absorbed in. It’s just a matter of personal taste, nothing to do with the writing skill of the author. I’ve had a great amount of luck lately finding quick-paced, fun historical fiction that has started to change that opinion. However, Aurelia was a reminder of the things I’m not so fond of in this genre.

I don’t think the mystery was as predictable as some people are making out. Sure, there were a few things to be wary of and things that got you second-guessing the characters, but nothing too drastic. I wasn’t finding out the mystery sooner than our characters, which was good. I really hate when things are so obvious and the characters continue to be clueless!

As for our main couple; Aurelia and Robert, I enjoyed them. If you’re going into this one with high hopes of over the top romance and obvious courting, you’ll be disappointed. The relationship between Aurelia and Robert is there, but it’s discreet. While the character’s feelings for one another are certainly behind most of the choices made in this story, don’t expect to see it exactly ‘play out’.

I enjoyed Aurelia’s independence. I loved how she was able to defend herself when the time came, how she was able to use her power to get what she wanted (or sneak out!) and just how ‘normal’ she was beneath it all. She knew what was right and hoped to use her position to recorrect the wrongs.

Now, there is a second book coming out in April this year. Entitled ‘Exile’, it tells the story of Aurelia and Robert after the events of this book (obviously). I think I WILL be reading it, for curiosities sake. The premise intrigues me and I feel it may prove to be a more entertaining and thrilling journey than the first. Even so, this book could definitely stand alone without a second installment.

Recommended to: Fans of YA historical reads will enjoy this one!

About Anne Osterlund

Anne Osterlund grew up in the sunshine of Eastern Oregon and graduated from Whitworth College. She lives in a cute little yellow house with her best feline friend, Dance, and her own library of young adult books. She also teaches sixth grade and enjoys immersing her students in language, literature, and imagination.


  • Reply Kylie March 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    btw! In a non stalkerish way lol! Where in aussieland are you?? lol! Im also an Aussie Uni student and well its nice to see a fellow aussie blogging about!!

    • Reply Brittany March 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm

      Yay! That’s great to hear – I’m about 2 hours away from Brisbane. How about you?

      • Reply Kylie March 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm

        Sydney girl here!! (well an hour out of Sydney) .

        Its nice to see fellow aussies as I say! I guess youd feel the same grips about all the good comps and stuff being “US ONLY” and all the trades happening there and we miss out ey! lol (im not bitter i swear!)

        • Reply Brittany March 4, 2011 at 11:00 pm

          Fantastic! I was born in Sydney and often stay on the Central Coast with my family ;) So I know the area well!

          And I SO know what you mean – all that US only business, argh! It frustrates me. We miss out on all the good stuff and are so behind on releases! :P

        • Reply Kylie March 4, 2011 at 11:02 pm

          We need to find a way to fix this!! lol! do some aussie trade thing or SOMETHING! I am up for that! I hate that I feel like we miss out on so much you know?

          o0o0 I LOVE the central Coast! so relaxing there!!

        • Reply Brittany March 4, 2011 at 11:46 pm

          I would definitely be up for that, too! We should set up an Aussie book swap community, even if it involves sending books back and forth after someone reads them. Would definitely be interested! I’ll scour around for your email on your blog and perhaps send you an email ;)

        • Reply Kylie March 4, 2011 at 11:54 pm

          lemmie know if you can find it! if not ill send it to yah! :P

        • Reply Brittany March 4, 2011 at 11:58 pm

          Okay, I can’t find it… ahaha!

        • Reply Kylie March 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm

          kylie1403 @ gmail . com

  • Reply Kylie March 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Great Review! I was so sure I have seen this book around before though, Is it really only being released later this year?

    • Reply Brittany March 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      I think I made a mistake on it, I’ll have to edit it, argh! I think it was a 2008 release? I’m thinking of the next one in the series, Exile!

      • Reply Kylie March 4, 2011 at 7:02 pm

        heheheh sweet as!!! I was so sure I saw it in the shops! Now after reading this I must get my hands on it

  • Reply Alexis March 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks for the honest review. I agree. The cover looks great! It really sucks you in.

    • Reply Brittany March 4, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      I’m so glad you agree – and thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Reply Hannah March 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    The cover really is beautiful. I was reading through some feeds on my blog roll, had convinced myself that I was finished, then my eye caught a picture of the cover. Just had to keep reading!

    Thanks for the honest review. I do enjoy historical fiction, and a lot of times enjoy the subtle romance, so I look forward to reading this one. And I’ll be looking forward to reading your thoughts on the next one in the series.

    P.S. Haven’t visited in a while. I like the blog look change. :)

    • Reply Brittany March 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      I’m so glad – it is such a stunner! It might just be one of my favourites!

      Thank you so much! I’m so sure this one will appeal to a lot of people. And thank you for the comments on the layout (I change it a lot, I think I’m addicted :P!)

  • Reply Natalie March 4, 2011 at 5:44 am

    The cover is so gorgeous! Nice review, I hadn’t heard of this one before and although I normally go for more romantic historical fiction, I’ll probably give this a go!

    • Reply Brittany March 4, 2011 at 7:12 am

      It is, isn’t it? I really hope you enjoy it when/if you pick it up!

  • Reply Cialina March 4, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Thanks for the honest review! I definitely know what to expect now when I read this – I finally snagged a copy!

    • Reply Brittany March 4, 2011 at 4:24 am

      That’s great – I really hope you enjoy it! I had been looking for a copy for ages and then stumbled upon one at the library, haha!

  • Reply KM March 4, 2011 at 2:01 am

    I do love historical fiction, but for some reason, this one hasn’t appealed to me. I agree that the cover is really lovely, though. I enjoyed reading your review. Might have to pass on this one, though.

    • Reply Brittany March 4, 2011 at 4:28 am

      Thank you – to each their own, I suppose! :D

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