Islands of the Crown #1: The Spanish Exile – by Jewel Allen

The Spanish Exile
The Spanish Exile

Below is a summary from Goodreads:

In the flames of war, men are made and broken . . .

The fires of vengeance burn hot for Raul Calderon. Cast aside, forgotten, and abused by those above him, Raul is forced to make his own way in life. But he has the heart of a fighter who will do whatever it takes to prove himself – including joining the Spanish army. Yet when his sworn enemy becomes his commanding officer, Raul’s life quickly goes from bad to worse. Forced to witness the human misery of war and take part in creating that suffering, Raul walks a fine line between doing what’s right and obeying orders. But when Conchita, the love of his childhood and now the woman of his dreams, is placed in danger, can he cross the line to save her? Or will he be forced to choose between king and country and the woman he would do anything to have as his own

I was given a copy of this book for free in return for an honest review.

I thought that this book had a good plot line and I was interested to see where it went.

About halfway through the book, you tend to forget that he ever had a leg that everyone used to call cripple as it isn’t mentioned again. The same goes for the fencing instructor as he never comes up again.

Leandro did my head in. I didn’t like him from the first time he appeared.

Spoilers!

I’m glad that Raul didn’t stoop to his level to kill him – I’m glad that they finally managed to part ways while they’re both alive.

However I do think that his mother dying was out of the blue as there wasn’t really any hint before that that she had a heart condition or any other health issue.

End Spoilers!

I would have liked Conchita and Raul to be together, I think. But then the riots and other problems started to arise and proved that they couldn’t be. My theory is that she will marry Gabriel and they will continue to do “the people’s work” together.

It would have been a nice ending for the book if Raul had accepted Julio’s offer and stayed a while with them. Then he may have seen his niece or nephew be born and he may have gotten out of all that mess. However, maybe all that mess would have still happened, but not as well-timed with the king’s arrival.

Overall, I think it’s a good book though. Plenty of action and some romance too.

Rate: 3/5

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