When Sasha is imprisoned for the theft of a national treasure it not only threatens the future of the nation but it also ruins her parents and her twin sister Valor. Fortunately her sister thinks that she is innocent and vows to free Sasha and solve the mystery. In order to do this Valor stages an attempt on the life of the young Prince Anatol and gets herself sentenced to the same prison as her sister. Of course the underlying question is whether Sasha truly is innocent and if so, then who has set her up and why?
This is a great adventure story full of intrigue and hidden villains. It is also a story about family and the strong bonds between siblings (although not all as you will find out). The author has created a worthy heroine in Valor, someone who is willing to stand up for her beliefs and has the courage to follow her convictions. The story is set in a world that is more than reminiscent of Russia and the characters’ names re-inforce this feeling. It is also a world in which the rulers are hereditary queens and men have a more advisory role, which brings a slight twist to the plot; importantly we know that the state is facing danger from elsewhere and needs to be creating alliances in order to keep its independence. These are the sort of themes that we still find today, so that there is a real link to our world and the issues that young people see being discussed around them. As with any good story this author allows you to take different things from the book; it can be read as a brilliant thriller but it also has deeper messages as well. I am delighted that it has a sequel due soon and I look forward to joining Valor and her friends as they continue their adventures.