Skip to main content

The Cadet of Tildor

When I first heard of The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell I was intrigued. I love political intrigue fantasy and this seemed to have all that. When my library got a copy I put it on hold straight away.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown's inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right.

The plot is even more complex than the synopsis gives it credit for. There are a lot of layers and depth to all of the conspiracies, who is cheating who, and what is at stake. This is a story that is full of shades of gray, making it clear that few important decisions are black and white. I appreciate the realism of this. I was able to understand why the characters were doing what they were even if I didn't always agree. So many different loyalties are at play here. Loyalty to law, loyalty to justice, loyalty to government, loyalty to family, and loyalty to friends-which is the most important? And when these loyalties are in conflict with each other, which takes precedence? That is never an easy decision to make, and when the lives of people you love and care about are at stake it is even harder. Weighed against the fate of a nation, what do individual lives matter? These are all interesting concepts explored through the plot, a plot also full of adventure, danger, and magic.

Renee finds herself unwittingly at the center of this conflict and forced to decide which of her loyalties take precedence. It was interesting watching her perception and understanding of the nuances of her world grow. She starts out idealistically wanting to fight for law and country, but soon realizes that they are not always right. The contrast between how she, Savoy (her commander), and Alec respond to these different questions and the choices they make are interesting. In a way every character in the book is forced to make a choice regarding this. It is the driving force of the novel and real food for thought. In addition I really enjoyed both Renee and Savoy as characters. They were simply fun to read about, and I would love to read more about them. 

I like that there was no romance in this story. It absolutely does not need it. It had enough going on, and adding that too would have made it too much.

The world building is pretty standard fantasy. There are no new twists or anything particularly special about it. It is comforting in its familiarity for fans of this type of fantasy. 

This is a YA novel but can be read by middle school readers looking for meatier fare. I will be recommending it to my students who like these sort of books.


Anonymous said…
First time I've heard of this title, will be adding it to my wishlist in case I feel like reading a straightforward YA fantasy.
Brenda said…
Glad you got a chance to read this. It's a lovely book and yes so much going on. You may also enjoy The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen, it has similar layers of stories that enter twine.
Brandy said…
It's not MWT quality fantasy or anything but definitely a fun read.
Brandy said…
I have read The False Prince and really enjoyed it.

Popular posts from this blog

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Favorite Kissing Scenes

When thinking of a favorite things post I could do for February I decided it would have to be kissing. I've already done couples and I was feeling in the mood to do something fluffy and Valentine's related. So kisses it is. I read more MG than YA, and the YA I read tends to not focus on romance so this was actually harder than I expected it to be though a few jumped into my head right away. (And one of my choices does actually come from a MG book. One is adult. Gasp!) The actual scene from the book is quoted followed by my thoughts. The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and a groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day . - The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner Turner doesn't write the


Shadowshaper  by Daniel José Older is everywhere. Best of lists. Award buzz. Blogs everywhere. It's one of those books everyone is reading and talking about. I had it on my TBR but decided I definitely needed to read it before the year was out just so I could weigh in on one of the most talked about books of 2015 if asked. It is deserving of every good thing said about it. Every. One. Sierra was looking forward to a relaxing summer break. Her plans involved hanging out with her friends and painting. They did not involve being chased by zombie like creatures and threatened by a magical power connected to her family's heritage she has never heard of. When murals begin fading all over her Brooklyn neighborhood, Sierra is perplexed. When her grandfather, who had a stroke, begins to apologize and starts repeating strange phases and insisting Sierra get the help of a boy she barely knows to help her finish her mural, Sierra is concerned but mostly about her grandfather. Then at a

Jinx's Fire

I have been a big fan of Jinx and company from the very first book, which felt like such a perfect Brandy book. The conclusion of Sage Blackwood's trilogy, Jinx's Fire , finished the story beautifully and is definitely my favorite of the three. Spoilers for first two books abound. Read those first: Jinx Jinx's Magic The Urwald is in danger from more than one direction and has no hope of defending itself if there is not unity amongst the people. Jinx, Sophie, Elfwyn, Wendell, and a dedicated group of others are working to make this happen as quickly as they can. Time is running out. At the same time, they are still dealing with the threat of the Bonemaster from within, and the Urwald's magic is fading. Where is it going? Can it be restored? And where has the Bonemaster put Simon? Jinx is the only one who can find the answers to these questions, and harnass the Urwald's power to save them all, but only if he is willing. Jinx has some serious attitude in this

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak  by Robert Beatty is a thrilling tale of mystery and adventure set at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in 1899. Having lived in Asheville and visited the house several times, there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to read this. (Also it's MG fantasy, always a bonus for me.) Serafina lives in secret in the basement of the Vanderbilt's spacious vacation home. She has lived there most of her life. Her father worked on the house as it was being built and is the mechanic who runs the massive generator and keeps the electricity going. Serafina is the chief rat catcher, slipping through the halls of her massive home secretly and quietly. She is light on her feet, sees well in the dark, and is quick enough to catch the vermin and keep them out. Serafina knows she if different and strange. Her father insists she stay hidden. But all that changes when one night Serafina witnesses a horrible crime. A little girl, a guest in the house, is fleein