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Exile by Anne Osterlund

Exile (2010)

by Anne Osterlund

Series: Aurelia (2)

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Exile moved along a bit slower than its predecessor, but still contained many of the qualities that made Aurelia so enjoyable. The beautiful and loving descriptions are definitely still present (my childhood adoration of horses never ended...); I really want to see the Geordian horses! The romance was here, although a bit more frustrating than before. The cuteness of the initial attraction is gone and now Robert and Aurelia are getting all dramatic and overthinking absolutely everything. Plus, there are no juicy descriptions, which is classy but still a bit disappointing.

Aurelia remains a delightful heroine, full of spunk, wit and compassion. She, like all of the best heroines, constantly challenges the world around her, seeking to improve it. There are a number of times where times get tough and she starts to break down or to complain. Instead of giving into that impulse, she very quickly reins herself in (horse pun...I think Aurelia would approve, or, at the very least, Osterlund would!) and comes up with a solution to the problem. Too few YA heroines have this strength and cleverness.

Exile was good, but likely will be the weakest in a really great series. My reason for saying this is that it is so clearly a transitionary book, serving the purpose of getting Aurelia and Robert to where they need to be for the next book. Do not take this as a huge criticism, but as an explanation as to why this installment moves a bit more slowly. Actually, the only thing I really didn't like about this sequel was the cover. It bothers me that they so obviously chose a different model, when I take both as an intended representation of Aurelia. Covers aside, you better believe I'll be going along on Aurelia's next journey! ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |

Welcome back to Aurelia's world. She's no longer a friend in her kingdom - not even a guest. And yet, her exile has given her the chance to get away and travel the world. She has wanted to see the deserts, the frontier, to talk to the people of Tyralt and seek their needs...and now she is finally going. Robert is coming too. Robert, who kissed her that day after their ride together. Robert, who has been her friend since they were young and who just recently saved her life...multiple times. Aurelia doesn't know the dangers that await her in her exile, but she does know that she has to get away from her murdering family and to possibly even find a way to save her kingdom from destruction.

If only she wasn't falling in love with Robert... Saving her country could be so much easier.


My thoughts -

After waiting nearly a year to read this book, it's finally here. It's not just a thought or an idea anymore, it's actually in my hands. And I have had the immense honor and pleasure of being one of the very first to read it.

I was a fan of Aurelia from the very start, when I read it in three days (reading the whole last half on the third day, it was that good). But I have to admit, I didn't give much thought to what would happen in book #2. I honestly couldn't think of the wonders that I could be possibly be introduced to in book #2. There were so many options...so many ways it could go...I contented myself to waiting for the book to come out.

Oh boy. OOOOOHH boy. Let me just say first that Anne Osterlund is one talented writer. Her skill and style are so perfect for the type of books that she writes. I was so amazed by what I read when I first opened the book, how she describes everything, how she incorporates the world around her characters into how they feel. Really amazing. It was action packed and full to the brim with more mystery. The hard lives of the the people in Tyralt, the secrets behind Aurelia's mother's disappearance... It all unfolded with suspense and kept me sucked in without falter.

And then there are the characters. Aurelia keeps true to her personality and what she believes in. She is headstrong and a great leader. And all the while she is growing and maturing. Robert is the same kind-hearted, giving, loving young man. And he, too, grows and matures. By the end of this book they've been through so much together that you can't help but feel attached to them, even more so than in Aurelia.

Favorite character -

Aurelia and Robert tie. I know, I know, they're both lead roles. But I love them too much to be able to pick anyone else. At the end of the first book, I thought I loved Robert...but now I love him even more! You just can't help but respect him!

Favorite aspects/scenes -

The way Aurelia and Robert grow during their journey. It truly is an amazing example of growing and learning (and how to build characters well in a story). They mold into who they are - together and apart. (Also, until half-way through this book, Robert was still a boy... At the end, however, he was a man. It was amazing to see that transition and for it to be so clear and perfect for the story!) And that brings me to my second and third favorite parts of the book...the love story and the different ways the characters sacrifice during their journey. Seriously, this book is awesome.

One word to sum up this book -

Unexpected. Really and truly, I was not expecting this book to be what it was. The opening scenes, the journey the characters take together, the ways they grow, the places they see - it was an altogether perfect second installation to the books about Aurelia's life. I honestly don't think I can wait much longer to see what's next in their adventurous life together in Tyralt.

For the parents -

There's really nothing to complain about in this book. One use of the word "bastard". Some kissing (nondescript), holding (nondescript), and a reference to Aurelia stopping them from doing anything (also nondescript). So clean and sweet and innocent, and they love each other so much. Recommended ages 12 or 13 and older - adult readers should read this too! :)

This ARC copy was provided by the author in return for an honest review. I was in no way compensated; all thoughts and feelings expressed are my own. ( )
  yearningtoread | Nov 26, 2011 |
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Exile. The plot and story line was straightforward. Although I did wished for more twists and turns in the story, I like the way Anne Osterlund keeps the reader guessing about the end of the story. The end of the book is not the way you wished it to be; it is not a happily ever after ending (a hint to a sequel?). I find that a good thing because it is refreshing to read a book which for once, does not have the happily ever after ending. I’ve read quite a few books in the Young Adult Fantasy genre and Exile is definitely one of the best. The fact that it has clean language is a plus! ( )
  Sugarpeach | Jun 25, 2011 |
This story picks up right where Aurelia left off and you won’t really understand this story without having read the first one. Robert and Aurelia have discovered that the person behind the assassination attempts is Aurelia’s half sister Melony. Aurelia has just left the capital to tour the country and she hopes to get to know her people as well as remove herself from any lingering danger. Not long into their journey they discover that the danger has not passed, and Aurelia is still being hunted. She has to rely entirely on Robert to keep her safe and that only intensifies her feeling for him.

I enjoyed Aurelia fairly well, but this story dragged for me. I think it’s because Aurelia and Robert spend much of the time analyzing the situation and their feelings. I felt like we just went around and around in circles for most of the story. It’s only the final quarter of the book that there is much progress on the actual plot. It really seemed like she was in denial about the danger she was in. And so much of the story felt like she was just trying to avoid making a decision about her life and ruling. By the end of the story I was vaguely irritated at her. I would like to know what eventually happens so if there ends up being another sequel I will probably at least skim though it, but I’m not sure that I want to invest much more time than that. ( )
  readr | Jun 16, 2011 |
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

With her newfound freedom after being removed from her role of Princess, Aurelia has decided to tour her country. She longs to see her people in their everyday roles.

Robert and guards accompany her on her journey. At first, Aurelia travels as a Princess. However, she doesn't want the people to see her as above their stations. She wants to become one of them. She gets her wish when an unexpected attempt on her life causes her to flee with Robert. Soon, Robert becomes the only person she trusts, but he's not crazy about the way she puts herself in danger.

The two of them travel in disguise and off the main roads. While traveling, they run into a group of bandits. The leader, with his own army, protects Aurelia's mother. As Aurelia spends time with her mother, she unravels the truth from her past. She sees herself split between two futures. She can remain here and forget about the outside world, or she can continue on her journey.

Her life's filled with difficult choices and emotional turmoil. The knowledge that her stepsister wants to take the crown motivates her. The horrors she sees on her journey motivate her. The danger of someone following her footsteps, lurking in the shadows waiting to kill her, motivates her. How far will she go to protect herself, Robert, and her people?

EXILE was a great continuation of Aurelia's story. It's full of tension - danger lurking everywhere with double-crossings and betrayals. Romantic tension also fills the book; it's both frustrating (in a good way) and adorable. I love the bittersweet moments between Aurelia and her mother. I like how Aurelia's mind works through all that she sees. I love how her sense of right and wrong colors her world, and I also love her determination. She's a character one can't help but root for to be successful. I simply can't wait until the final installment of this story comes out! ( )
  GeniusJen | Jun 13, 2011 |
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For Tease, who I promised, and Dance, who made certain I followed through.
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Hoofbeats thundered from behind.
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Book description
Crown princess Aurelia is a survivor. She survived attempted assassination. She survived the king's rejection. She survived her mother's abandonment. And now, in exile, she must survive her kingdom-from hostile crowds to raw frontier to desert sands. But even as unknown assailants track Aurelia and expedition guide Robert, she knows what her greatest risk is: falling love...
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In exile, Princess Aurelia is free of responsibilities, able to travel the country and meet the people of Tyralt, but when her journey erupts in a fiery conflagration that puts the fate of the kingdom in peril, she and her companion Robert must determine whether they have the strength and the will to complete their mission.… (more)

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