The Key, By Jennifer Anne Davis

Within these pages lie kingdoms with castles and princes who fall in love with fair maidens, but make no mistake−this is no fairytale.His father’s kingdom is on the brink of upheaval and at the center of it all is an ordinary girl who could be the key to its undoing. When faced with the ultimate choice, will he choose the girl he’s falling in love with or the kingdom he has sworn to protect?

An ordinary girl with an extraordinary past… All she wants is to be free. What she doesn’t realize is that freedom comes with a price she can’t afford to pay. She’s forced to accept the proposal of a prince she despises, even though her heart belongs to someone else… his brother.

Seventeen-year-old Rema lives in a brutal kingdom where travel between regions is forbidden, people are starving, and looking at someone the wrong way can mean death. Nineteen-year-old Darmik is the king’s son and Commander of the King’s Army. He spends his days roving the island, doing his father’s bidding and trying to maintain control over the people.

When a chance encounter throws Rema and Darmik together, they share an instantaneous connection, but any sort of relationship between them is strictly forbidden. Darmik’s brother, the Crown Prince, notices Darmik’s interest in Rema and, in a calculated, political move, blackmails her. Faced with an impossible choice, Rema is forced to sacrifice her heart in order to save her family.

As Rema is taken to the palace with the Crown Prince, Darmik confronts the growing rumor that a legitimate blood heir to the throne exists and is trying to overthrow Darmik’s family. In Darmik’s quest to hunt down and kill the threat, he discovers that nothing is as it seems. Locked in the king’s castle, Rema finds herself a key player in a massive power struggle. When Darmik shows up, she’s not sure if she can trust him. The line between friends, enemies, and loyalty becomes blurred. As truths are unlocked, Rema understands that she just might be the key to finding the rightful heir and restoring peace to the kingdom… if she can manage to stay alive long enough.
I feel that before I start with my review, there are a few things that I need to address right off the bat.
1.)    I DID receive a copy of this book for MY honest review.
2.)    I absolutely can NOT stand YA.  I’m sorry it’s just not my cup of tea.
3.)   I completely hate cliffhangers.
4.)    I am completely IN LOVE with this book and can’t wait for the next book!
Now that I have those out of the way, I will start with my review.
When I first started reading this book, the switching of the POV’s was slightly annoying at first.  I was really getting into Rema’s character and then Darmik would pop his head in.  And it was reversed as well.  But as the story progressed, I did enjoy the way that the author was able to switch the POV’s in a way that it added more to the story than if she would have told it from only 1 character POV.
The character’s themselves I feel were written very well, the attention to detail when it came to describing not only their looks but also their personalities was done in a way that you weren’t left confused or wanting more from them.  Each of the characters in the story had their own completely different personalities, even down to the chamber maids and it was great fun to read and see how they interact with each other.
There was quite a bit of drama that was taking place throughout the story, and while I don’t usually like stories with that level of it, I think that the author was able to incorporate it in the story very well.  There were enough twists and turns that were taking place that this story will suck you into it and you won’t want to put the book down.
With every book, no matter how much you love it, there are also the downsides.  To me, the “discovery” that Darmik made?  I totally saw that coming, but even still, I enjoyed the book.  I really wish that I would have known there was a cliffhanger because come the end of the book I was on baited breath waiting to find out what was going to happen next.  I also felt like there were more questions than answers during the course of this book.
I am hoping that the next book will be able to answer some of those questions, because I felt in a way that we didn’t discover anything new in this book.
Overall, I did completely enjoy this book and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great new read!