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I write, read and review, I blog frequently and love anything to do with books and writing, including editing. I am a Book Nerd and I wear that badge with pride.  http://coffee2words.wordpress.com

In the Enemy's Service is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure young adult read.

In the Enemy's Service (Annals of Alasia) - Annie Douglass Lima, Jack Lin

Covering the same timeframe as Prince of Alasia, this story shows the reader how those left in the castle deal with the Malornian invasion and the evil Regent while the young Prince Jaymin remains hidden in the small country towns around Alasia.

If you've read Prince of Alasia, you know how that ends, and it ties in with this story well. It also leads quite nicely into the third book Prince of Malorn, which I haven't read yet, but I plan to in the future.

The protagonist in this book is a young girl, a commoner, and someone who is very wholesome and virginal. But she's not this shining beacon of all things women should be, Annie hasn't written her that way and for me, it worked brilliantly. She's a plucky young girl who shows great strength, cunning and nous. She gets things wrong, but she works hard to fix them and to do the best she can given her circumstances. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a solid female character who wasn't a ditz and not an amazing amazon-like woman either. Anya read like a real little girl thrown into an amazingly difficult situation.

The supporting cast are wide and varied, including people from both sides of the invasion. I liked the character arcs for a number of them, and that while the Prince was a key point in the story, he didn't really feature as a character.

Full of spying, plotting and counter-plotting, In the Enemy's Service is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure young adult read. I feel it would be suitable for most children, with only a few minor instances of violence.