Reviews
The author gleefully admits a 100% bias toward positive reviews!
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Reviews for Aurelia:
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My Personal Favorite:

“Miss Osterlund, you’re mind is twisted!”
-former sixth grade student

Booklist:

The story begins with a clandestine outing in a menacing alley and builds to a melodramatic climax of swords and stallions. Along the way, all manner of balls and betrayals pepper a concoction frothy in tenor but heavy with intrigue. Aurelia, the rebellious crown princess of Tyralt, pulls against the constraints of court composure and political etiquette. Brash and outspoken, she is forever challenging the statesmanship of her father and stepmother, particularly their efforts to find her a suitable (read rich) husband. But that’s far less troubling than the fact that someone is trying to kill her. Enter Robert, dashing, earnest son of the king’s own spy, to rescue the comely Aurelia and track down the assassin. The mystery is well conceived and satisfactorily resolved, and the tone, a court full of royal tropes veneered with contemporary sensibilities (like a rococo mirror blinged-out like a cell phone), is irresistible. Plausible, no; entertaining, yes.

 

Thom Barthelmess

sparkles
 


The Compulsive Reader:

 
    Link to full review   Link to book trailer   Excerpt:  
 

“The fabled tale of the headstrong, intelligent, and suppressed princess who falls for the wrong person and together they must overcome great odds is reborn once again in Aurelia...but with a punch. Osterlund's world is one that is more sophisticated than your average fantastical kingdom, on the cusp of progress, but with the same charm and realities of the classic fairy tale kingdom. Aurelia is also more than just a headstrong princess yearning for her taste of power...the author cleverly reveals her more vulnerable side and brings to light her imperfections without overdoing it, giving Aurelia an admirable and believable quality.

Osterlund gives us also a royal family that is not completely perfect, leaders who don't always do what is right, and princesses—no matter how likable, stubborn, or clever—who don't always get their fairy tale ending. All of this entwined with a mystery that nags at the mind, tempting the reader to peak (but you better not!), and demanding to be solved. Part mystery, part fantasy, and part romance, Aurelia is full of intrigue, glamour, dark deeds, betrayals, and suspense—the perfect story for those who are looking for a more grown up fairy tale.”

BCCB (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

Aurelia is the crown princess of the feudal region of Tyralt, but while the citizens of Tyralt anxiously await the ascendance to the throne of their favorite, someone is trying to ensure that doesn't happen. Aurelia's father secretly sends for his former royal spy, now living on the frontier with his family, to investigate two failed at­tempts on his daughter's life, but the man refuses to re-enter court life. The spy’s son Robert, however, remembers Aurelia as his childhood friend and perhaps something more, and he agrees to take over his father’s position. Robert tracks down clues that lead him in disturbing directions, and he finally defies the king's injunction against telling Aurelia her life is in danger and plots a dangerous gambit using her as bait to catch her assassin. This cleverly conceived mystery/romance is elegantly written, with a beautifully realized setting of a medieval city twined by a river and fortified by a stone wall. Aurelia is rather forward thinking for a feudal princess, but her democratic leanings make her as likable to readers as she is to her subjects. Robert, too, reveals enough uncertainty and conflicted ambition to make him not only accessible but endearing. Their inevitable romance is played without the encumbrance of heaving bosoms or frustrating suspense; rather, their grounded sensibilities are evenly matched for a slow but sure development of tender feeling, and suspense is saved for a well-played climax of life and death on half-wild stallions. Readers who love that intersection of period drama, romance, and mystery will be most satisfied with this offering.

—KC, 6/08   sparkles
 

VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates):

Osterlund paints a vivid portrait of palace intrigue, romance, and death. The reader is willingly taken along for a whirlwind ride of action, in which the characters play a vital role. Osterlund's characters are both believable, relatable, and enviable, which makes this book enjoyable to read. Even though the book might seem to fit the mold of a quintessential princess fairy tale, Aurelia's spitfire attitude and her resulting actions lend the story a unique twist.

Rebecca Moreland, Teen Reviewer
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)
sparkles

 

Genre Go Rounds:

     
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This is an exciting young adult historical fiction that cleverly uses references to anchor time (“The Age of Reason”) and place (other neighboring kingdoms) as Anne Osterlund enlighteningly avoids dumbing down by treating her audience with respect in regards to their intelligence. The courageous princess wants more out of life than tedious nobles fawning at her feet at boring parties. She soon learns that sometimes you get what you wish for when several assassination attempts occur. However, that just makes her even braver. Readers will appreciate Princess Aurelia’s rude awakening to the downside of royalty.

Harriet Klausner sparkles
     
Romance Reviews Today
   
  Excerpt:    

As an adult reading a young adult novel, AURELIA was enjoyable on so many levels that it didn't matter that this was a book for the younger generation. I was lost in the world of Tyralt and the adventurous princess who is strong, witty and also very stubborn. Aurelia is a super heroine who is no weeping willow. She takes everything in stride and has a good head on her shoulders. This is a young woman who is very much a queen in the making. I could go on and on about Aurelia's attributes, she has so many. And I found Robert to be her equal. He is not only a romantic interest, but an honest and true friend who cares for the person she is and not about his place in court or a longing for a higher position.

This is one exceptionally written book, and Anne Osterlund has awed and astounded with AURELIA. For a young adult read that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike, this deserves RRT's Perfect 10 award!

Kate Garrabrant

 

 



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