Fantasy, Young Adult

Welcome to Thunder Dome

The Cadet of tildor by alex liddell

cadet of tildor

The Skinny: 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. – From Goodreads

BFF?: I had a little bit of trouble with Renee at first. Don’t get me wrong; she was pretty awesome. I loved that she wanted to defy (?) everyone and prove that she was just as good as the boys in her class, but this is kind of where the trouble began. She was a bit hard-headed about it. Clearly the Academy allows girls to succeed and become soldiers, teachers, mages, and Servants. And yes, I know it’s harder to become a Servant for anyone, but it almost felt like she was more concerned about proving something than she was about becoming a Servant for the right reason. Other than that little bit, Renee was a great MC and I enjoyed seeing her develop through the pages, going from an obstinate headstrong girl to a true heroine.

Readability: I’ve mentioned a good bit in my reviews that I sometimes have trouble with fantasy novels and, while it’s my favorite genre, am sometimes intimidated by them. The Cadet of Tildor, however, is not intimidating at all. Yes, it’s fantasy, but it’s approachable. It deals with everyday issues (school, cheating, uncertainty) as well as serious issues we still face in this world (bribery, corruption, violence). An easy read, yes, but a truly engaging one.

Crush Level: err…??? 
So when we’re first introduced to Savoy I thought ooh, nice! But then as I got to know him I began reconsidering those thoughts. Is he a love interest or not? We get these genuinely nice moments from him, but then he goes and ruins them by saying things like “I don’t do hugs.” And then there’s Alec, the BGFF (best guy friend forever) who could potentially be a love interest. I don’t want to get too spoilery on you here, but that thought only lasts for a hot minute. Then there’s Cory who I believe is Scottish and yummy. (I am assuming on yumminess) But none of them actually turn out to be a romantic interest. This book doesn’t really do romance. Good for the book. Bad for my Crush Level part of this review.

Bonus Points
Warring Gangs
sharks jets
I don’t think you’d actually call them gangs. It’s probably more like warring mob families? In Tildor there are two “bad guys”: the Family, a group that tries to pay off the crown, deals in veelsi (I’m assuming this is like pot) and extorts money from families who want protection from the Family;  and the Vipers, a true gang led by the Madam who is set on bringing down the crown, engaging in violent acts and crime. Very cool stuff.

The Academy
hogwarts
Not going to lie, I do love a good training school. Spies, warriors, athletes, wizards; you name it, I love it. It’s always interesting seeing how students deal with whatever challenges come their way while trying to balance it with a term paper.

Puppies!
wolf dog
Okay, there’s only one dog in the book, but I think he might have been my favorite. There’s some cool shizz with this dog too, but that would be completely spoilery for you!

Commencement Speech: The Cadet of Tildor was THE book to read last year so naturally I’m just reading it now. I finally see what everyone was talking about. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but that didn’t take anything away from it. I loved how intricately the book was written, how so many stories were woven into it and the twists it took. So glad I finally got a copy of this book and dived in!

Superlatives – Most likely to make you want to pay better attention in school

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4 thoughts on “Welcome to Thunder Dome”

  1. Haha. Yes, I remember everyone telling me I needed to read this one . . . and I still haven’t. I did pick up a copy, though, at a booksale in November.

    I’m glad to hear that it’s easy to read. I love fantasy, but tend to favorite the lower fantasy books – ones that are set more in our world. And higher fantasy novels I tend to struggle with a little sometimes. So yay for easy reading.

    And sad for not a lot of romance. At least for me, because I’ve totally been digging the romance lately.

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  2. I loved The Cadet Of Tildor, hopefully there will be a sequel! Also, I did kind of ship her with Savoy, even when he had jerk moments.

    AGREE SO MUCH THAT THIS WAS EASY TO READ, why am I typing in all caps? Lots of excitement I guess.

    I am pumped up that you liked Cadet of Tildor!

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  3. Ok, i don’t usually comment on blog reviews… but you got me on the picture of the puppy!! That is TOTALLY baby Khavi. Thank you for reading CADET and for this awesome write up. And the puppy pic. Seven hells. I want that doggy.

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  4. Oh, I LOVED The Cadet of Tildor! It was definitely a solid fantasy read, with a great main character and swoons (for me) over Savoy. Since I first read it last year, I’ve been dying for a sequel – which I really hope happens! Glad you liked this one!

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