Book Reviews

The Heir and the Spare by Kate Stradling

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 300
Genre: Fantasy
Published: Feb. 19, 2021
Rating: 5 stars


An evil princess, a ruthless persecutor, a wretched match.

Tormented at home and bullied during her studies abroad, second-born Iona of Wessett hides in the quiet corners of her father’s castle. Her art and music provide refuge, but her cruel sister Lisenn ever lurks like a monster stalking its prey.

Such has been her life for twenty years.

However, a promise of reprieve and retribution arrives when the neighboring kingdom of Capria proposes an alliance between their new crown prince and Wessett’s heir to the throne. The treaty will rid Iona of the toxic Lisenn, and the potential groom is none other than her erstwhile bully, Jaoven of Deraval. The marriage could not be more poetic: each deserves the misery the other might inflict.

Except that Jaoven, humbled by the war that elevated his rank, appears to have reformed, and the fate of both kingdoms now hinges on the disastrous union he’s about to make.


First, I want to say I love when books start off with bible quotes. This one started with Luke 17:3.

Iona is second princess to Wessett. When she was younger she was sent to Capria to attend their royal college. Her parents sent her away to escape her older sister Lisenn. While she was at Capria she was bullied. Her main tormentor… Jaoven of Deraval. When negotiations for her older sister to the new crown prince come about, Jaoven learns that he wasn’t tormenting a lesser noble from his homeland but the second princess of the neighboring kingdom.

I felt sorry for Iona. The abuse she had to suffer from her sister and her father not really caring. Her sister got away with way too much. I didn’t think I would finish this in a day. But I did. I didn’t think I would like this but I ended up loving it. I will definitely be adding more books by Kate to my TBR. I do have another one that is on my kindle. I am now a bit worried that I will go into a slump. That’s how good the book was. I do wish for more of Iona and Jaoven. Though it has more to do with wanting to dig deeper into the romance and let it grow.