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Destiny's Path #1

Warrior Princess

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"you can be a warrior, if you choose to be."

It takes just a moment for fifteen-year-old Branwen's life to change forever. In the blink of an eye the Saxons attack and her brother is killed. Almost as quickly, she is sent away from her home to a neighboring stronghold where she'll be safe from harm. Now Branwen lives as a princess should—surrounded by exquisite things and lavish quarters. But deep down remains the soul of a warrior.

Just when Branwen is sure she has been pushed to her limits, a chance encounter with a mystical woman in white forces her to question everything—and everyone—around her. With no time to lose, Branwen must make a choice: continue in the path her parents intended for her . . . or step into the role of true Warrior Princess.

346 pages, Hardcover

First published January 27, 2009

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About the author

Allan Frewin Jones

128 books421 followers
This author has published under several versions of his name, including Allan Jones, Frewin Jones, and A.F. Jones. He has also published under the pen names Sam Hutton and Steven Saunders.

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5 stars
724 (27%)
4 stars
843 (31%)
3 stars
734 (27%)
2 stars
269 (10%)
1 star
105 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 203 reviews
Profile Image for Simcsa.
92 reviews87 followers
December 17, 2011
You can be a warrior, if you choose to be.

Fifteen-year-old Branwen's life is changed forever when enemy Saxon troops attack her homeland and her brother is killed. Branwen wants to avenge her brother's death, but instead she is sent to a neighboring stronghold where she'll be safe from harm. Yet while she is surrounded by exquisite beauty and luxury in her new home—as a princess should be—she feels different from the other girls. Deep down, Branwen has the soul of a warrior.

Then a mystical woman in white foretells a daunting prophecy: Branwen will be the one to save her homeland.

Hmmm... I don't know how to say it.. You're probably expecting a lot of gushing and the highest possible recommendation because of my rating, but it's not that simple. I'm not entirely objective with my rating, I see flaws in the book and I can't just recommend it without saying why I liked it so much and also why you maybe wouldn't like it as much as I did.

First, a little warning for romance fans: No romance here!! If you can't make it through a book without it, then quickly look away (or you can read my review anyway, I won't be angry :) I'm not saying that you won't find here any possible future love interests, but it never crosses the boundaries of love or even crush.

To the point now. The first reason why I enjoyed it so much is actually the absence of romance. The last book I read was all about romance (a pretty lame one) and it was soo annoying, the girl always thinking about the boy and me rolling my eyes. I felt kind of relieved when I didn't find anything like that in Warrior Princess.

The second reason is that I immediately connected with Branwen. She is just the right type of heroine for me, courageous, maybe a little stubborn, not always sure of herself, but she wouldn't let anyone to mock her, she can defend herself... However, I can see that some readers would think that she is stupid and naive instead of stubborn, because really who could avoid a prophecy? Though can we blame her? She just longed for control over her own life and words like fate or prophecy meant for her that she woudn't get it.

And I can tell you I was hooked on the story from the start, I couldn't have stopped reading!! Now, to the thing that could bother you but I totally didn't mind it, I almost didn't realize it. Branwen learns how to fight a little too quickly. She has one lesson and then she fights "like a demon". Well, this sounds Mary-Suish, doesn't it? But there are some mitigating circumstances - that she was predestined to become a warrior, chosen by a goddess, her brother taught her how to fence (only defense, but still..) and she was always watching her mother while she was fencing (she was feared warrior once).

Lastly I would say this book is similar to Alanna: The First Adventure, so if you enjoyed that one, you could enjoy also Warrior Princess.
Profile Image for Allison.
437 reviews
September 22, 2009
Oh where to start....

I can only assume that this book was an attempt by the author to ignite interest in pre-invasion Wales. This book makes me pity the Warrior Poets of that time, because there story will apparently NEVER be told. A poor semi-retelling of the Mabinogi of Branwen.

Same issues with plot pacing. Every 2 pages something IMPORTANT happens.

Issues with story- Jones attempts to make Branwen the Anti-Hero (does not attempt to follow prophecy/fate) but instead of this making her a strong charachter, it makes her in to a petulant, whiny child.

The whole story is supposedly based on her grief over the death of her brother, and I'm sorry, I know people in every time period feel grief... but seriously didn't people die way more often then? No medicine, no hygiene, and oh wait, the SAXONS are invading. I just feel like she whined an awful lot about this when people should have been dropping like flies EVERY DAY.

I liked the idea of the "Bright Ones," but disliked that their involvment was shunned. Branwen defies the Bright Ones because they let her brother die, even though they patiently explain EVERYTHING to her about 8 times.

In summary- the plot was predictable, the history was unrealistic (ie she wore Satin in the age of wad and dauble huts...) the charachter was annoying, and I hope the Saxons get her in the next book. OH WAIT. They will. Because it's the SAXONS.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Hey_jude.
39 reviews38 followers
February 24, 2011
This book, I found, was a little disappointing. I could barely get past the first two chapters. It started out a little lame, with the main character basically sitting on a hill and describing her appearance for the first two paragraphs. Plus, I found from there on, even the 'action' scenes seemed a little forced like they were written for a way younger audience. I mean, this is supposed to be for teenagers and older right? Well, it was written so simply that I felt like I was revisiting a book I'd read from when I was nine.
I'm sorry, but poorly written prose is the number one reason I will not finish a book. I mean, If a story is lame, I may forgive it and I really do respect the author if it's well written. I can forgive that. But excuse me, nothing annoys me more than picking up a book and it looking like a eleven year old wrote it? Very basic stuff. I'm sure other people have read this series and or like this author's stuff, but it was way below my reading level. Besides...the story seems a little redundant. Who hasn't written about a warrior queen who may have 'gasp' magical powers?

Profile Image for Kristi.
1,188 reviews2,892 followers
February 7, 2009
I’m a fan of Jones’s Faerie Path books, so when I heard he had a new series coming out, I was very excited. Jones had a very descriptive writing style yet doesn’t exhaust the reader in mundane details. Warrior Princess was no exception.

I really enjoyed Branwen’s story, and while at times I had problems with the character herself, she redeemed herself many times over. One of those redeeming moments being Branwen’s change from the awkwardness of childhood to a prominent and determined young woman.

I think if I had to label this novel I’d call it a historical fantasy. I appreciated the historically accurate details that were depicted throughout the novel. I’m hoping that this is the beginning of a series, because the ending leaves many questions unanswered.
Overall, a entertaining, faced-paced read that is sure to conquer fans of fantasy and historical fiction!
Profile Image for Loren Johnson.
218 reviews22 followers
July 27, 2017
A terrific start to a new favourite series of mine. I loved every second of this and I can honestly say I'm really excited for the second instalment. So happy to have stumbled across this, definitely highly recommended to lovers of young adult fantasy novels!
Profile Image for Anka.
201 reviews6 followers
Shelved as 'gave-up-just-for-now'
January 17, 2021
I don’t remember ever even picking it up but I know I won’t like it now so I’m giving up lol
Profile Image for Rose.
1,872 reviews1,055 followers
November 21, 2022
*sighs* This confirms my suspicion that I think Goodreads erased a lot of my old reviews because I know that I own and have read this particular book in the Warrior Princess series YEARS ago. I'll craft another review of it when I have the opportunity, but I'm feeling pretty bummed out that I'm having to go through my reading list and essentially update things I know that I read but questioned whether or not I marked them accordingly.
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,178 reviews45 followers
February 20, 2014
I was really excited to read this book, then I noticed those unfortunate words on the cover "author of the Faerie Path". Drat. I couldn't even get through the Faerie Path, so my expectations went through the floor. This book has a lot to prove, so work it, little Welsh middle-age fantasy book with the worst self-explanatory title ever. Work it. Soon.

Yeah, didn't happen. And it took me an entire WEEK to read! But I could feel the plot potential, so I kept reading. But really, it was awful.
A) You don't start the book with a few paragraphs of physical description. That's awful. I feel like our Friend Jones has never read a book before.
B) If one more thing got spattered with blood or splattered with gore, I was going to smatter myself with blood. Not only did the book alternate between boring boringness and violence, that particular phrase was just overused.
C) This whole book read like a prologue. At the very least a prequel. For the first half of the book, I thought it jumped into the action too quickly, two paragraphs of description and Bang the brother was dead and Boom off she goes to wherever. But what I realized was that the action didn't pick up until, well, at least three quarters of the way through the book. The entirety of the center section of this book was "Branwyn feels out of place" "Branwyn has a temper" "Branwyn is unknowingly setting herself up for her destiny as a warrior princess" "Branwyn doesn't want to follow the calling she received form the ancient goddess that approached her" "Branwyn is meeting characters that end up having no actual importance once she starts doing things" Not only was it unnecessary, it was boring. And repetitive. IF that whole section at Doeth Palais had been cut to a quarter of it's current size, and the rest of the next book had been tacked on to the end, this book would have been more tolerable. Even if it was longer. But whatever. as it stands, it was a useless amalgamation of unrelated incidents and her telling herself that she didn't belong here.
E) There was no characterization and no inter-personal relationships. Branwyn Trusts Rhodri, she loves and trusts her parents, she loved her brother, she dislikes everyone else. If there had been actual, complicated relationships with any other character, that would have been great. particularly if her relationship with her parents had been explored in more depth, then we could have seen the depth of her "life for a life" decision, so it was motivated. But no. That definitely didn't happen. And all we saw of Branwyn was the same. She had a temper, she wanted to avenge her brother, she loved her home. That's it. She spent most of the time of this book by herself, and we still didn't have any information about her. How. That almost takes skill.
F) SO much for girl power. She just stood around and whined and fired into a temper until the boy gave her news and a travel companion. Thank you.
G) on a positive note, I think I figured out the reason I kept reading. besides the plot potential, which genuinely did live itself out. (New plan, the book should have been a third as long, because the stuff in Garth Milain was decent.) But the reason I kept reading was the setting was so well done. I loved the Medieval (Wales, was it?) and all the historical details.

In short, I think someone else should take that character (and by "character" I mean a name, a temper, and some black hair) and the motif and the setting and do something fantastically amazing with it. Because it could totally be done. And it really would be great. But the book as it was had few redeeming qualities. I will not be suffering through any more work by this author, no matter how intriguing the premise is. (plus, the summary on the back doesn't even line up with the book. If Jones had paced the book the way he paced the summary, it would have solved his pacing problem)
Profile Image for Arya.
415 reviews
March 29, 2010
Wow. . .this was anamazing book! I whole heartedly enjoyed Branwen's adventure and I have already put the second book in the series on order - this is a treasure!

Saxons are coming. The news is like a death sentence to the small "princedom" of Garth Milain. The rough territory on the ourskirts of Brython is very vulnerable to Saxon invasion and already they have been struck hard by raids. When Branwen's brother is brutally murdered by the Saxon raiders her parents decide her fate.

As the lone heir to Garth Milain she must go South and marry a powerful Prince who can protect her and their line. She is shipped off the Doth Palas to stay until the Southern roads clear and she can continue to her betrothed's lands. But fate is ever a trickster and Branwen's destiny does not lie to the South.

She is the "Emerald Flame" Destiny's Child the tool of the Shining Ones, the old gods of legend.

Branwen's story is a heart-rending one riddled with peril and passion. In the end she will have to make a choice between two halves of herself - she will decide who lives and who dies.

This book has a strong heroine, magic, danger, a taste of romance, races agaisnt the clock - it has everything! I liked this book much better than
The Faerie Path by the same author. It was so much more wild and scary - set in the untamed land of Garth Milain! I will definitely continue this series!
Profile Image for Billie.
130 reviews10 followers
July 22, 2011
Holy cow! I was totally entranced by this book! I devoured it! I have read The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones and enjoyed it, so I was excited to read this series. It did not disappoint!

The story line is great, and the characters make you feel for them. I admit at times I had tears in my eyes! It is a short book in the fact that the events happen in only a few days time, but that isn't a horrible thing to read. I loved Branwen's character and how much she changed once she really figured out who she was.

Something I would love to see from the author is a prequel series about Lady Alis ap Owain (Branwen's mother) and how she became who she was! Fans of Tamora Pierce and Alanna will love this book! 5 out of 5 stars!

Alanna The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1) by Tamora Pierce In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2) by Tamora Pierce The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, #3) by Tamora Pierce Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness, #4) by Tamora Pierce
Profile Image for Justine.
1,418 reviews68 followers
February 11, 2013
I found this book a very easy read to become emersed in. I love the lands that Frewin Jones created. I also enjoyed the hint of gods and goddesses that were included. This whole book was action-packed. It was interesting to learn the ways of the different people. This is my first YA historical fantasy that I have ventured into and I really enjoyed it.
Branwen was the perfect heroine in this story. She watched helplessly as her brother was struck down dead. Instead of being hell bent on revenge Branwen becomes a great warrior. The hate that she feels towards her brothers murderer is used to fuel her to become a force to reckon with. She continuously proves that she is brave and has character. There were also a few secondary charcters that made impressions because of either things they said or did. I hope that most of them make appearances throughout the series.
After reading this book I know that I like the way that Frewin Jones writes and I will be reading more books by him in the future. I can't wait to see what comes next in the series and what Frewin's other books are about. I would recommend this book to fantasy lovers and readers who want a kick ass heroine.
Profile Image for Christie.
1,554 reviews48 followers
November 28, 2011
I picked this book up because after reading the description it seemed like something right up my alley: royalty, middle ages, fantasy, and strong heroine. It sort of fell flat for me though. First off, the heroine was not very personable and was very hard to connect with. You never get to see inside her head and its really hard to understand her motivations for why she does or does not do things. The characters all seem very one-dimensional. The book also does not feel like a cohesive story. It seems almost unfinished in a way. The story board is there but all the parts aren't tied together in a way that makes sense. Of course, its the beginning of a series, which means there is not a real ending to the book, not a cliffhanger or anything but still unsatisfying. I feel this story could really use some fleshing out and it might be ok. I will not be reading the next book in the series and really regret the time I gave to this one.
Profile Image for Hannah Bottenberg Lee.
14 reviews4 followers
October 1, 2012
I absolutely loved this book. If anyone is sick of the same-old same-old teen girl fantasy/YA and is looking for something different then look no further than this book. Frewin Jones is known for his other series The Faerie Path, which is good and all, but this book is WAY better. It is based on Welsh Mythology and history which is something I really love, but even if you're not into that, it's extremely interesting. Branwen is not your typical YA heroine; she is feisty and can take care of herself, and that is what I loved the most about this book. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fantasy, and even if you think you don't like that genre, I still think you might enjoy it.
Profile Image for Heather.
1,911 reviews43 followers
July 27, 2009
Ignore the cover art - it has nothing to do with the story.
When Princess Branwen's brother is killed by invading Saxons, she is sent away for her own safety. She doesn't want to leave her home and parents and, to make matters worse, the kingdom she is sent to is completely different than her own, and she is seen as uncivilized, and called "barbarian princess." But Branwen is proud of her heritage and doesn't want to be a ladylike, "just for show" princess; she is a hunter and a warrior. Add a touch of the supernatural, an unexpected friend, and some lessons from a seasoned warrior to complete the adventure. I really enjoyed this opening to the series and am looking forward to book 2!
Profile Image for Barbi Faye (The Book Fae).
660 reviews12 followers
June 5, 2016
A wonderful medieval book that is set in Wales, the story is about a beautiful girl, named Branwen, who is the warrior princess in this magical old tale of fae. Wales has been battling back Saxon raids for years. There is always a looming threat of an invasion, and her family lives with this threat every day.
Her brother is killed by a Saxon raiding party and Branwen is sent away to safety rather than allowing her to battle. Her experience with the wealthy allies only makes her more determined to fight for her home. A life changing meeting with Rhiannon of the Spring sets her on the path to her future and to her destiny. Warrior Princesses Kick Ass!
5 reviews3 followers
August 18, 2009
When Princess Branwen's brother Geraint is killed by the Saxons,her father(Prince Griffith)and mother(Lady Alis) decided to send Branwen on an arrange marriage with one of her father's closest friends, Captain Angor. When the Saxon's interfere with the trail that Branwen is supposed to be traveling,Angor invites Branwen to come stay at his place for the time being.There was a completely different culture and dress codes for Branwen to get used to in Angor's Place. Meanwhile, Branwen finds out that she is the chosen warrior by the Shining Ones(people who have disappeared many ages ago).
Profile Image for Krista Stevens.
948 reviews16 followers
January 19, 2013
I love strong female characters and Branwen is one of them who rejects the accepted, traditional female roles in this story set in a mystical world where the old gods and goddesses still exist. Branwen sets out on a journey that will end in an arranged marriage until events happen that make her decide she has another fate. The cover is very hokey - the book is actually very good. She becomes a warrior and fights. Her companions are well chosen. I hope there is a sequel. The Rhiannon aspect is a little strange - maybe the next book will clear that up.
Profile Image for Luce.
514 reviews36 followers
August 25, 2014
Hmmmmm. Mixed feelings about this book. It wasn't as good as I hoped it would be, nor was Branwen quite as strong or intelligent as I was originally expecting. But for all that, it was still a decent beginning and I am interested in reading the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Wadwilkins.
59 reviews
August 21, 2010
I don't know how to review this . . . book one was great, but I need to read the rest of the books before I will know just HOW much I like it!
188 reviews30 followers
August 7, 2016
An enjoyable but juvenile book.

Read via the TPL
Profile Image for Wren.
230 reviews14 followers
February 7, 2018
Aug 2015 - page 108. This was a DNF for me. The main character is a brat & I couldn't take it anymore.
4 reviews
May 12, 2022
This was really an amazing book. It has lots of emotional writing. There were lots of really good plot twists and changes if that's what you like. The book was exciting and every time there is a new page there is a new story. It has lots of adventure and good times. The princess has seen lots of good trials and bad.
I connect with the charter Brawen. The charter scenes where lots of her friends leave and die. ANd she can never just settle for one thing and she is always on the move to help herself. She can never just chill and she is always calm even through hard things. The only time she got to chill was in the very beginning of the book. This really shows how at the begging of your life you have no stress and thought out you can become stressed and never really get a break.
141 reviews1 follower
July 12, 2018
I really liked this book!!! It was very clean and had a good message and content to it. I also liked it because it wasn't confusing and it was very interesting to read. When I first started the book it was AMAZING!!! And I couldn't stop reading it. I would suggest this book to anyone, because I think anyone would like this book. I would also suggest this book to anyone who likes to read about Warriors, Princesses, and destiny.
Profile Image for Amanda.
30 reviews
May 23, 2017
I really wanted to like this book a lot... It wasn't bad by any means, but o was really hoping it would suck me in and wrap me into another world... it just didn't do that. It was fine enough. I'll read the others in the series... it was that good of a story, but not so good that I couldn't put it down.
March 8, 2023
I really liked this story, and wish I hadn’t let it sit unread on my shelf for so long. My only complaint is that it’s a bit on the junior side of YA, compared to what I’ve been reading lately. But that’s simply my preference, nothing wrong with the writing itself. I’m sure it’s perfect for the audience it’s intended for. I’m really curious to read the rest of this series.
47 reviews
November 23, 2022
The story was good and kept me interested. She deals with the death of a brother but she didn’t seem to grieve much.
I didn’t like the battle scenes, they were too graphic. But, not a lot of the book is battle.
Profile Image for Liana.
688 reviews30 followers
May 12, 2017
Fantastic! I loved the storytelling and the main character's spunk! There was always something special in every chapter that never made the plot dull.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 203 reviews

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