The Cadet of Tildor

The Cadet of Tildor

3.91 (1,849 ratings by Goodreads)
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For fans of Tamora Pierce and George R. R. Martin comes a gritty, complex debut that’'s not to be missed.

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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 147 x 211 x 38mm | 431g
  • Dial Books for Young Readers
  • United States
  • English
  • 0803736819
  • 9780803736818
  • 803,423

Review quote

"A gripping debut embraces the trend toward gritty grimdark fantasy....Every character is complex and multilayered...[A] portrayal of believable characters struggling with realistic conflicts affecting every level of society."--Kirkus Reviews
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About Alex Lidell

Alex Lidell was a finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award competition. She lives in New Jersey and this is her first novel.
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Rating details

1,849 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 34% (628)
4 35% (651)
3 21% (394)
2 7% (131)
1 2% (45)

Our customer reviews

I read and reviewed this on my blog in January (ARC provided to me in exchange for an honest review, for blog tour) Gore: Yes Magic: Yes Romance: No (there was a little bit, but it was very subtle) Action: Yes Pacing: 4 stars Plot: 4.5 stars Renee de Winter is 16 years old and a cadet, she's the only girl who is a fighter at the Academy. Her father doesn't believe that she will graduate because she's a girl and smaller than the others in her year, some other people believe that as well, but she ends up proving them wrong. One of the things I love about fantasy novels is that it's a different world in every fantasy novel, because that world was made up completely by the author, there aren't rules like in dystopian novels (that it needs to be explained how the world got that way). This story is split into four POVs, but they are mostly Renee and Savoy's, the other two are only one chapter (Renee's best friend Alec's POV is for one chapter, and this other kid's POV is one chapter as well). I remember the first time that I found out about this book, I was reading a Waiting on wednesday post about this book a few months ago on another blog, which got me wanting to read this book so badly. It has a strong, independent female protagonist, of course I would put it on my tbr list and it was one of my most anticipated 2013 releases. This book is even better than I expected. Alex does a great job at the world building and the character developments. There is a King that rules over the country of Tildor, but there isn't just one opposing group, there are actually two. The Family (who are more civilized than the other group), and the Vipers. To be honest, if Palan wasn't faking the fact that he cares about his family's wellbeing, then that means that the Family isn't as bad as the Vipers, because most of the Vipers ---especially the Madam--- are completely heartless. It was interesting to learn about two of the cities in Tildor and how they are so different from each other; Atham (the capital) and Catar (where the Vipers live and they control that city). There are two types of people that the story focuses on and they are: the fighters, and the mages. Renee is a fighter, her roommate Sasha is a mage (although she doesn't use her powers in the book). The mage's have the power to Control and heal people through their life energy. Each character had a few secrets, which made many of the characters very surprising and shocking, because they're different than what you originally thought they were like. It's pretty interesting and kind of scary. But it wasn't just the characters that surprised you, there were many twists, I like that the story wasn't predictable, it was way more entertaining that way. At first, I wasn't so sure if I liked Renee, because she was too much rule biding student, which made her boring, she was basically the opposite of one of my favourite characters, Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy. Rose was a trouble maker, stubborn, short tempered, and funny, I didn't see any of that Renee during some of the chapters in the beginning that I started to get annoyed with her and kept thinking doesn't this girl ever do mischief or anything for fun? I liked Korish Savoy (commander of the Seventh, and who also becomes one of Renee's teachers) better than her, when I found out mischievious he was when he was a kid, despite him being such a jerk. Although, he was still pretty irritating. But once we get more into the story, both Savoy and Renee became more likeable and we learn why Savoy is the way he is, it's because of his past. This story wasn't focused on romance like many other young adult novels are, in fact, it didn't really have much or any romance in it, which was nice. I like reading books and watching movies that are more about fighting battles than about romance. This had to do more with family relationships and friendships. I can't wait to read the next book in this series, and see where Renee's and her friends take them next. Overall, this book was very enjoyable. This book is adventurous, has some mystery in it, has interesting twists in it. I cried, felt angry, happy, and basically any of the other emotions that the characters were feeling. It was way better than I expected it to be. I recommend this to everyone, you would probably enjoy this. I rated this book: 4.5 stars. To view other reviews, visit my book blog: http://www.nazishreads.netshow more
by Nazish Ahmed
Growing up, one of my favourite authors was Tamora Pierce (she is still one of my preferred authors). I loved reading about the characters and worlds she had created, and I believe she's one of the best YA authors out there right now. It isn't surprising then that when I first heard of The Cadet of Tildor that I knew right away that I would want to read it after hearing it likened to Tamora Pierce's work. As excited as I was, I also knew I wanted Cadet to be different from the Tortall books. Thankfully Cadet is an extremely strong debut from Alex Lidell, who is able to showcase her talent as a writer in a beloved genre among many other talented authors and still shine all on her own. Reasons to Read: 1. Complex struggles: In a few of my reviews I've mentioned how much I love the story of Antigone (a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles) and her struggle between what she sees as her public duty to the king/state and her private duty to her family. I found this to be one of the key themes running through The Cadet of Tildor as well, as Renee begins to realize that her choices and life direction aren't as simple as she would like them to be. This is something everyone comes to recognize in their life at one point or another, and it's a struggle that I think will resonate with many readers. Because sometimes right and wrong just isn't so black and white. There are so many characters in this book that honestly believe they're doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing, and it's interesting how well Alex is able to highlight that even if these characters are antagonizing each other, they're staying true to their personal beliefs - which ends up being a very effective portrayal of subjectivity. 2. A heroine who constantly pushes herself: There is so much to admire in Renee de Winter, even in the very small mundane activities she does. I found myself in awe of her again and again as she continually strived to be the very best that she could be. She has plenty of flaws, it's true, but it's remarkable how much effort she puts into the work she does and I appreciate seeing a heroine who is known for this, rather than any innate talent or attribute. 3. A world on the brisk of upheaval: There is so much political intrigue in Cadet, but not in the usual way. I thought it was fascinating how Alex included political struggles but they were internal disputes rather than external ones. You can sense that Tildor is at the cusp of great change, and the hostility between the different criminal groups, class factions, and nobility was extremely well portrayed. It added a level of complexity rarely seen in the worlds created for YA books. I only wished that there had been a bit more flow to the story, overall because some parts of it felt disjointed to me. There were times when the scenes didn't mesh as well together as I would have liked, partly because there wasn't enough ambience for me to truly immerse myself in the setting. For example, some of the fight scenes failed to grab my attention and create a sense of excitement and danger I long for in an action sequence. There were also one or two characters who seemed to change rather drastically without much lead up, although they were the exception to the rule. But overall, The Cadet of Tildor is an extraordinarily strong story; one that is reminiscent of old favourites with its strong characters and world building, yet creates its own strong foundation by including a thoughtful response to struggles familiar to any reader and leaving readers with plenty to ponder over long after the book is finished. ARC received from author for my honest review as part of a blog tour; no other compensation was more
by Brenna Staats
The Cadet of Tildor is both an intelligent and entertaining novel, without being something that could be intimidating to more reluctant teenagers. Lidell weaves political intrigue, excellent fight scenes, and realistic relationships that are not centered on romance between her main characters. As many fans of fantasy novels well know, the stories can sometimes be formulaic, but The Cadet of Tildor is fresh and exciting. Renee de Winter is a heroine who I think is a fantastic role model for teens, as well as a fun character to read. She follows her dream of becoming a Servant of the Crown, despite the fact that very few females make the cut. She grows through the book as she tries to figure out what is wright and for whose sake things should be done. Her friends, Sasha and Alec, are good side characters, but I feel that they were mainly tools used to show how Renee was changing and growing (not that it's a bad thing). The way Renee interacted with Commander Korish Savoy also showed us a great deal about what kind of character she was - stubborn and unwilling to give up. The best thing about the relationship between Renee and Savoy is that it wasn't focused on love, as you may expect, but more of a comrades-in-arms. (We shall see how it goes in a sequel, if there is one.) Renee also takes Diam, a little boy at the Academy, under her wing, in a sense. He is absolutely adorable and one of my favorite things about the book. While the characters were a very entertaining aspect of the novel, the themes were also important. The mages in the novel are discriminated against and forced to register once their powers manifest or face terrible consequences, which could be execution. This, in addition to the crime families and their dealings, really makes the reader, as well as the character, question what is right and if it is always right. I think this would be a great classroom book due to the depth of the novel and the entertainment value. The Cadet of Tildor is a wonderful debut, and I look forward to reading more of Alex Lidell's work in the future. To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for reviewing purposes as a part of a Debut Author Challenge ARC Tour in exchange for an honest review. The advance copy was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my more
by Kayla Beck
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