NOW AVAILABLE! Sally Slater’s debut novel, Paladin, in e-book, paperback, and hardcover!

Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam of Haywood is the most promising Paladin trainee in the kingdom of Thule… and knows it. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady Samantha, daughter of the seventeenth Duke of Haywood, and if her father has his way, she’ll be marrying a Paladin, not becoming one.

But Sam has never held much interest in playing damsel-in-distress, and so she rescues herself from a lifetime of boredom and matrimonial drudgery. Disguised as a boy, Sam leaves home behind to fight demons-—the most dangerous monsters in Thule—-alongside the kingdom’s elite warriors. Pity that Tristan Lyons, the Paladin assigned to train her, is none other than the hero of her childhood. He hasn’t recognized her–yet–but if he does, he’ll take away her sword and send her packing.

Sam is not the only trainee hiding secrets: Braeden is a half-demon with a dark past that might be unforgivable. Whether he can be trusted is anyone’s guess, including his.

As demons wreak havoc across the land, rebellion stirs in the West, led by a rival faction of warriors.

A war between men is coming, and Sam must pick a side. Will saving the kingdom cost her life–or just her heart?

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UBR 4 (PRINT)-27

What Fans Are Saying About Paladin

By Niké Obijuru

Paladin is the book that inspired me to write these reviews in the first place. Upon discovering it, I read the “Table of Contents.” It’s synopsis was very compelling (not the same as the one above, which is much more riveting), and encouraged me to read onwards. I was already partial to types of work like this one; Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors, and she has written many quartets set in the realm of Tortall which feature various heroines. One of those is Alanna, who – like Sam – hides her identity to become a warrior.

That is where most of the similarities end, for Paladin‘s world is a new one like no other. This kingdom is plagued with demons, beings of dark magic given a shape by the fear and legends to become a “living nightmare”. The story takes its name from the Paladins, the group of elite warriors who battle the demons of the land.

Sam is the heroine of the book, and joins the Paladins. In order to do so, she must disguise her true gender from all, including her mentor (the Paladin Tristan Lyons) and fellow trainee (Braeden, a half-demon and the only known one of his kind). The story follows the trio’s journey to the Diamond Coast, where they battle old foes, face new threats, and unearth dastardly plots. While the third person POV does shifts, the majority of it is on Sam, and we get to see some of the challenges she faces pretending to be a boy.

One of the things that makes Paladin so original (besides the storyline) are the descriptions of the settings. Slater is able to create a whole new world that unfolds before our eyes, a kingdom unlike one that any have seen before. Also, the fighting is vivid, and drags you into the story as if you’re a Paladin or trainee yourself. The demons that the heroes battle are unique, for while some have familiar shapes, they’re morphed together to create a new being entirely.

But the best element of Paladin to me is the characters. It’s very easy to create cliches or stereotypes: the perky blond cheerleaders, the brave and handsome warriors, the obviously evil antagonists. It’s harder to make a likable character that’s realistic, for in order to do so, you need to include both good and bad traits.

I believe Slater conquered this task extraordinarily well. Sam, for instance, is brave and headstrong; not surprising considering that she strives to become a Paladin despite the obstacles in her way. However, there is a depth to her: she’s kind but not exactly sweet, cocky and often rash, fiercely loyal and dedicated. All these characteristics turn Samantha Haywood from a creature of words to someone who actually lives – albeit within the written world.

And the other characters are just as real as Sam. Tristan Lyons, a Paladin with a troubling past and strong heart, as courageous and chivalrous as a hero ought to be. Braeden, the lone boy who has a fiercer time than most struggling with his inner demon that is all too real. Others they meet along the way, just as authentic as any real human being.

All of Slater’s characters evolve, and as the main character, Sam undergoes the most personal growth. Being both a warrior and a woman seems impossible, for to fully be one you must give up the other entirely – or so she thinks. But through her incredible journey, both Sam and the readers will learn that sometimes you don’t have to make a choice between the two things you cherish most – and sometimes you do.

Combined with a captivating romance, a plot full of adventure, and a kingdom with underlying turmoils, Paladin is a stunning book that is one of my personal favorites among Wattpad and published works alike. Slater’s nearly flawless grammar and articulation, as well as the obvious diligence put into creating her story, makes reading this tale an enjoyable activity and one that I highly recommend you do. It’s rare that you find a book of this level that you can read for free, so I suggest you take a page out of Sam’s book – seize your chance and make the most of it.

Favorite Quote: (Chapter 24 Part 1, pg. 2)

“‘Hear me out. I’m not saying that you never needed it. Maybe you really did as a child, before you learned control. But now, I think it’s little more than a crutch. I think you have enough willpower all on your own.’

Braeden rasped a dark laugh. ‘Are you willing to test that theory? Because I’m not.’ His lashes dipped to his diamond-cut cheekbones. ‘You don’t know what I was like, before.’

‘You’re right, I don’t,’ [Sam] said. ‘But I know what you’re like now.'”

By A Drop of Ink Reviews

5 starI have read this as it stands at this moment. I will start by saying that whether she finds a traditional publisher to take this on or she publishes it herself, I WILL add it to my collection of books. I started reading this and couldn’t put it down until I reached the last page. It was absolutely hilarious and had me gasping at all of Sam’s close calls when it seemed she was about to be found out. It has been a long time since I read a book I have become so involved in. When it ended, I wanted to scream “NO!” and demand the next part. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be a series. *sad face* However, I’m eagerly awaiting the time when Sally tackles the next part and gets it ready. If her stats on Wattpad are anything to judge by, I’m not the only one waiting for the final product and the next book.

I would judge this book to be more for older teens and adults. She has several innuendos all the way through that are more fun if you know what’s going on. It definitely adds to the ‘hilarious’ factor.

If you’re interested in reading this book, you will need to sign up for a free account at Wattpad. However, it’s easy enough to do and definitely worth it for this book alone. It has held the #1 spot in fantasy and adventure for a good reason.

Be sure to check out Paladin. Sally Slater is definitely a star on the rise and it will be fun to watch her reach the top.