Cara's Twelve

Romance - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
356 Pages
Reviewed on 06/19/2015
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Author Biography

Chantel Seabrook currently resides in London, Ontario, with her husband and two daughters. She is passionate about writing and enjoys reading fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction. Chantel has a four-year Anthropology degree from Western University.

"The story is gripping, the characters are well developed, and there is the perfect amount of drama, thrill and mystery to make it one of the best fantasy novels I have read." Rabia Tanveer, Readers' Favorite

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

In Cara's Twelve by Chantal Seabrook, Cara is a young woman who lives in the province of Crowthorne, in Elbian. Here, she is forced to live her life according to a community and a belief system for which she has zero tolerance. However, her fate is bound and final. When the heir to the throne of Elbian is disfavored by the goddess Annul, Cara is the only one in the family left to rule the people of her country. Cara grudgingly accepts the fate that is forced on her.

But she cannot rule her people alone. She needs a man beside her who is approved by the council. They choose 12 men who will pledge their allegiance and strength to the queen. Cara must choose the one who is right for her people. In order to do that, Cara must visit all the twelve provinces where a ritual ceremony will be performed. Before that, Cara cannot take the throne and rule her people. But these sacred ceremonies are making her question everything she knew. There are things she comes to discover about these 12 men who have sworn to protect her life. Some of them are not who they appear to be. Can Cara make the right decision? Can she choose the man who is worthy of being called the King? Or will she suffer under the system?

Cara's Twelve was a big surprise. I'll be honest. I was ready to hate it. The story seemed to be a bit clichéd, but Chantal Seabrook surprised me. After the first chapter, I was thoroughly hooked by Cara and her story. If you think this is just a casual romance, then you will be in for a surprise. This is not your run of the mill fantasy as well. The story is gripping, the characters are well developed, and there is the perfect amount of drama, thrill and mystery to make it one of the best fantasy novels I have read. The characters are strong and you will even love the bad guys because they are written so well. Five stars for a job well done!

Mamta Madhavan

Cara's Twelve by Chantel Seabrook revolves around Cara, the future queen of Elbia. As a direct descendant of Goddess Annul, she has been appointed by the High Priestess and the Queen's Council as the heir apparent. One man from each of the twelve provinces is also chosen as a potential consort to the future queen. Cara has to now choose the future king of Elbia from these twelve men. She also has to visit all the twelve provinces with these men and perform a sacred ceremony. As she gets to know these men more, she realizes that they are not as good as they seem and some of them are only interested in power. Will Cara be able to choose the future king of Elbia from the twelve men?

The author has woven together romance, mystery, whimsy, intrigue and adventure very well. Cara's reluctance to be the future queen of Elbia and the realization that her life is not going to be in her hands anymore will make readers feel for Cara and her plight. There are twists and turns in the plot as the story progresses, and the author masterfully blends the sub plots into the main plot. The characters are all well portrayed and they lend strength and credibility to the scenes. The narration is detailed and Cara's trip to the twelve provinces is descriptive and interesting. The book has everything that makes it a compelling story. It's fast paced and readers will not be able to put it down.

Leah Gonzalez

Cara's Twelve by Chantel Seabrook is a fast-paced novel with an intriguing plot. The main character, Cara, finds her life completely changed when she is suddenly declared the heir to the throne in place of her cousin Maeve, the Queen’s daughter. Following tradition, Cara goes on a tour of the twelve provinces with twelve men - one from each province - who have been chosen as her consorts and protectors. At the end of the tour, Cara will have to choose one man from among the twelve to be the king. During the tour, Cara learns more about politics and the poor state of many of the provinces due to the Queen’s despotic rule. She also learns more about herself and her consorts. As she develops feelings for some of her consorts, she also learns that some of them have evil motives and want to use her to get the throne. Cara must learn to navigate through the intrigues and find the balance between her mind and her heart to secure the throne and become the Queen they all need her to be.

Cara’s Twelve isn’t like most romance fantasy. It’s an engaging read as it has a set of diverse, complex and well-developed characters that you would love to hate and hate to love. It also has a rich storyline that grips you from the beginning to the ending. This book has a bit of adventure and action, a little fantasy element, lots of intrigue, conspiracy and romance. I like that at the center of it all is a strong female character who was initially lost and unbelieving, but then slowly comes into her own and becomes a powerful force in her own right. The ending is very interesting and would make any reader wish for more.

Jack Magnus

Cara's Twelve is a romantic epic fantasy for adult readers written by Chantel Seabrook. Cara's been appointed by the High Priestess and the Queen's Council to be the next queen, and she's not at all happy about it. Her cousin, Maeve, should be next in line as she's the daughter of the present queen, but her ill health and inability to bear children have rendered her ineligible for the role. Cara doesn't want to leave Crowthorne and her family, but she reluctantly obeys the summons to the Holy City of Annul. The reigning Queen Burkita has been a harsh ruler, and the people of Crowthorne and other provinces have been impoverished and suffered as a result of her measures. While Maeve welcomes her cousin to the Holy City, Cara instinctively distrusts her aunt. Maeve tutors her in the process of becoming the queen, including the tradition of accepting the chosen consort from each of the twelve provinces and choosing the one who would be her king.

Chantel Seabrook's romantic epic fantasy, Cara's Twelve, is well-written and very entertaining. Cara's coming of age is happening under the strangest circumstances, and the reader can't help but sympathize with her when Cara learns that she's expected to have sex with each of her twelve consorts as part of her ceremonial path to being the queen. After all, Cara hasn't even had her first kiss yet. Seabrook has her job cut out for her in giving each of the twelve suitors a distinct personality and a unique relationship with Cara, and she succeeds brilliantly at the task. The plot is well constructed, and the author's fantasy world seems real and suitably complex. Cara's Twelve does contain some sexuality and readers who insist on squeaky clean romance may not find this novel to their tastes; however, the lovemaking in this story seemed to be neither gratuitous nor offensive. Cara's Twelve is highly recommended.

Kathryn Bennett

Cara's Twelve by Chantel Seabrook is about Cara, a young woman who is headstrong even though she has been raised in a backwater province known as Crowthorne. Cara finds that her destiny is bound to a system that she hates and a goddess that she has no faith in any more. Cara is bound by blood and law to take her cousin's place as the heir apparent to the Elbian throne when her cousin clearly falls out of favor with the great Goddess Annul. It is then that one man from each of the twelve provinces comes forward to pledge his life and sword to the future Queen. They also pledge themselves as consorts and Cara must choose the future King from these twelve, but all is not as it seems to be.

This is a great book that is full of rich characters and deep story lines. Cara is someone whom I felt myself connecting with right away and I continued to stand by her as she made her way through this new part of her life that she had no interest in. I can only imagine the weight she must feel has been dropped on her shoulders and how the men just want to use her. Oh, I would want to smack some men for that! This book is great, with a world that has been created and characters that each have their own motives for everything they do. I applaud Chantel Seabrook for this great work of fiction. If you want a book to read this summer that will take you into a new world full of adventure and surprise, this is the one for you.