Penguin – Dial Books for Young Readers, January 10, 2013

“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


For fans of Tamora Pierce and George R. R. Martin comes a gritty, complex debut that’s not to be missed.

Having already survived six years at the Tildor’s top military academy, Sixteen-year-old Renee De Winter is determined to graduate, training day and night to compete with her male classmates. When the boys overpower her parries, she works harder.  When a bully sabotages her gear, she fights without it.  But when an underground crime group captures her mentor for its illegal gladiatorial games, she must choose between her career and her conscience.  Determined to penetrate the group’s inner circles, Renee will leap from academia to the crime filled streets, pick up a sword, and weigh law against loyalty.

CADET OF TILDOR, then called SERVICE OF THE CROWN, was a finalist in Amazon’s Breakout Novel Awards 2010 competition.

“Lidell packs a great deal into her story: . . . the impending civil war, powerful magic-wielding mages, a black market drug trade, and more. . . . An intriguing story with a capable heroine.” – Publishers Weekly

“A wild, energetic novel that proves girls CAN be warriors while still being true to themselves.” —Sarah Dessen, author of The Moon and More

Meet the Cast

Numbers of Influence

Page Count: 400
ATOS Readability Score: 5.1
AR points: 14
ISBN: 9780803736818


Already read CADET?  Check out the For Readers page for additional goodies.




International Readers:  Free International Shipping on THE CADET OF TILDOR from The Book Depository.    Thank you to the Tildor Heralds for discovering this.

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15 Responses to Novels

  1. Marieke

    I may have already told you this approximately a thousand times but the trailer looks EPIC. I so can’t wait to get my hands on this! :D The Tamora Pierce comp alone would do the trick, but it sounds perfectly awesome in its own right! ;)

  2. Alyssa Susanna

    Military? Underground crime? SWORDS? HECK YEAH!!! This book is right up my alley :D

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Melissa Landers

    What a wonderful trailer, Alex! Congrats!

  4. Emma Pass

    Awesome trailer, Alex! Congratulations!!

  5. Leigh Smith

    Whoa. You had me at girl warrior. Looks awesome!

  6. Bookyurt

    Any book that gets compared to Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore pretty much has me at hello…

  7. Peggy Eddleman

    I love, love, LOVE it!

  8. Jessica Noreault

    Already read it, already loved it. Heck I am beyond ready for book two! :D

  9. Shelver506

    Um, hello? Girl soldier and crime-filled streets? Why WOULDN’T I like it?

  10. GillyB

    Kickass sword-wielding heroine. Nuff said.

  11. hr doran

    Always love a strong female lead. Sounds like a solid start to a series.

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  13. M.H. Afa

    I really enjoyed this book, Ms. Lidell. I could not put it down until the end! And even then I wanted more! (Please tell me there’s more after this book!!!) My *only* complaint was that kiss with Renee and Cory. It seemed out of place and out of character for Renee, who I thought wouldn’t let herself engage in such actions, especially on the grounds of the academy. Other than that, the book was fantastic! And for some reason my favorite character ended up being Savoy!

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