The Last Order by Angela Caldwell
The Last Order is a fantasy adventure, set in medieval times, about a 17-year-old girl who must fight for her survival after her father is murdered by a militaristic order called the Talons.
Fast-paced, but not rushed, this novel pulled me in from the beginning. Lana, our heroine, was tough, clever and relentless in her pursuit to fulfill her father's last request to find the queen. Chess was a reoccurring theme of the book, and Caldwell's plotting of the novel reminded me of a well-played chess match. Characters and elements of the story were brought in at the right times and, as this book was a tale of medieval battles, there were quite a few pawns sacrificed while protecting the more valuable players.
The Last Order is an exciting tale of mystery and chivalry, bolstered by a superb feminine cast.