(This review was originally posted at My Library in the Making.)I am a huge fan of George R.R. Martin, so to compare another writer's work to his is a huge deal. The people behind The Cadet of Tildor had bravely made this comparison, and I'm more than glad to know it lived up to it.Renee de Winter was supposed to be a lady, learning to one day take over his lord father's estates, but instead, she chose to enroll into the Academy of Tildor and train to become an elite soldier. She chose this path not for honor, but for the vision of ending crime and injustice, the two things that had taken her mother and brother's lives. I have a huge admiration for Renee. She was kind, brave, and smart, but she was no Mary Sue. In fact, she was a very real sixteen-year-old who felt fear and insecurity, but what added to this sense of genuineness to her was her capabilities. Back when she started at the Academy, she used to be one of the best in her class, but as puberty started to strike, she began to fall behind her male classmates' strength. I know she could've avoided it by training more, but with those guys' military training, they had nowhere to go but stronger.Then there was Korish Savoy, a twenty-three-year-old commander of an elite military group and Renee's new trainer, who entertained—or, honestly speaking, made me swoon—me with his tough man exterior, and I couldn't be happier when I learned that his part in the plot was bigger than I thought. His underestimation of Renee when he'd just met him made me raise an eyebrow, though, but he sure helped in developing her combat skills.This book gave me two surprises. First was the romance. I can't say anything about it without being spoiler-y, but that bit certainly didn't go the way I'd guessed. Second was the mages and their power, which gave way for even more surprises. So well done.For an epic fantasy novel, the world-building was not that grand or anything, but surprisingly, that didn't bother me at all because over-describing could have distracted me from the plot, which was so full of action, twists, and high stakes that I absolutely loved. That, combined with an amazing pace that had me frantic to leaf through the pages, made this an unputdownable read.Although sometimes the writing confused me enough that I had to read the same paragraph twice or thrice before I understood it, it was still such a pleasure to read The Cadet of Tildor. I loved it much more than I thought I would, and I am crossing my fingers for a sequel.MY FAVORITE PART was that scene at the end with Renee and her father.