In a bid for more power, the Shadow Queen of Haradis has unleashed a malignant force into the world. Her son Brishen, younger prince of the Kai royal house, suddenly finds himself ruler of a kingdom blighted by a diseased darkness and on the brink of war. His human wife Ildiko must decide if she will give up the man she loves in order to secure his throne.
Three enemy kingdoms must unite to save each other, and a one-eyed, reluctant king must raise an army of the dead to defeat an army of the damned.
A tale of alliance and sacrifice.
I discovered the first book in this series, Radiance, last year, and couldn’t stop raving about it – a fantasy romance where the world building is still good, and more importantly, a romance where the two protagonists treat each other like adults, with respect, and don’t create unnecessary huffy drama but rather communicate and talk things out? While still keeping the fun and banter? I KNOW, RIGHT?! Tis a rare find, especially in the realm of fantasy/paranormal romance.
I was so eagerly awaiting this sequel, and while the waiting sucked, the sequel was worth it. (Also, dear readers, I believe there are like another 4 books planned in this series, so yay!) While our couple are now navigating the issues that come with married life, they are still as delightful as ever. They argue and have misunderstandings. They hurt. They give each other space, and then work things out like mature people. And I mean, when one is in a cross-species relationship and there is a mass threat to the population and you may also have to potentially take over as ruler of the country…well, there are more than enough issues to keep Brishen and Ildiko occupied. And, may I just say, that just because there are not over-the-top huffy dramatics, doesn’t mean that the book, or the relationship is boring. See, authors? It is possible to have a healthy relationship thats still quite, uh, steamy without doors slamming and runaway lovers and whatever else they’re throwing into romance these days.
/steps off soapbox
The character development is just as great to witness as the relationship progression. Ildiko really comes into her own on this one, navigating the pitfalls of court politics, taking drastic action when need be, and otherwise using her wiles and whip-smart tongue to see them all through safely to the other side of turmoil. It’s also great to see her surrounded by a loyal few who have her back.
A damsel in complete distress was a burden to her protectors; one familiar with self defence, not as much.
The stakes are certainly amped up in this instalment, and we get narrative perspectives from some other side characters as the story progresses. Things get rather dire at points, but we know our lovelies will pull through. And, of course, there is a delightful side-ship that will take centre stage in the next book, for which I cannot wait.
I’ve always been under the assumption that death is a one-time, encompassing event.
Seriously, if you haven’t tried this series yet, I can’t recommend it enough. Utterly wonderful and refreshing.