Genre: fantasy romance
They are cursed by the gods, and war is their salvation. Love is their deliverance.
For centuries, five legendary warriors have braved battles shoulder to shoulder. But now they must divide and conquer as lone champions against evil.
Duncan, a scholar at heart, is drawn to an isolated abbey rumored to hold the answers to countering the terror unleashed by Duke Keirthan. Inside the cloistered walls lies the hidden collection of forbidden lore on dark magic. But the real key to the salvation Duncan seeks - both for the people of Agathia and his soul - is the abbess herself, Lady Lavinia. Hunted by the duke, who seeks to harvest her powers, Lavinia knows Duncan wants to help her. But can she trust the tortured warrior with her secrets?
In the end, it is only by joining forces that they can save not only those they are sworn to protect but each other.
This book continues the story of My Lady Mage, so you have to read those in order.
Gideon and Lady Merewen, the one who summoned them from under the waterfall, are happy together, they won the first battle against her evil uncle, but they still have to free the country from the evil magic of Duke Keirthan. To do that, they need more information. Duncan is not only a fierce warrior, he is also a scholar and he sets out to the abby to find that information.
While scrying for aid of her gods, abbess Lavinia sees him coming, and does not know what to think of that. Will he be friend or foe? And when he seems to sense her looking at him, she quickly ends her session. With the help of a trusted caravan guard, Duncan gets access to the abby. There he saves Lavinia’s life when his new friend Rubar and another guard attack Lavinia. They seem to be acting under a spell though, and it pains him to have to kill them both. After finding some suspect coins in their possessions, Lavinia uses her earth magic to destroy Duke Keirthan’s blood magic. Duncan is afraid of magic of all kinds, and it takes him a while to learn to trust in Lavinia and her goodness. Not all magic is black.
In exchange for helping guard the abby and training their new guards, Duncan will get access to the books he needs, but Lavinia will be with him at all times. Those books are too dangerous to leave unprotected. Soon they become friends and lovers, but Lavinia refuses to leave with him to aid their cause. She has sworn to protect the abby and its inhabitants, and she cannot leave them behind. Not even when her earth magic is the only magic strong enough to defeat her half brothers blood magic.
It takes an other attack on the abby and herself, to make her change her mind. But will Duncan’s friends welcome her and her magic?
I enjoyed this book. It reads very easily, and although dark things happen in Agathia, the Damned will do their best to defeat the growing darkness. I enjoyed reading about Duncan and Lavinia, but there is also the story of Murdoch and Lady Alina, and the new story of Sigil. It all intertwines in a magical tale. Add in their avatar’s and the look into the dark thoughts and heart of the Duke, and the story sucked me in completely.
I look forward to the next book in the series, but Alexis Morgan is writing another series at the moment, so it may take a while. The Snowberry Creek series seems to be contemporary small town romances, without any magic at all. I have pre-ordered the first book, to see if I will like that as well. So far I have only read her paranormal series.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian