Genre: fantasy romance
Cover: lovely colors, it just calls out to me.
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not pure bred is virtually powerless. Until an unlikely champion is born...
Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na'Reish leader, longs for more than her tormented life among her father's people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she's gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy...
Kalan is a Light Blade warrior who knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na'Reish Horde have increased. As Chosen, leader of his people, he faces the task of stopping the demons.
When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father's dungeon, she agrees to free him in exchange for his protection. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as journey to the border and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into a civil war...
Annika is Na’Chi, half demon and half human, and despised by all. Her mother died upon her birth, and she has been forced to stay alive on her own for as long as she can remember. Only the human healer Hesia has cared for Annika, and thought her how to use herbs and such to heal. But Annika is also Gifted by the Lady, the human’ deity, with a powerful Gift for healing. She has kept it carefully hidden so her father doesn’t find out about it, he would only abuse her gift for his own evil purposes. Her power can heal, but it can also kill when turned around.
And now her father has captured a Light Blade warrior, a human warrior with Gifts of his own, and he has been badly tortured for days. Hesia thinks if they can help him escape the Na’Reish, he will certainly take Annika with her to the humans, and keep her safe. After healing him, Kalan can hardly refuse the bargain, and he vows upon his honor to take Annika with him to Sacred Lake, the human’s city. He is startled to find out that Annika is half demon, and she needs to feed on blood just like a full demon needs. But Annika has taught her self to only take animal blood, she refuses to become a blood slave or kill an innocent in blood lust, like her father made her do when she was just a child.
Even though the journey itself is dangerous, the city is even more dangerous for Annika. Kalan fully accepts her in his life (and his heart) but the other Council members are not so open to change. Especially one of the older ones, who has lost all his children to the Na’Reish Horde. He will kill Annika if he gets the chance. The other council members and Light Blades are divided in their beliefs and feelings, even though the Lady herself has told them to treat Annika and the other Na’Chi as her own children as well, that they need each other for survival …
I totally blame Sullivan McPig for making me buy this series, although I have to admit that I was drawn to the beautiful covers already.
I am not totally overwhelmed with how great this story is, but I did enjoy it. I have a bit of trouble liking Annika, as she so hesitant about herself and her powers and her feelings. I do like my heroines a bit more assertive, though she is certainly a strong person, having survived what she has.
And Kalan is almost driven blindly by his faith in the Lady and the religion about her. She is very much a part of his life, and that of his sister, who is the main Handmaiden of the Church. He was instantly attracted by Annika, but also repulsed by those feelings he should not have, as she is half demon. And as such he kept making moves and drawing back again.
It was a nice story, and I will certainly read the next two books (as they are already on my shelves) but so far, in my opinion, there was something lacking. Some more background perhaps on Annika and her life at the Na’Reish compound, and her struggles to survive, instead of little bits intersected here and there in the story.
Some more information on Kalan, and how he became the Chosen, and his sister the main Handmaiden would be nice as well.
I just miss something to make me connect to the story and characters better. I know it is fantasy, but it was all just a bit too simple to believe it was so easy to escape and kill their pursuers.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian