Genre: fantasy romance
Cover: very nice
Cursed by the gods. Bound by brotherhood. Freed by love.
The Warriors of the Mist have fought side by side for centuries, but Kane alone has felt something darker calling to him. With the Kingdom of Agathia on the brink of rebellion, Kane knows that relying on dark magic to infiltrate the enemy's court is dangerous but necessary despite the cost to his soul.
Lady Theda hopes to end the tyrannical reign of Duke Keirthan, the man who killed his own brother - Theda's husband. But she has little hope of succeeding, until a mage-marked warrior appears.
For the first time in centuries, Kane is tempted not by dark magic, but by a woman who wants more than his protection. But with both of their hearts - and her people's lives - in jeopardy, giving in to their passion may be a risk too great to take...
The warriors of the mist (the Damned) sleep under the dark river through the eons, until they are needed again. When times are dark, they are called for aid. 5 warriors and their avatars, doing the work for their goddess, the Lady of the River and her consort. Fighting the blackest of evil, and when they have succeeded in their task, they will be judged. Are they finally worthy of redemption, or will they go back to sleep for untold years to come?
This time the Damned are called forth by Lady Merewen to protect her from her evil uncle, and to fight the deadly magic of Duke Keirthan, the ruler of Agathia. The warriors hate magic, they were created to fight it, and they distrust it immensely. But somehow, some of them have found love with a woman who uses magic herself, but uses it for good and protection of the people of Agathia.
Duke Keirthan has killed his own brother to become the Duke, embracing the darkest of magics to do so. Sacrificing his own servants and subjects to further his own magic and power. The nobles are ignorant, still trying to win favor with him, thinking they will be safe and share in his power. Until he turns on them as well … everything to keep the power fed on blood and suffering.
And now Kane and Averel has gone to the capital of Agathia, to gauge the mood of its citizens, to find out about the troops the Duke can put in play against them, and possibly get close to the Duke himself. Averel is a good minstrel, and he quickly finds employment at one of the local pubs. And Kane can’t believe his luck when he is chosen by the Duke for his personal guard, and granted the recently opened position of captain.
Due to his childhood, Kane can see the dark cloud of blood magic hanging around the Duke, and he know they will need to act fast, before the darkness consumes the Duke himself, and the demon is raised completely. He also doesn’t like the fact how women in the castle are being treated, especially the Duke’s sister in law, Lady Theda, who acts as housekeeper.
What Kane doesn’t know, is that Duke Keirthan can sense the deep well of black magic inside of him, and he wants to keep Kane close, so he can take that magic and use it for his own purposes. Kane quickly uses his position of Captain to find out who is bad and worth killing, and who has no choice but be a soldier and wants to do a good job of it. And he uses it to protect the woman in the castle, and make the men treat them with respect. Even in the face of the Duke, and that makes him vulnerable …
It will take Kane all of his considerable will power, and the power he swore to never use, to keep free … with a little help from Averel, Hob, and his beloved, Lady Theda …
When the Damned are finally back together, Captain Gideon and his love Lady Merewen, Duncan and his love Lavinia, Murdoch and Lady Alina, Kane, Averel and their newest member, Sigil, they are finally ready to march upon Duke Keirthan to put an end to his evil practices.
If you like fantasy romance, I do recommend this series. I first discovered Alexis Morgan’s books because of her Paladin series, which I loved. The book is very well written, with good characters, a fascinating world with a little magic in it. It is not like there are mages and witches everywhere, only a few people have magic and know how to use it. The concept of warriors sleeping until needed is a good one, and I would love to read more about past battles. I like their avatars as well, living in their shields until called forth by the warriors.
It is a fast paced story, action and suspense, but also love and romance and magic, both good and evil.
© 2015 Reviews by Aurian