donderdag 28 juli 2011

L.J. McDonald – Battle Sylph

The first book in the Sylph series, published March 2010.

Battle Sulph

Sometimes, love means war.
He is one of many: a creature of magic, unrelentingly male. He is lured through the portal by pure female beauty, a virgin sacrifice. When she is killed, he is silenced and enslaved.
Such a dark ritual is necessary, you see. Unlike their elemental cousins – those gentler sylphs of wind and fire – Battlers find no joy in everyday labor. Their magic can destroy an army or demolish a castle, and each has but one goal: find a Queen, then protect and pleasure her at all costs. What would a woman do if she were given such a servant, and what would befall any kingdom foolish enough to allow a Battler to escape?
Young Solie and the people of Eferem are about to find out.

Welcome to the fantasy world of Eferem. A medieval world, where Sylphs are only meant for the powerful. There are earth, fire, water, wind and healing Sylphs for everyday work, and they don’t kill anything. Not a plant nor an animal nor an enemy. And then there are the Battle Sylphs. Kings have them fight their battles for them, to keep their kingdoms save from their neighbours. The one night the King decides his young son and heir (whom he despises as he is a coward) has to have his own Battler to keep him safe. And so he sends his soldiers to find a young virgin to use as the sacrifice to lure one from the realm they live.

Meet Solie, a young girl who has ran away from home as she does not want to marry the old man her father wants her to marry. He is just an old lecher, and her independent aunt thought her she can be much more than just a wife and mother. Females are not worth much in this realm. Unfortunately, she is taken by the solders as the sacrifice they need. Luckily, they need a true virgin or they would have made some “fun” first. They don’t even search her, so she has the chance to keep her small knife, disguised as an hair ornament. So while the priests are performing the ritual, Solie is sawing away at her bonds, freeing her hands just in time. So when the prince is ready to kill her, she attacks him instead, and the Sylph who comes down the portal rescues her by killing almost everyone inside the room. The King barely manages to escape. The prince (and only heir to the thrown) and all the priests and guards are killed by the Battler, whom she has named Heyou.

Heyou takes Solie to her aunts house, but unfortunately, her father and her scorned suitor are waiting for her there, and they need an other place to hide. Ofcourse the King doesn’t let things go as they are, and sends his most trusted man with the Battler Ril out to find them, and kill them both. As Heyou is very young jet, that will be no trouble at all for Ril, who has the shape of a hawk.

Battle Sylphs are not allowed to take a form other than the one their masters want them to take, nor are they allowed to talk to their masters or their own kind. But Solie doesn’t know those rules, so Heyou is very free. He is also very happy to have find his own female, his own Queen. On his homeworld, there are very few Queens, and only a few Battlers ever have sex with her. So he is anxious to please her. But Solie is a proper girl, and keeps him at a distance, no matter how hard it is.

When Ril and his master Leon find them, Ril and Heyou destroy most of the village in their battle. Mortally wounded, Ril leaves Heyou, knowing the other battler will slowly die. But Heyou doesn’t give up, and with the help of a trapper, he manages to follow Solie, and together and with their new friends they arrive at a pirate’s camp. When Solie and Heyou finally make love, that single fact makes her the Queen of all the Sylphs in the camp. And of all the Sylphs who came from the same hives as hers did. They only have to reach her first to be able to pledge their alliance.
And so, from a young farmers daughter, Solie becomes Queen of the Sylphs. As the other Sylphs won’t listen to their masters when Solie decides something, the men in charge have no other choice than to accept her as their leader too. After all, she is the one commanding the Battle Sylphs they need to protect them all. But Solie still has to learn so much, she never wanted to be in command or control other people.

I have just given the big outlines of the story here. The details are just so great, if you like fantasy or Urban fantasy, just read this series. You won’t regret it.
I liked Solie. She is young, but reliable, and head over heels in love with her Heyou. And he wants nothing else than to please her. He goes against his own nature when she asks it of him, but both don’t know better. She gives the Sylphs their freedom back, and they are so happy. I loved it. The battle scenes are also very detailed and great to read.
But Solie also doesn’t mind peeling potatoes and helping with other daily chores. She is down to earth, and doesn’t let it all get to her head.
And Heyou, well, he certainly is a randy thing. He would like to make love to Solie all day and night long. But she tells him to behave, and he literally has to obey her. She is his Queen and his master.

All the other secondary characters, especially the storyline with Leon and Ril, make the book that much better and richer. Ril’s story is next, and I am going to plunge right in it. The writing style is easy to read, fast paced, and never boring. There is time for battles, but also for the little things, and feelings.

Okay, a really good book, a great new world, and I want to read more.

9 stars.

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Omg, omg, omg, I want to read this book :D

  2. I've read it too, and liked it very much. A rich tale of love and understanding