Reviewed: January 18th, 2023
Released: December 6th, 2022
Genre: Epic Fantasy
A stoic warrior-maiden and a villainous priest-king make the most unlikely alliance in the history of the five kingdoms.
When a rescue attempt to save a clutch of dragon eggs from the soul mages goes terribly wrong, Warrior-Priestess Verdria of High Rock finds herself on the wrong side of a portal, deep in enemy territory.
She soon learns she’s in the heart of the soul mage’s empire and when Honryn, the future priest-king of the mages, takes a liking to Verdria and saves her life, she’s pretty sure she’s facing down a ‘fate worse than death’ scenario.
Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, Priest-King Honryn introduces her to the Royal Court of the Soul Mages, the most morally corrupt and bloodthirsty court in existence.
Life is cheap.
Souls are currency.
And Verdria has caught the fancy of the young priest-king, and while he doesn’t want to steal her soul, he’s set on winning her heart.
And she’s equally set on having his heart, after she’s carved it out of his chest.
But when she discovers Honryn’s most monstrous secret, a secret he’s even hiding from his fellow soul mages, she’s moved to pity and offers to aid him.
Helen’s thoughts: 5/5
What a wonderfully rich world Blackwood has created, full of warior priest maidens and villanous soulmages stealing souls to fuel their power. Verdria is a wonderful character, blunt, larger than life and loyal but hot blooded all the same, especially when it comes to a certain unexpected Soul Mage high priest. When she is captured by one of the most powerful mages, she vows to end his life if its the last thing she does, if she can get her wayward body to listen to her and resist his charms.
Honryn is unusual from the beginning, not what is expected of a Soul Mage. A complex mix of two magics dualling within him. I loved his rebellious nature from the start, giving us a hint that not all is as it seems. And even though he is a morally gray character, performing heinous deeds, you can’t help but like him as you learn more about him.
This is a really well written, absorbing story with plenty of intrigue and action. A real page turner though be warned, it does end on a cliff hanger. Fortunately, the second book is due to drop anytime soon, so not too long to wait!
An enjoyable fantasy adventure, a touch of enemies to lovers, and plenty of intrigue to keep you reading. And isn’t the cover gorgeous?
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Link to book on Amazon UK: eBook
Link to book on Amazon US: eBook
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If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my Romantic Fantasy SoulMist series or the epic fantasy Sentinal series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.