Author: Jennifer Anne Davis
Length: 300 pages
Source: eARC from Publisher
The people of Nelebek live in fear of persecution from the evil Morlet, who reigns with a dark and destructive magic. The kingdom’s only hope lies with the Order of the Krigers—twelve warriors with mysterious powers linked to magical weapons.
For over a century, Morlet has been annihilating the Order, picking them off one by one. Eleven Krigers have been hunted down, tortured, and imprisoned in his dungeon. Now, only one remains.
Sixteen-year-old Kaia survives by keeping her head down and minding her own business. But when she finds herself in the middle of a public execution where the mysterious Morlet is in attendance, an odd compulsion she can’t resist comes over her.
Kaia looks into Morlet’s eyes.
Soon, an ancient power awakens and Kaia can no more blend into the scenery. Will she heed the call of the Krigers or will Morlet’s dark magic destroy the last of the Order?
Protagonist: Kaia has always known to keep her head down and out of trouble. However when she finds herself in running an errand to save her sick father she comes face to face with the evil tyrant who runs the kingdom she lives in she can no longer fade into obscurity. Now she's on the run from a terrifying enemy and learns of her destiny to help eleven others band together to fight and ultimately bring down the fearsome Mortlet. I really like Kaia, she's stubborn and fierce with a caring side to her. It's really hard to describe because she's more than just those things, she's a very well written and developed character.
Romance: So the romance in this book isn't a large plot point, and I was completely okay with that as it let this incredible plot shine all the more. So, I'm trying to figure out how to describe the romance without giving some rather large spoilers away, so I'll say this, while there isn't really a love triangle in this book, at least not one that I can take seriously, there is more than one person that comes into Kaia's life that will contribute in one way or another to the romance. The romance between Kaia and her main love interest is great though, it's slow moving, and has a lot of great tension in it. It didn't take too long for me to really start to root for them.
World-Building: Wow, this world is incredible. I said on twitter, not too long after starting this book, that the prologue to this story is incredible, it hooked me so easily and never let go. In this world there is magic, though humans don't have it unless it's given to them. Which is how the Krigers were born. They each have a weapon that links them to their magic which I found to be an incredible idea. I was eager to see how Davis would handle a magic system, since her True Reign and Reign of Secrets series don't have a magic aspect, and I have to say she did a phenomenal job. Then there's the world itself and while we don't learn too much about it, what we do learn is very well presented and there's some hints at things that I think we'll discover more in the future.
Predictability: So I'm going over in my head all of the twists in this book and there aren't all that many. There are some sudden turns in the story that I didn't quite see coming that were incredible, and even the twists that I did see coming I still really enjoyed. The sort of big twist to this story was actually pretty easy to guess, though not until after learning a key piece of information, but even then with the twist so obvious, the author didn't really try to continue to hint at it beating it over our heads, in fact even the main character starts to catch on to a few things. In the end I was probably more excited with how things fit together than whether or not I was surprised when they were finally revealed.
Ending: This ending did not take the turn I thought it would have. While I knew in my mind where the logical end point for this installment was, there were things in it that just seem to happen almost too soon. There are two more installments in this series and now I'm extremely curious as to what the next installment is going to bring. The final climax of this book had quite a few twists and turns in it, some I saw coming and a few I never quite expected. This all leads up to a rather killer cliffhanger.
Wow, going in to this book I expected to like it, but I seriously can't wait to see what's going to happen next. The world is so richly developed and I feel such a connection to so many of the characters. If you're a fan of fantasy, this book is a must read!
About the Author:
Jennifer Anne Davis is the award-winning author of the bestselling TRUE REIGN series. After graduating from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential, she married her high school sweetheart. Jennifer is currently a full-time writer and mother of three highly energetic children. Her days are spent living in imaginary worlds and fueling her own kids’ creativity.
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