In a world of multiple races, cultures, and lifespans, those words apply to almost everyone. With over a decade working with the various races and kingdoms of her world, the human Ranger Z knows this well. Even with the resurrection of the Alliance, very few kingdoms willingly work together.
Yet when a magical disaster threatens their world as a whole—a disaster that has occurred once before, and left nothing in its wake—racial differences will have to be set aside. With the tentative agreements between kingdoms to assist in these types of crises untested, Z knows it’s up to her to gather the assistance she’ll require.
Calling upon the heirs of the Allied kingdoms, the Shades of a long perished race, and the exiled, unsocial Dragon who invited himself, Z might actually succeed. If her allies can get along, if they can stop something others failed to avert before, and if she can contain the personal demons that sporadically endanger the lives of those who travel with her.
But the buildup of magic, the heart of it, is rooted in the kingdom that holds her past and the scars she’s never managed to escape.
To defeat the danger that’s brewing, Z will have to return to the kingdom that broke her, confront the man who rules there, prevent the magic building in the depths from escaping, and protect those who stand beside her, all while risking the second annihilation of their world if she falters—if any of them falter—in even the slightest way.
This is an intricately woven fantastical adventure. I was asked to review this ARC by the author, Meagan Hurst.
Skillfully written world-building, complicated and new twists on sword wielding heroes. Magic of the undead, and dragon disguised rogues. This story reminds me of the writing style of Terry Brooks, author of the Shannara Chronicles, and it’s characters, a combination of Game of Thrones and Sarah J. Maas books, especially, Throne of Glass series. If you like those books, you’ll enjoy this story.
The only thing I found offsetting was this “wall communication” thing. When I read this, I had to re-read it a few times to make certain I’d read it right. I didn’t get it. But the rest was imaginative and fast-paced. The quality of writing was well received. This author has a way with words that captivates the reader’s attention. It’s not too complicated for a first time fantasy reader and yet, not too intricate to bore a well-read fantasy reader.
The characters were raw, interesting and not necessarily original, but enjoyable to read. Their development and arcs were intricate and complimented each other through active interactions and conflict. Secondary characters helped the Protagonist to reach her goals successfully. The pace of the story was done well, with a few “huh’s” that made me re-read a sentence or two, but other than that, very enjoyable.
The character I enjoyed the most was the Dragon. Hated his name, loved his character. Original concept that I haven’t read anywhere else. He was well written and envisioned. The idea (spoiler) that he was a dragon that could take on a human disguise yet retain many dragonish attributes was quite interesting.
The cover is your standard woman in a cape. I never did like covers with people on them, but this one is one of the better ones. I think if there was to be someone more intriguing on the cover, I would have put Z with the Dragon showing his fierce eyes and smoke breath. But, it is what it is.
I really didn’t like ‘Z’ and found her character a bit unbelievable. However, what made her tolerable were her interactions with the other characters that kept the theme cleverly done and enjoyable to read. Because of the talent of the author, you were able to delve deeply into each character’s personality and either like them or hate them for who they were written as and not because they were written poorly.
There was an ease of reading to this story with many clever insightful twists and highlights that I did enjoy. Overall, I found this book enjoyable and would recommend you give it a read.
For this novel, I gave it: