Siora is on the run from Gharek, an assassin who has sworn an oath of revenge against her because she betrayed he and his disabled daughter. Overcome by his anger, Gharek can’t see beyond the outcome of his chase, grabbing her just as they are both discovered by the enemy and held captive. Siora uses her abilities to speak with the dead and Gharek his knowledge of the castle to become valuable to this new threat who wants to conquer the throne. Together Siora and Gharek must find the tool to a magical power.
I’ll admit, it had been a little while since I had read Dragon Unleashed, but as I read this book it all came back to me pretty quickly. that’s when I became fascinated with how the author was portraying Gharek, who was the bad guy in the previous novel, turning him into someone we could admire. I thought she did a great job of portraying him as a dedicated father, laying all of his past evils into the column of having done them to protect his disabled daughter. Life isn’t quite so black and white as that, but I did find his reasons believable, as well as his regret at the things he had done. I also could be lieve that Siora could overlook his hunting of her as his love for his daughter and her betrayal making him unhinged. Well, it is a fantasy novel after all, so I chose to believe in the reasons and moved on from that slight hiccup in the plot.
Siora was a really interesting character. She saw ghosts and could communicate with them. Her skills actually evolved throughout this novel, not in a sudden “magical” way but through the need to survive and protect. Her love for her father, one of the ghosts, and for Estred, Gharek’s daughter gave her character impetus to look beyond her own needs. She was a little self-sacrificing, true, but it was a non-romantic love that drove her actions. I kind of liked that! Of course, a romantic love between she and Gharek grew as well but that love didn’t really drive her actions.
Sometimes fantasy novels get bogged down by an epic journey, detailed landscapes, and traveling companions, but this one was light on all three of those plot points. The world had already been established so the reader was just dropped right in, the journey was shortened by alternate universe-type paths, and Gharek was the only new traveling companion that we had to learn and learn to like. Grace Draven made it pretty easy for this reader to slide right in and enjoy the story and I certainly didn’t have any trouble doing that. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest!
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