Magic, politics, and religion collide in unexpected ways in this action-packed fantasy adventure.
Adeluna “Lu” Andreu thought the war was behind her, but once a soldier, always a soldier. With the capture of Devereux “Vex” Bell, one of the island’s most notorious unaligned raiders, the careful treaty about to be signed between Grace Loray and their enemy, Argrid, quickly falls apart, leaving the fragile new government in disarray. Argrid hopes to take advantage of this moment to resume control of Grace Loray and its supply of magical plants. Botanical magic that can heal wounds, give strength, or cause explosions could turn the tide of the inevitable war. While outwardly pious and opposed to magic, crown prince Benat “Ben” Gallego knows more about the subject than any loyal citizen should and risks being labeled a heretic, with potentially devastating consequences. Readers will cheer on Lu, Vex, and Ben as they try to come to terms with their pasts to decide who they want to become and what role they want to play in the coming violence. While the pacing can be uneven, there is enough action and intrigue to keep readers invested. Strong, smart female characters lead the revolution, and romance (both straight and gay) is hinted at without distracting from the story. Characters’ complexions range from pale to dark brown.
A cliffhanger ending will leave readers excited for the second installment in this duology. (Fantasy. 13-adult)