The spellbinding Nine Kingdoms saga continues as a mage without magic and a stable maid without a home face the approaching shadows of darkness and choices that will change them both forever…
Acair of Ceangail, still dodging his reputation as notorious black mage, has undertaken the ultimate quest: ridding the world of a mysterious, terrible dark magic while using no magic of his own. But he never bargained for three maddening complications: attempting to safeguard his beautiful but horse-obsessed companion, Léirsinn; trying not to slay a profoundly irritating prince of Neroche; and slipping in and out of places he knows will spell his doom if he’s caught.
Léirsinn of Sàraichte simply wants to do what needs to be done—find the makers of various spells and rescue her grandfather. But walking side-by-side with Acair brings a terrible revelation about the magic she needs, and what its price will exact from her soul.
Together, Acair and Léirsinn face danger they never could have imagined, culminating in choices that will alter them and the history of the Nine Kingdoms.
I love Acair. Who knew that could happen. He’s not nearly as bad as he purports to be – which I think one had to expect when he became the ‘hero’ in this series. But he’s just wicked enough to make me fall in love. His snarky and sarcastic comments and conversations kept me smiling throughout this book.
I can easily see why Léirsinn is smitten. Léirsinn surprised me. A lot, in this book. I didn’t expect what happened to happen. Considering that I’ve become comfortable with these books, this world, that’s pretty impressive. I’m still not entirely sure of what exactly happened, but it definitely surprised me the way it happened.
I found, when I started this book, that I’d forgotten quite a lot of the previous book, The White Spell, in the interim. Which was both unfortunate, and awesome. Unfortunate, because it made this book slightly confusing for me – I would NOT recommend starting here. I think you could probably start with The White Spell, and not be too lost – though Acair’s “evilness” might be lost on you if you don’t see how he behaved in the previous 3 books (Series 3). But picking the series up at this book would be a mistake. Not to mention that you’d miss out on all the wonderfulness that is Morgan and Miach (Series 1).
And it was awesome that I couldn’t remember everything, because it gives me a handy, legitimate, excuse to go back and re-read. I can’t wait to dive into this again. Lynn Kurland always enchants in the Nine Kingdom Series’. I am eagerly awaiting the conclusion to this series, and the start of the next. Perhaps Sollier will finally meet his match? I’ll never tire of reading books set with characters in this world. No matter who. It’s always like coming home.