Darkness covers the north, since the black mage has begun his assault on the kingdom of Neroche. Legend has it that only the two magical swords held by Neroche’s king can defeat the mage. Now the fate of the Nine Kingdoms rests in the hands of a woman destined to wield one of those blades…
In this land of dragons and mages, warrior maids and magical swords, nothing is as it seems. And Morgan will find that the magic in her blood brings her troubles she cannot face with a sword-and a love more powerful than she has ever imagined.
Beginning of this book:
Middle of this book:
End of this book:
I’m not going to lie, the first 40 or so pages of this was slow for me. There were some editing misses via repetitive words and phrases, a crap-ton of characters, and some slightly questionable world building.
But then I met the female lead, Morgan, and I started to not care so much about those things. She’s kind of like a Kate Daniels of the fantasy genre, and I do mean fantasy, because there was much more noble questing in this than there was romance.
Kate Morgan is a BAMF. The woman wields a sword better than almost anyone else in this world. She also speaks her mind, and while she can recognize a pretty face, she’s not blinded by it. Point in case would be her and the king. The man was a jackass, and her constantly telling him how obnoxious he was had me in stitches.
My love for Morgan doesn’t blind me to this book’s shortcomings. There are a few plot holes, and some decisions are made that surely could have led to the death of a certain crucial character. Also, the “monsters” in this book were never really explained, which bothered the hell out of me. But then, this is more of a character/quest oriented book, so if you’re looking for lengthy descriptions of kingdoms, lands, clothing, and customs, look elsewhere.
This is fantasy-light, my friends.
My fellow feminists will likely also be bothered by Morgan’s views on traditional gender roles. Specifically that in her mind masculine attributes are a good thing, while feminine ones are decidedly not. She actually comments on this on several occasions in regards to the love interest early on, and I have to say, him not paying her any attention only further endeared him to me.
Is this book perfect? Obviously not. I think it actually might be hit and miss for a lot of readers. How much you ultimately enjoy it might depend on your ability to ignore its weaknesses and focus on its strengths.
Of which there are many.
The romance is a slow burn, the male lead is intelligent, non-ragey, and super adorable, the plot is intricately woven, secrets are revealed slowly, and there are twists at the end that will have you posting cryptic status updates filled with shouty caps.
Regardless of the few issues I had, this book is one hell of a start to a series. And I cannot wait to devour the rest of the books in it.