Date Published: November, 2013
(I Received this book from the author for an honest review)
The King was dead. His body was found slain in his room, only months after his son had been brutally murdered. Skylar Mandolyn, his daughter, has now become the last heir to the throne. But instead of becoming Queen, she was imprisoned for helping in the escape of Sir Harlin Brien, her knight who was framed for the King’s murder.
Confined to darkness, Skylar's captors have given her no choice but to yield to a new kind of enemy, a domain that has advanced in both technology and warfare. It's only when she refuses that the prison uses other means of persuasion. Though unmerciful, the whip lashings and isolation can't suppress her memories. She's forced to face again both her brother's death and her father's emotional decline, though even the darkness can't hide the deceptive hands that have tormented them all. Advisor turned adversary, Cross Lutherus has brought the ancient bloodline to its knees, and Skylar is the only Mandolyn left to feel his wrath.
With two kingdoms on the brink of war, and the end of her life drawing near, Skylar's only hope is in the person who haunts her the most – Harlin, the knight who was sworn to protect her. His presence surrounds her when the darkness screams louder than the prisoners, when Death smiles a faceless grin in between the cracks of the stone. And it's his strength she embraces just as the tremors start to rise from the deep, crawling up through the prison's walls to terrorize the benighted realm and all its souls.
The mystery was never how Harlin escaped. It is how he will return.
From the synopsis you get the set up to this fantastical tale. We know that Skylars family is dead, she is imprisoned, and Harlin, her Knight, has escaped. It’s got me HOOKED already, wanting to know how Skylar got to where she is, how her family dies, how Harlin escaped, and what will befall the Royal and her land. While is imprisoned and tortured we are brought back and fourth form her past to her present in the form of memories in her times of distress. Skylar gets stuck in her past and you wonder … are her memories solace for her in times of great pain or are they a haunting of what has come to pass?
From their first encounter you immediately fall in love with Skylar and Harlins tragic yet beautiful dynamic. I found myself rooting for them… not just as a romantic interest but to see them succeed against the evils that envelope them. Harlin is the strong and silent type. He has that tough exterior and at times will let Skylar see the fun guy underneath. He doesn’t just act as her protector but an ally and friend. Skylar is a strong and beautiful women, with her own mind and a sharp eye. Full of passion and loyalty she endures more than any one person should have to.
This tale is equal parts fantasy and realism. It has it all … betrayal, death, deception, love, loyalty, strength, and courage. The account is gritty with fleeting moments of light. Dunnewin does an amazing job at giving us real character with real reactions and feelings that we our selves would have if put in their situations. Truly sublime! I am greatly looking forward to reading the next book and continuing on with this epic tale.
“Passion drives people to do things beyond what they thought they could.” – Skylar Mandolyn
My Rating: 5 Bookshelves