Thanks to Harlequin Australia for sending me this copy for review
I expected more from this book. It was poorly executed in every way.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.
WARNING. LONG ASS REVIEW AHEAD. (mostly filled with quotes from the book. Quotes are taken from my copy of the book)
I justify that this long review is because this is such a pointless 500 page novel.
She thought she was ready for the outside world, but she was too naive to even make that judgement.
“She’s not ready for this, Father. I’m afraid she won’t make it back. And this is an especially bad time to send her. The human world feels more unsettled than usual.”
I had warned Illumina about hunters, a far more realistic danger than the ones I was envisioning. Just as humans mounted the heads of bucks on their walls like trophies, so had the wings of Fae become badges of accomplishment for some of them, and near the Bloody Road was a popular place for such brutes to stalk. I could put up my shroud, but if I were seen crossing the Road, ay hunter who happened to be looking would know I was no human. Humans could not survive the Road.
Fed up with the way my footsteps reverberated, I took off my cloak and shoved it in my pack. With my wings uncovered, I flew to a branch, opting to hover tree to tree in silence until I had passed the Road.
I scanned the area ahead of me, my Fae sense of sight, like hearing and smells, heightened in comparison to the abilities of humans. Observing no signs of danger, I dropped to the ground, relieved to be past the crossing. Now I could leave the forest and its secrets behind.
The next instant I would relieve for years to come. Had I adopted my shroud and hidden my wings before falling, things might have been different. Had I been quicker, or less eager, I might have been spared.
In my hand it felt diseased, as though the queasiness spreading through my body was punishment from the knife itself for seizing this power before it was due to me.
I tensed, yearning for the Anlace, for the power I felt when I held it.
I lay down in bed, my fist clenched around the hilt of the Anlace in the readiness to attack or defent. The vile thing – it was the reason I’d left Chrior. It had frightened me away.
“I know you don’t understand, Davic, but I have to go.”
“You don’t have to go anywhere – unless you believe there’s nothing worth staying for in Chrior. For Nature’s sake, you’re hurt, and you just got home from your last trip! Why won’t you let us help you? You ought to be here with your family, with me, for more than a few days. Or is that notion so insufferable?”
I heard the whipping of an arrow and turned toward the sound an instant before the weapon pinned my wings, both of them in one sharp strike, to the tree I had just vacated. Gasping, I tried to tug free, succeeding only in tearing the membrane of my wings.
The man holding my chin pushed my head against the tree. He fitted something made of leather around my wrists and snapped it tight so I couldn’t move my hands. My arms felt weak under the immobilizing pressure of the shackles.
I knew what they were going to do. Frenzied, I tried to draw on my elemental connection to the water, asking the snow, the ice, the sap in the trees, the water in the earth, to rise up and shield me.... no response was forthcoming.
I cowered, waiting for the second man to deliver fortune’s justice. I was helpless, so completely helpless in that moment. All the independence I was so proud to possess, all the dignity and potential others saw in me was gone. I was no one in the eyes of these humans, and I could not stop them from degrading me, defiling me, robbing me of what made me Fae.
“What are you going to do with me?”...
“Nothing, unless you have something to suggest?”... “How do you feel?”...
“Like you’re lying.”...
“My father found you when he was hunting,”...
“Is that the story he told you?”
“It’s not just a story. My father hunts deer and rabbits. For food.”