The invitation to join the secretive Guadel should have been the fulfillment of dreams that Va'del didn't even realize he had. But when his sponsors are killed in an ambush a short time later, he finds his probationary status revoked and becomes a pawn between various factions inside the Guadel ruling body.
Jain's never known any life but that of a Guadel in training. She'd thought herself reconciled to the idea of a loveless marriage for the good of her people, but meeting Va'del changes everything. Their growing attraction flies against hundreds of years of precedent, but as wide-spread attacks threaten their world, the Guadel have no choice but to use even Jain and Va'del in their fight for survival.
©2010 Dean Murray (P)2012 Dean Murray
Young adult fantasy it may be, but it has series-worthy appeal for all of us. The otherness of the civilization is hardly insurmountable, and the beings are as people. The rest of the perceptions and struggles are all too familiar. How the outcast feels and reacts to the blows life gives him are all too real. The swordwork is fairly classic, and the high mountain snow issues are familiar. Another review mentioned that there seemed to be more episodes of unconsciousness than one is accustomed to. Not if one has been an ER nurse or the mother of boys. I did not yet view the visual copy, but the audio book had me riveted, followed by gnashing of teeth that the remainder of the series is not yet recorded.
And I certainly hope that the author will tag Chekejian for the rest of the series as his performance truly enhances the characterizations as well as the narratives.
I bought the Whispersync set cheap, probably through Book Gorilla or Book Bub.
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