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Perilous Embraces: A Sword and Sorcery Novel from the Lands of Hope

Shards of Light Series, Book 3
Narrated by: William Hahn
Series: Shards of Light, Book 3
Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

W'starrah Altieri can see the future, ranks high in her church, and is without question the most beautiful woman in the North Mark. But the prophecy she knows to be true will either break her heart, destroy her home, or end her life.

In 2002 ADR, the jewel of the southern empire is the city of Cryssigens, where life is an unending carnival of display, while intrigue brews beneath the surface. Nobles, guilds, and House Cups scheme with and against each other, even in the best of times. But civil war stripped the city of its Overlord, and now factions emerge daring all in a bid to succeed to the throne.

One of the leading lights of Cryssigensian society is W'starrah Altieri, the Lavender Lady, high-ranking priestess of the sect of Argens Stargazer; while others see only her dazzling beauty her eyes are filled with foreknowledge of the future. She willingly risks life and reputation to save her city, but juggling visions, rivals, suitors, and the occasional assassin pushes the real world further from her grasp. Who could expect that in the midst of this she would meet the promised love of her life, or foresee that he too is doomed? 

Perilous Embraces is the third story in the Shards of Light saga set in the Lands of Hope. It is highly recommended that you listen to the preceding novels The Ring and the Flag and Fencing Reputation first.

©2017 William Hahn (P)2018 William Hahn

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The Tension Increases--Right to the Shocking End!

The first time I read this book, I raced through it seeking to build on the first two and learn what was coming next. That was a mistake. This is a book that needs to be savored. It deserves you to saunter through it rather run. And if you are wise enough to take your time, you will find a novel of great subtlety definitely handled by an extraordinary writer.

William L. Hahn’s greatest strength may be his ability to adopt extremely distinctive voices for his characters. The first three books in his Shards of Light series each picks up the tale of a different player in an unfolding political crisis. Captain Justin is trying to keep the region peacefully in the Empire. Feldspar, the adrenaline junky, gets involved despite his lack of interest in politics when he’s hired to locate a magical artifact. And finally, the priestess, Altieri, who is trying to build a political alliance that will prevent the Emperor from feeling the need to come forth and crush a rebellious region. Each book in the series thus far has been told from a different one of these perspectives and each in a very distinctive voice. And each story weaves in and out of the tales of the other characters braiding the series together in a most satisfying way.

Perilous Embraces is the critical book of the series. Justin and Feldspar, the heroes of the first two novels, are outsiders who never really understand the civil war that is brewing. But the priestess heroine of this third novel has the familiarity with the city to fully understand the danger just as she has the skills to sort through the factions and find out who the true villains are. So Altieri, guided by the confusing visions of the future bestowed upon her by the Stargazer, risks everything she has to keep her city from erupting in blood shed and death using the weapons of a politician—words and innuendo—rather than swords and daggers. T

Once again, Hahn’s narration and sound effects richly add to the drama of his story. He is a master of the spoken word and it greatly enhances the experience. Right up to the utterly surprising end.