There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not pure bred is virtually powerless. Until an unlikely champion is born...
Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na'Reish King, longs for more than her tormented life among her father's people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she's gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy...
With the Na'Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na'Reish Horde have increased. As Chosen-leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons-and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival.
When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father's dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council-and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into civil war...
In Griffin's well-drawn fantasy world, humans are oppressed and enslaved by the demonic Na'Reish. Annika is a Na'Chi, the result of cross-breeding between the races. She possesses powerful healing powers and her father, Na'Rei Savyr, is leader of the Na'Reish, but she's nonetheless reviled, considered an abomination. When she rescues Kalan Tyn, leader of the human's Blade Council, and asks his assistance in freeing the Na'Chi from the Na'Reish, the wheels of romance are deftly set in motion. A complex plot involving the Na'Chi freedom struggles keeps the taut and intricate narrative moving as Annika and Kalan slowly develop their emotional connection. Readers will look forward to future installments in a potentially long-running series.
Excellent Fantasy Romance
Griffin has done a terrific job of building a believable world filled with sympathetic characters. The long journey from the lands of the Na'Reish to the lands of the Light Blades gives Annika and Kalan time to begin to overcome their fears and prejudices and fall in love; the time frame is much more believable than other stories in which the protagonists fall instantly in love at first sight. Griffin has also sprinkled the story with a wealth of secondary characters, no doubt laying the groundwork for future volumes. My only complaint is that every single reference to The Lady (the Goddess of this world) is in italics; it is incredibly distracting; capitalizations would have been sufficient. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a good fantasy romance, or Goddess-oriented fantasy.