Two mortals hang in the balance. One covets the crown. The other left his family behind after a tragedy for which he is to blame. Both are irresistibly drawn to the Pikestan girl, Raphere, whose fierce heart imprisons them as they lay claim to her. Whether incited by love or power, the princes may find their reward at the sharp end of a sword.
Ever since spilling her blood before the Teller of Destiny, Raphere has spent her life trying to prove she is not like her mother, a dark sorceress. And though she yearns to be, she is not a white wanderer either. She is the Jivasivar, the first grey soul born into the land since sin and the Changing. Some call her savior; others, assassin. One thing is clear: everyone has a plan for Raphere. Few seem to care about what is best for her–only what she might gain or cost them.
To the visitors in the Pikestan, she is a target for their cruelty. To the voices of the weald, she is a precious angel and a last chance at life. To the Dark Lord Verisa, she is a spoiled girl and an unwanted burden. To the mercenary Rant Pae, she is a comely maiden and a promised bounty. To the Highland witch Rumara, she is a puzzle to decipher from afar. To the Teller of Destiny, which revealed the grey of Raphere’s soul, she is the Great All’s long awaited Sword and Shield. Amidst such judgment, can a young woman with young girl’s dreams choose her own path correctly?
Searching for her purpose Raphere trusts in the white wanderer Tranquia and hopes to attain the Jivan Tome–the Divine Poem which promised Raphere’s emergence, centuries ago. She must discern friend from foe as all strive to manipulate her for their own designs. Does she have the conviction to be the Jivasivar or is she merely a pawn in a fight for the survival of both ancients and kings? With the Jivan Tome out of reach, and her destiny as clouded as her grey blood, will she bend to the manipulations of others and take a path that leads to the destruction of all?
***I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***
This review isn’t going to be as detailed as I had hoped because I thought I had longer to digest the book and also, I haven’t read the first in the series (which I plan on doing very soon, so this review may get updated at a later date). Also, I have to admit, I haven’t quite finished it yet, but that will be rectified 🙂
Firstly, the characters are all very well rounded and likeable. Considering the genre, they are also relateable which ensures that the story is very much enjoyed. Raphere in particular for me as she has strengths, weaknesses, and quirks which make her very endearing.
The world that de Carrasco has created is well thought out, and although busy, nothing ever feels forced or causes confusion to the reader. That’s not easy for Fantasy authors because not only do they create characters and scenarios from scratch, but also the settings and the history to those settings.
I applaud de Carrasco in what is shaping up to be a classy and enjoyable series full of intrigue and rich happenings in and around the royal court.