“This dazzling epic fantasy is packed with memorable characters in black, white, and gray.” (BookLife Reviews)
Welcome to Perdinok, a world on the verge of destruction. Roslyn's dream of becoming a healer and marrying her beloved Jon is shattered when hate-filled fanatics arrive to slaughter her mentor and lock eight hundred of Roslyn's fellow townspeople in a local inn--intent on burning them alive.
Resolute and courageous despite all odds, Roslyn rises to fight against these fanatics and their oppressive empire. Growing into the legendary resistance leader known as the Blue Rose, she must lead the last of her people as they face annihilation.
However, when malevolent powers from the Plane of Chaos seep into Perdinok, it's up to her to find out why. She calls upon her skills as an Azerent Mage to wrest truth from the twisted temptations and taunts that spew from the mouth of devious Harpies summoned from the Nightmare Realm.
Can she piece together their prophecy to save the world, or will it be overrun by Chaos?
Discover this dark epic fantasy novel about one woman's courage and determination in the face of adversity!
Contains adult material including adult activity, harsh language, and intense violence.
Despite her heartbreak, Roslyn judiciously and ethically uses her magic powers, which makes her a prime target for the Déagrians, who are trying to eliminate magic healers from the world. Ruthless enforcer Swithun—whose losses of his wife and son have rendered him heartless—becomes one of the key villains in Roslyn’s world, although Cain humanizes him in a way that will allow readers to realize the line between black and white is decidedly gray. Cain also provides Roslyn with a second true love, Estéban, whose fealty throughout will captivate readers, and an adopted son, Marc, who follows Roslyn into the healing arts.
Cain’s fanciful world-building is first-rate, and his spirited characters will entrance readers from the first page. Cain skillfully cranks up the tension in the eventful storyline. While a few phrasings are suspect (such as the expression “out of the woods,” which seems a more recent construct), overall, the dialogue is smooth and powerful. Certain scenes are not for the squeamish— namely, villagers being burned alive and graphic descriptions of torture—but readers who enjoy dark epic fantasy will devour this imaginative tale.
Takeaway: This dazzling epic fantasy is packed with memorable characters in black, white, and gray.
Great for fans of: Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A