Series: Tairen Soul series
The story continues from where Lord of the Fading Lands ended. Ellysetta Baristani continues with her devotions, a necessary Celierian ritual which is the prelude to the actual wedding. Meanwhile, Rain courts the Celierian king and powerful lords to his cause --to maintain the closure of the Eld borders with Celieria, as his gut feel tells him the Eld mean nothing but evil intentions toward the Celierians in the supposed trade agreement they sent the king for negotiations.
This book is a powerful continuation to the story started in Lord of the Fading Lands, fleshing out the situation in Celieria and culminating in a strong conclusion at the end. If the two books had been combined into one, I wouldn't have experienced the I-was-cheated feeling when I finished reading Book 1.
Here, the mystery of Ellie's identity and background deepened as she was able to do great feats that even the greatest living trained shei'dalin wasn't able to do. What I like most was that Ellie finally came into her own toward the end, and it was a pleasure to see her transformation into the woman that she had the potential to be.
The author introduced another character--Gaelen vel Serannis, and I like his wicked, playful manner, especially when he teased the young fey who thought he had nothing to offer them, not even battle tactics, all because he had fallen to the dark side. When fey men killed, the souls of the victims will weigh on their own souls and continue to accumulate until such time when darkness consumed them. Then, they have the choice of an honorable death (suicide) or going to the dark side and being exiled from the Fading Lands forever.
Rain was devastated when he learned something repulsive about Ellie (repulsive to him because he's fey), and his reaction was believable, though it brought great sorrow and distress to Ellie. He did make up for it at the end, but I felt he should've groveled more.
Overall, I love the book, which is a magical blend of fantasy, suspense and romance.
Book Rating: 5.0