I am writing like a mad thing at the moment, in the lead up to the Romance Writer’s of Australia Conference in August. Much as I hate to limit myself in this way, I don’t have time just now to get sucked into the TBR pile.
Then Alliance Forged dropped into my lap, courtesy of a pre-order with the Book Depository.
I was strong. I turned the very pretty cover face down and took the book around to my friend’s place to let her read it first. Then, while she was busy doing something else, I read the first few pages. It was a mistake. I shamelessly brought the book home with me and finished it this morning. I couldn’t put the wretched thing down.
Curse you Kylie! I have things to do!
Oh, what? I should tell you something about the book? Okay then, here goes.
Alliance Forged is the second in the Light Blade series of stories. In terms of genre, I guess you would describe them as Paranormal Fantasy Romance, but I don’t love labels.
These stories are set in a fantasy world, occupied by the bloodthirsty (literally) Na’Reish demons, their enemies the humans and the half-breed Na’Chi, who are despised and slaughtered on sight by the former and in an uneasy alliance with the latter.
This backdrop provides plenty of drama and danger for the story and it continues from the one set up in the first book, Vengeance Born very satisfactorily, at least as far as I was concerned. (There was a bit towards the end where I gasped out loud but I can’t say any more for fear of spoilers.)
But what swept me away in this book was the central love story. I always think ‘Romance’ is a misleading title for so many of the stories one finds under this label. It implies hearts and flowers and lightness, when in fact they are mostly – and certainly in this case – stories about the magnificent, irresistible, transformative power of love.
The superhumanly strong but physically and emotionally scared Na’Chi leader, Varian, finds in the blind spiritual leader of the humans, Kymora, friendship, understanding and acceptance that moves him against his will. She offers him a peace that he thought was impossible, if he can only work out how to accept it and still be the leader his people need him to be in dark times, where threat comes from those they thought friends as well as from their traditional enemies.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that I bought the first one because I have known Kylie since I sat next to her in a RWA conference workshop and watched her hatch her five-year-plan to publication. I pre-ordered this one because I enjoyed the first one so much and it didn’t disappoint. If anything, I think I liked it better than the first one (but don’t tell Kylie).
The first book in the series is Vengeance Born and there is a third one scheduled, Allegiance Sworn. For more details on all three and where to buy them, click here, or on any of the photos.
So what about you? Read any good books lately?