I was excited to get this book and had been wanting to read it ever since I first came across it on Barnes and Noble. Unfortunately, it was not as good as I had hoped. The story line is interesting and I liked the whole human and elf getting married despite the animosity between the two races. This, of course, leads to the birth of the half elves.
The story begins with Donovan and his friends being rescued by the elf Alayna. She takes them to her home and convinces the king to allow her to train them as Elven Rangers. Fast forward 10 years later and the Princes Brandela is set to choose her 100 handmaidens and fulfill her duty as the king’s daughter. Brandela gets kidnapped by the barbarian Garock and Donovan sets off to rescue her and avenge Alayna’s death. He does rescue her and then they spend the next nine months making their way back to the Elves’ home. While traveling, Brandela ends up bonding, which is marriage in the elven world, with Donovan. Brandela does make it back home after killing Garock and losing her husband. Her father, furious at her marrying a human, banishes her, her handmaidens, and the other human Rangers that were rescued by Alayna.
The story did not flow well. It’s only real saving grace was the fact that it read quickly. It started off well with Alayna saving the children and adopting them. And it maintained an interesting pace up until Brandela is rescued by Donovan. After that, it started to read like a romance novel. They suddenly fall in love, which seemed a bit quick for me as there was no time spent building their relationship. All of that came after they got married.
I found the battle scenes to be too quick. They would have just begun and then it over. While on the flip side, the author spent chapters going over Brandela’s and Donovan’s personal feelings towards each other. And much of that was repetitive and made the story drag. Then there were times that I got a bit lost as every few pages that author would write that a month, or several weeks, had gone by. Most of that wasn’t necessary. Also, the constant flipping in point of view got tedious. One minute you are seeing things from Brandela’s point of view, then suddenly it’s in Donovans. Then, whoosh, now we’re in Garock’s head before being thrust back into Brandela’s. In one page the author scanned through four or five character’s perspectives. What a whirlwind!
There were portions that I liked, though they were mostly the action sequences. I was sorry to see Alayna die. She, by far, was my favorite character even if she was short-lived in the story. Donovan’s death was too quick the way it was written. I was sorry that he died, but he should have had a better send off. And of course, I wanted to kick the elf king’s butt for being such a jerk.
If you like fantasy, give this one a try. Maybe you’ll like it better than I did. This is the first book in a series. Though I might read the second book, it is not a priority for me at this point.