Sixteen years later, land pirate Ava is rescued from execution by a stranger who reveals that she’s being hunted for more than her crimes. Aundour’s sworn enemy seeks the amulet hidden beneath her birthmark, and the only place where she will be safe is with her real father, the king who sent her away.
A dormant power now awakens within her, a destructive force too strong for an untrained mind to handle. But Ava never asked for magic, wealth, or even a father. All she wants is to escape the lords and liars trying to control her. When the web of evil closes in, and Aundour’s fate hangs by a thread, Ava must make a choice: her need for freedom, or the kingdom doomed to fall without her?
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
In the realm of fantasy it's very easy to step on old toes, and even get in the way of some of your contemporaries. Thankfully, Nathan does not do that. While there are salutes to Tolkien and Martin, and even a little bit of Herbert (yes, I know his work is sci-fi, not fantasy), it is undoubtedly a S. Nathan novel.
The prose is clean and flows easily on the page, taking you away into another world, but it has frighteningly accurate similarities to our own world, such as political sabotage (the assassination) and absentee parents/abandonment. Many people can relate to Ava, and many will be fascinated for hours with trying to see said similarities and analyze them.
But this is not a story to be analyzed. This is a story intended to take you away from the real world for a few hours and it certainly does it's job. Nathan's brilliant mind shines as you read page after page.
I think my only problem is Ava's character development. I thought she could have grown up a bit more during her ordeals in the story, but she didn't quite live up to her potential.
Other than that, this was one of the best fantasy novels from this generation I have read. Fans of the genre and newbies alike will devour it!
4/5--a fun, fascinating read!