Looking for angsty? Looking for traumatic childhoods? Mix that in with medieval times and this basically describes the story. If you liked Ms. Kenyon (McQueen) and her Kinley MacGregor stories, this is the one for you. As a side note, it is sad that the author cannot change her surname to one that she wants. This book can be read as a standalone. I thought it was going to be more with the dream hunters but this goes a completely different direction.
Ariel is ripped from her world and lands in the lap of the most reviled knight - Valteri. From the first chapter, I knew this was going to be a difficult read for me. Difficult because I knew I was going to be torn apart with sorrow and indignation. How does Ms. McQueen come up with these horrible people torturing children? It's amazing that the child doesn't become a psychopath. What has been done to Valteri because of his name as well as his eyes is reprehensible. He is a match for Ariel who is also being punished for something she is innocent of and has no control.
The first third of the book is learning about all the heinous acts perpetrated upon two people through no fault of their own. As more players are added to this devilish game with souls at stake, it doesn't look like a single person in here is a winner. I'm not sure who in this world is a winner because as far as I can tell, every character is either being punished, tortured, or losing a battle. This is a bleak existence where there is no justice only might and the powerless.
Through all of this grim existence, Ariel and Valteri still somehow find goodness. Of course that must be stamped out. Ms. McQueen cannot let any of her characters have a hint of happiness. This gloom and doom story does end up with a happily for now. This book also implies there are other forces at work and I do not know if we will ever receive all the pieces in this world where everyone is a loser. Sacrifice upon sacrifice is made and yet the end result seems to be the same. There are cameos of characters from the different series in this universe. For those who haven't read those books, this book may be a bit confusing. It took me a little bit to recall the different tie ins.
This paranormal romance is recommended to readers who enjoy angst and love the anti-heroes.
*provided by NetGalley