#DarkFantasy #Scifi #Epic #Romance #LoveStory
It was her last chance:
Amber Bierce had nothing left except her sister and two tickets on Earth’s first colony-ship. She entered her Sleeper with a five-year contract and the promise of a better life, but awakened in wreckage on an unknown world. For the survivors, there is no rescue, no way home and no hope until they are found by Meoraq—a holy warrior more deadly than any hungering beast on this hostile new world…but whose eyes show a different sort of hunger when he looks at her.
It was his last year of freedom:
Uyane Meoraq is a Sword of Sheul, God’s own instrument of judgment, victor of hundreds of trials, with a conqueror’s rights over all men. Or at least he was until his father’s death. Now, without divine intervention, he will be forced to assume stewardship over House Uyane and lose the life he has always known. At the legendary temple of Xi’Matezh, Meoraq hopes to find the deliverance he seeks, but the humans he encounters on his pilgrimage may prove too great a test even for him…especially the one called Amber, behind whose monstrous appearance burns a woman’s heart unlike any he has ever known.
My Review = 5 stars
In a word EPIC!
This sci-fi/fantasy is a long and intense read and one to truly savour. The tale, which also contains a beautiful love story, is mind blowing and emotional and I was totally sucked into the world and the characters created by the author.
The worldbuilding is superb; the complex society Amber and her fellow humans find themselves on after their ship crashes onto an unknown planet is brutal and inhospitable and their survival is questionable. It is only when their paths cross with the warrior/priest Meoraq that their salvation seems possible. Meoraq’s own destiny becomes inextricably entwinned with that of Amber and the humans, setting the scene for an unforgettable and complex story.
The read is dark and graphic in content, especially when it comes to sex and violence. There are some horrific scenes and a number of characters can only be described as truly wicked. I felt broken at various points, but I was compelled to continue as the plot was so gripping and there are moments of light and pure love which shone through the darkness.
I enjoyed how we are able to see the humans through the eyes of Meoraq, who regards them as ugly and weak. At first the humans view him as little more than an animal – yet my goodness they are in for a surprise! We soon learn that humans can be equally as monstrous as Meoraq’s fellow citizens, the lizardmen who are natives of the planet they find themselves on.
Amber is a character who I warmed through as the book progressed – she is mouthy and stubborn and not afraid to speak her mind, even though her comments fall on stony ground (which they do to her own detriment). Her her journey is a painful one. As for Meoraq, I wanted to shake him at times but he is a product of his culture and upbringing and his path too is one full of challenges. He is deeply religious, yet also a warrior who is used to being powerful and in control at all times and taking his due wherever he goes. His faith is tested throughout by people and events.
I loved how Amber questions him throughout. There is no fated mates human/alien love trope here – their romance is a slow burn and they cannot even understand each other to start with. I loved how the couple came together and how the relationship grew and developed into such an epic love story.
There are many dark moments and surprises in the book and the read is certainly not for the faint hearted. It will appeal to readers who enjoy sci-fi and/or fantasy where the world building and characters come together to create a truly inforgettable and thought provoking read.
Reviewed by Tina Williams