Author: Karen Tomlinson
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure
I received an eARC of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
Description from GoodReads
A love bathed in fire. A destiny sealed with blood.
In a world ravaged by war, half blood fae Diamond Gillon must fight to survive.
Becoming a magical weapon for the fae queen is the only way to save her friends from execution, and the people of Valentia from the Wraith Lord and his army of the dead.
Commander Hugo Casimir has been ordered to train her, but Diamond struggles to trust him, and master the force of her own powerful magic. To complicate matters, the two share a rare, magical connection, a bond that will shape their fates and their hearts.
Love and loyalty will be tested as Diamond battles giants, shifters and an army of monsters in her quest to save Valentia. But will she defeat the Wraith Lord to avenge those she has lost, and triumph to save those she loves? Or will the Eight Kingdoms descend into chaos?
I finished this book two days ago and I'm still trying to catch my breath. I both love and loathe Tomlinson for her ability to pick up all of my emotions, put them into a tiny bag, and practice her mad kickboxing skills with her homemade punching bag. I was definitely destroyed at the hands of this book.
After reading the first book, I was in love with Commander Hugo Casimir! However, in ABOBAF Tomlinson spends the time to explain his past. This adds a whole new layer of depth to him and it becomes very obvious why he has taken certain actions. I love that no matter what he does, he puts Diamond before himself. Even when whatever he's doing is going to hurt her. He has a bigger goal in mind and definitely always tries to do the right thing.
Diamond herself grows a lot in this book. She moves from being a very confused, and somewhat whiny, individual to being a headstrong warrior. Her strength shines out in this book as she begins to make choices for herself that may, or may not, be what are expected of her.
Despite the amazing character development, I was amazed by Tomlinson's description of each battle. I was a bit afraid that the focus of this book would be on the romantic aspects and that the battles would simply be skimmed over. I am so glad that I was wrong! Tomlinson showed a new side of her artistic skills as each battle explodes into life. Each scene was so well-written and included so much description that I felt like I was really there. At one particularly heart-wrenching scene, I was crying so hard that my guy had to reach over and hold my hand.
The sooner book 3 gets here, the better.
About the AuthorKaren has always been an avid reader. Her taste in books is eclectic but she likes nothing better than an exciting fantasy, set in a new and magical world. She lives in Derbyshire, England, with her husband, twin girls and her dalmatian, Poppy. Karen trained as a nurse and currently works as a resuscitation and clinical skills trainer, this involves training a wide variety of health care professionals and medical students in acute patient care. In addition to writing, and reading whenever she can, Karen likes to keep active. She has been training at Shotokan karate since being thirteen, likes walking, mountain biking and (for something completely different) cake decorating. She is currently working on book two in the Guardians of The Goddess series.