Publisher: Random House Del Ray
On the night of the new moon, the demons rise in force, seeking the deaths of two men both of whom have the potential to become the fabled Deliverer, the man prophesied to reunite the scattered remnants of humanity in a final push to destroy the demon corelings once and for all.
Arlen Bales was once an ordinary man, but now he has become something more—the Warded Man, tattooed with eldritch wards so powerful they make him a match for any demon. Arlen denies he is the Deliverer at every turn, but the more he tries to be one with the common folk, the more fervently they believe. Many would follow him, but Arlen’s path threatens to lead him to a dark place he alone can travel to, and from which there may be no returning.
The only one with hope of keeping Arlen in the world of men, or joining him in his descent into the world of demons, is Renna Tanner, a fierce young woman in danger of losing herself to the power of demon magic.
Ahmann Jardir has forged the warlike desert tribes of Krasia into a demon-killing army and proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer. He carries ancient weapons--a spear and a crown--that give credence to his claim, and already vast swaths of the green lands bow to his control.
But Jardir did not come to power on his own. His rise was engineered by his First Wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose formidable demon bone magic gives her the ability to glimpse the future. Inevera’s motives and past are shrouded in mystery, and even Jardir does not entirely trust her.
Once Arlen and Jardir were as close as brothers. Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity’s enemies rise, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all--those lurking in the human heart.My thoughts:
Warning: There will be some small spoilers if you haven't read the first 2 books.
I was hoping that the romance I didn't like would present itself differently in this book. While Leesha's romance or choices rather seemed to work for me, Arlen's romance still didn't feel right nor did it feel like a true love romance. I think if there wasn't a possible romance between Leesha and Arlen I believe I would have had no problems with his romance but because of his former pairing with Leesha it just didn't gel for me. It would have made more sense if he had some sort of relationship with Renna prior to his relationship now, but there really wasn't more than a single meeting when he was a child. I also think that Arlen's failed romance with Leesha got in my way of really connecting to Renna. That is a shame since Renna is a character I would normally LOVE.
My other problem is with how the character of Leesha was written. You know those movies where the woman who is capable and skilled (as much or more than the men surrounding her) but ends up fighting the other lone woman on the "bad" side who has 1/10 of her ability? Then the heroine suddenly forgets her skills and can barely keep up with the other woman only to barely beat her in a fight? Yea, it was like that. Leesha had skills and learned at the foot of 2 great women who knew how to rule but then when it came to really ruling she faltered... badly. It was upsetting but I totally give her props on how she handled learning of Arlen and Renna. Almost made up for the rest of what was done to her character.
You might now think I hated the book. I didn't at all. I loved how the secondary characters got more filling out and more book time. I really loved the way Rojer came into his own and is really becoming a man. I also can see that we are again set up for Leesha to rule and rule well. I also loved Invera. Okay, love is way too strong as she is a manipulative witch but I really loved that her complexity came out in this book. I didn't like her but I did respect her more. I'm very curious as to how she grows in the next book.
I give this book 3 stars. While I did have several problems with the characterization of both Leesha and Arlen, I did enjoy how the others grew and also how the worldbuilding is evolving. Things are getting more dangerous and it looks like the demons realize they are up against more than they previously bargained. With smart demons like that I can see how the next installment will have me on the edge of my seat.