She chose to die in her sister's place and yet she lived. Luthiel, just 15 years old, made a brave peace with the dreaded Vyrl of the Vale of Mists. Now she must face an army sent to destroy them.
With her companions -- the werewolf Othalas, the dragon Melkion, the sorcerer Mithorden, a Vyrl named Ecthellien, and the elf Vaelros who would love her -- Luthiel races back to the angry faelands to beg forgiveness for monsters.
Who, if any, will survive the journey? For the Vale is surrounded by the webs of Widdershae, and the only other path leads to the Red Moon -- where an ancient evil waits in the flames.
Beyond the Vale, the home she left is not the same. Armies march for vengeance. Powers play their hands in a game of ages. In the sky something evil stirs. Rumors of a dark prophecy. Whispers of a "Blood Witch." And signs foretelling an ancient doom terrible enough to destroy worlds.
From page one we are launched straight into the action and given no time to catch a breath until the last page.
Luthiel continues to be just as strong and as focused as she was during the first novel. And although she has ended up taking on more than she ever thought she would have to – after all she thought she was going to die and now the weight of her people’s survival is resting on her 15 year old shoulders - she faces every obstacle that comes along. (If that doesn’t sound like the ingredients for a great adventure I don’t know what does :)) Her character continues to develop as she grows through every new hurdle that she faces and she even ends up with a certain edge to her that I loved. But, through it all, she still retains a childlike joy of things and that was wonderful. Growing up is not something that happens overnight, although it may seem so at times, and I am glad that this is not the case here.
Luthiel’s relationship with others continue to grow stronger while others fracture as her powers and ‘destiny’ come to light. Some trust her and some don’t – denouncing her as a witch. Her bond with Othalas continues to be my favourite. I love how the surly ancient wolf has a soft spot for her and although he doesn't say it out right he shows by his actions that he cares for her.
Nothing is easy in this book and there are no ‘quick fixes’. Things that seem to happen to make things easy more often than not make things harder and I thought this was brilliant and it kept me reading.
And the superb bit! Luthiel has 2 guys interested in her and she isn't sure she wants either of them! Finally. I personally love that.
There were twists and turns that I did not see coming that made the read all the more worth while.
A wonderful world has been built and I happily lost myself in it for the evening it took me to finish this instalment to Luthiel’s journey. I can’t wait for ‘The Nightmare of Winter’.
Favourite quote – “Each time we ride, I am dancing with you,” she said. “Each draft of air in my face is better than any draught of wine and far more heady."