"JennaKay Francis has written a wonderful fantasy..."
Thalassa can't believe how her life turned out. She's
nothing but a slave now, and a pregnant one at that. Her
people are the Zal and the life of a Zal woman is never
easy. Their husbands are not gentle men and they don't
believe in sparing the rod. So, in a way, she's just
exchanging one master for another. The Asurians raided her
village and took the survivors as slaves. Thalassa has
magic and shields the slaves from the pain of branding.
Lord Adrick noticed what she did and also had her branded
with a pentagram on her cheek. He has decided to take her
for his own. Thalassa ends up being taken from Lord Adrick
by Lord Rhaeven. She also saves a boy, Eri, from death and
Eri becomes her servant. During her darkest hours, Thalassa
relives her time with Terran. The memories give her the
strength to carry on.
Meanwhile, Elfin Crown Prince Terran is once more receiving
a lecture from his father, King Liam. The King wants Terran
to marry and produce a child. Ever since the death of his
betrothed, Terran has no desire to marry. He fears his
youngest brother was behind her death and doesn't want to
put another woman in that position. Unwin, Terran's
youngest brother, is in line for the throne now that the
middle brother has disappeared. During the lecture, Terran
hears drums pounding. His father doesn't. King Liam sends
Terran out on a diplomatic mission. Terran sends his guards
on the mission. He has been having visions of the Zal woman
he met right after the death of his betrothed. Even though
Terran only spent three days with Thalassa, he fell in love
with her. He senses she is in trouble and decides to find
her. The first place he heads to is her village. He finds
it in shambles. There is one survivor. A little girl.
Terran takes Vaoni with him as he heads for Lord Rhaeven's
Will Terran ever be able to find Thalassa? What of the
beating drums only Terran and Thalassa and Vaoni can hear?
What do they portend? Just how does Aki, the White Dragon,
fit into all of this? What of Terran's missing brother?
Will they ever find him? And if so, will he be alive or
dead? Vaoni has magic of her own, how does she fit into all
of this? And what of Unwin, just how badly does he want the
JennaKay Francis has written a wonderful fantasy, full of
everything from kindness and love to brutality and slavery.
NITESH contains magic, elves and even has the added bonus
of a white dragon. The characters are all wonderfully
portrayed, from Eri's steadfast loyalty to Thalassa's
feelings of despair, from Terran's nobility to Vaoni's
child's belief and trust. The world building is never
overpowering, but is just enough to fully understand
everything going on. The plot has many subtle twists and
turns and all comes out beautifully in the end. If you love
fantasy, NITESH must be added to your TBR pile.
Reviewed by Chere Gruver
Posted March 30, 2004
Reviewed by Chere Gruver
Posted November 19, 2006
Although Thalassa, a sea-witch is captured when the warlord Rhaeven sends his troops to her small village, she views it as not much more than what her past life entailed. Married at a young age to a man she did not love, and abused during the relationship, she is secretly glad to see her husband die. Now, pregnant, enslaved, and stricken with a deadly disease, she only waits her own death to release her from her torment.
Terran, the elfin Crown Prince of Diraenia, must choose a mate and produce an heir before his 30th birthday, or forfeit the crown to his youngest brother, Unwin. And time is running out. Terran is 29. His fiance, Elise, is dead, and he believes Unwin responsible. Yet, there is no proof. To make matters worse, Terran's other brother, Sinclair, has disappeared, and Terran fears the worse.
Bothered by a strange, haunting beat of drums, which no one can hear save himself, Terran's thoughts continually turn to a brief encounter with a young woman from Zal. Three days he spent with her, walking her back to her village, and her pre-ordained life there. Three days he spent falling in love with a woman who could never be his. She returned to her village, her waiting husband, and he returned to the palace, and life of emptiness and despair.
But the drums continue to call, and at last, Terran sets out to revisit the village, to see the woman one more time, to bring a close to his questions.