"Intrigue abounds in this gripping Historical Fantasy!"
Jan Zimlich is well known for writing fantasies with
futuristic themes. Now she takes us back in time to the
Median Empire, 585 B. C. to a world of demons and sorcery.
Shalelle, high priestess of the Arizanti, has been betrayed
by their leader Arkanna for refusing to do her bidding.
Shalelle's funeral pyre serves as a signal to the enemy
prince, Burian, to come and collect his prize in exchange
for safe passage through his father's lands. That prize is
Lorienne, Shalelle's daughter.
Lorienne finds herself tied to a post and left on the
steppes to either perish or become the concubine of the
crown prince. Burian, heir to the Busae king, is not the
only prince to arrive upon the scene though. His
half-brother Adrik, second son of Hedeon, and his entourage
wolves watch from the shadows as Burian and his men examine
his prize. Lorienne's poor state reflects Arkanna's
contempt, as it is clear she had done her best to cheat him
out of it. However, Lorienne clings tenaciously to life.
Spying his half-brother in the shadows, Burian offers the
ill-used girl to Adrik. Though he knows that it would be
more merciful to leave her here to die than to bring her
home to share his fate, Adrik had pledged fealty to Burian
rather than the king. He could not refuse the gift. No love
had been lost between Adrik and Hedeon. There had not been
from the moment his sire had sold his motherless second
born to the demon Malkaval, in exchange for the Median
throne and the scheming woman who had become his new
Adrik had been a child of prophecy. His mother, Hedeon's
second wife, had been a powerful sorceress. She had died at
his birth, and her son had been swept away to Korazm to
take his place as her rightful heir, and to learn the ways
of the sorcerer from the Malkaval. A thousand years the
demon had waited for one such as he, for when the day
of the solar eclipse arrived, Malkaval and Adrik would
places. The evil entity would be mortal once more.
Until this moment Adrik had accepted his fate. Each spell
had stolen a piece of his soul until he felt empty inside.
In his solitude he'd had no one to call his own. No one
would mourn his passing. But unlike all others, his new
charge had faced him without fear, even after he proclaimed
that she would definitely be sharing his bed. Lorienne
tugged at the heart he'd thought was lost. For the first
time Adrik desires freedom from his dark destiny. For the
first time he dares to hope...for love.
Lorienne's mother had also spoken of prophecy. She had
foretold that the fate of her beloved daughter would
someday rest in the hands of a dark prince. Her destiny was
clear. She would not allow the demon or anyone else to
alter it. She would fight to the death to keep the tortured
man who had stolen her heart.
Wow! Ms. Zimlich amazes me with her ability to pit these
two lovers against insurmountable odds and still achieve a
happy ending. Many would attempt to use them for their own
greedy goals. Surrounded by intrigue which threatens to
tear them apart, they somehow manage to find light at the
end of the tunnel. No one will be able to predict this
tale's startling conclusion, but rest assured it will leave
the reader more than satisfied. Step into the shadow realm,
you'll be glad you did.
Leslie Tramposch - Copyright © 2002
For PNR Reviews
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted September 6, 2002