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REVIEW

"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 of 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 consort.

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 exchange 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

SUMMARY

A DARK PACT--The second son of the king, Adrik should have been an honored prince of the Median Empire. Instead, he was sacrificed at birth to his father's lust for power. He became the property of Malkaval--was raised as that great demon's own, and was taught the ways of sorcery. He locked himself away in the gloomy halls of Khorazm, a recluse, never once forgetting his purpose: Someday he would enter the Shadow Realm, trade places with his master, and be damned for eternity.

AN EMBER OF HOPE--His black fate kept Adrik from others. There was no solace for a man like himself--no matter how pwerful he became, what magic he might conjure in the long lonely nights. Then he met a woman--a stunning beauty, blond and magnificent--who streaked into his life like a dying star. And she needed him. The Arizanti priestess was everything he'd ever dreamed of, and she sparked in Adrik a terrible desire for freedom. For the first time, he dared to hope that their love might overcome the darkness.

 

The Shadow Prince
by Jan Zimlich

Love Spell
September 1, 2002
ISBN #0505524856
EAN #9780505524850
320 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Jan Zimlich

The Black Rose
Heart's Prey
Not Quite Paradise


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