“Tell me about this place. This…Arcania.”
What if your life as you knew it ceased to exist?
That is the question Naeve Brannigan and her three sisters are faced with on the eve of their 25th birthday.
Continuing a tradition they’ve hidden from their mother for years, the four women arrive at a tarot shop to have their futures told.
Only this time their futures aren’t predicted—they’re forever changed.
They’ve awoken in a strange time and place with no knowledge of how they got there. All they have to go by is the word of a man who claims to be family—a family they’ve never heard of.
He tells them of a world they could never have imagined. One that has been cursed by an Empress fueled by old revenge—revenge their mother appears to be at the center of.
As they fight to survive the people and dangers of an unknown land, they slowly begin to unravel its mysteries to find that they hold the key to saving this world…this Arcania.
The question that remains for each of them is: Who do you become when the you that you always were is no longer?
I am a huge fan of Ella Frank and was thrilled when she announced the premise for her new series. While they are some amazing fantasy books, the genre is somewhat lacking in the romance element. Ella Frank delivers her own style of sexiness to the fantasy genre. Throughout the book, I thought to myself several times; “Why hasn’t Ella Frank been writing fantasy before now?!”
The beginning is somewhat tricky. We are introduced to the magical world of Arcania and past events that set the stage for the story. While I was confused for the first few chapters, everything fell into place throughout the book. I loved all the unique characters and magical elements. There are multiple characters and storylines. While I am not a huge fan of third person POV, it works brilliantly here.
Naeve and Kai’s worlds collide when Naeve and her three sisters are thrust into Arcania from our world. Kai becomes a guardian of their safety. I loved Naeve and Kai’s chemistry from the beginning. It is evident early on, despite their initial dislike for one another, there would be sparks flying later. In true Ella Frank style, there some sizzling hot love scenes between the characters as well.
-“Don’t you want to know my name?”
-“No. A hunter never names its prey.”
Naeve and her sisters are immersed in the ultimate family fight when they are pursued by their aunt/Empress of Arcania. The battle includes their mother, uncle, cousin, and guards. Everyone seems to be hiding dark secrets too. Bastian, their cousin is the ultimate wild card. I can’t decide if he is good or evil, or perhaps a little of both. Ella Frank creates a beautiful but dangerous new world. All the characters are woven into each others lives and their actions constantly affect those around them. Once the storyline passed the beginning stages, I was completely sucked in to this story.
As expected with a new series, there is somewhat of a cliffhanger. While it’s nothing over the top, it definitely left me longing for the next installment. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book to any fan of PNR!
“Don’t. Make. A. Sound.”
The low, gravelly voice reverberated through her as she felt a tear escape the corner of her eye. The arm that was banded across her chest was full-on muscle as it easily held her in place against a body that was as impenetrable as a brick wall.
Naeve didn’t move a muscle, but she lowered her eyes the best she could and saw a black leather glove that went halfway up that thick forearm. As the hand on her right shoulder tightened, she grimaced and felt the tip of the knife press against her throat.
“Where is your other sister?”
Naeve remained silent, not sure she could even remember how to speak, and then she felt those fingers grip her shoulder harder as they spun her around and pulled her up close.
The sight that greeted her was like something from her worst nightmare.
She couldn’t have imagined ever feeling the terror she felt right then. For that reason alone, she’d never known that her response would be to become one hundred percent paralyzed.
As she stared up at the towering figure before her, she had to wonder if maybe she was already dead and he’d been sent to collect her. Cloaked from head to toe in nothing but black, he almost blended into the shadows except for the shiny blade he had pointed at her throat. She couldn’t make out a face behind the hood and mask, but all she continued to hope was that, if he planned to kill her, he’d do it fast.
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