Series: Harp and Sword Chronicles 01
Length: Novel Plus (358pgs)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (21 April 2012)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: Thaddeus: A warrior cursed with a Blood-Rage.
Stephen: A terminally ill prince.
Reunited after nine years, Thaddeus discovers Stephen is targeted by the Gods, but with his cursed rage, he wonders–Is he the wisest choice to become Stephen’s protector?
Thaddeus: A warrior cursed with a Blood-Rage. Stephen: A terminally ill prince. Separated for nine years, they are reunited again by two warring factions of Gods and a mysterious mist of light, all of whom have their eyes on Stephen. Knowing the dangers of his Blood-Rage, Thaddeus must determine if he is the best choice to become Stephen’s warrior guard. But with the Aggregate System of Gods involved, he may not have a choice. In spite of his terminal illness, Stephen may be the prophesied Catalyst who will bring about the downfall of the Aggregate. In order to hold on to their reign, the Aggregate have a plan… and that plan includes the manipulation of Thaddeus’s love for Stephen.
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title has a bittersweet ending.
Review: Thaddeus is a warrior who has been cursed with Blood-Rage and his dreams are leading him home; a place where his family were slaughtered. The young prince needs him, but Thaddeus has a fear that his Blood-Rage will do more harm than good. Stephen is a young prince who is seriously ill and is also cursed. The only time he feels safe is with Thaddeus, the man who saved him years before. Now, he needs Thaddeus more than ever.
What an absolutely fantastic fantasy that is well written and leaves you longing for more. Thaddeus has been cursed and is well known as The Marked One, who leaves dead bodies after his Blood-Rage. Stephen is a frail prince who has lived longer than anyone thought he would. These two, the warrior and the prince, are pulled together by dreams and a bond neither knew about and the gods who are manipulating them and those around them.
This story is not a romance. It is a true fantasy that has elements of love that is just starting to develop. Thaddeus and Stephen are our main characters and both have their own form of anguish. Stephen, because of his illness and Thaddeus, because of the losses in the past and his curse. and they are both being manipulated by the Gods. We slowly learn, as we progress through the book, of the manipulation and the players the gods are using. and we get an idea of why the gods are doing the manipulation, but things don’t always go to plan, as some gods are playing two sides.
Although there is sex in this book, it is between secondary characters that use it more for control. Although Thaddeus does have sex, it is because of the Red Moon Day (his species mating time). There are some nasty characters in this book who you will cheerfully want something bad to happen to and some great characters who you want the best for. The world building is quite good, but I can see us getting even more in future books, so we can get a clearer picture of the game that is in play. we get some fantastic descriptions of the surrounding areas and we get a good idea of what Thaddeus and Stephen are being shaped for.
Although we are given a warning that it has a bittersweet ending it doesn’t. It has a ‘to be continued’ ending that made me want the next book…now. I will be reading this book again when the next one is released, just so I can say ‘ahhh’ when I open the next book. Sighing in satisfaction, as I see how Thaddeus will rescue Stephen from the High Dolen (some of the god’s high priest). If you want to know more, read the book…Bwahahaha.
I recommend this to those who love fantasy, gods manipulation, human manipulation, nasty brothers, fierce warriors, a strong bond between prince and warrior, fantastic back stories and a brilliant ‘to be continued’ ending.