5 of 5 Stars
Alaysha has been used and abused as a killing machine by her father, Yuri the Conqueror. She has undergone brutal training sessions to strip her of any emotional response to the destruction and death she causes with her magic. She's a pawn in a grand scheme, but when she meets Yenic, a survivor from one of the villages she decimated, her worldview begins to change. Alaysha starts down the dangerous path to find out who she really is and to know her heritage, but who can she trust--her father whose love she craves or a stranger who seems to know her?
From the opening sentence: The call of the vulture is what brought Alaysha back, I was hooked. Brought her back from what? The more I read, the more gripping and all-consuming this book became. I didn't want to stop reading. Alaysha had latched onto my psyche and wouldn't release me until I knew her suffering--the continual pain of rejection she felt at the hands of her father, the utter contempt by everyone in her village and her abject loneliness. A loneliness ingrained so deep within her that it hurts to breathe. This is the masterful storytelling of Ms. Atkinson as she guides you through the story. The secondary characters, Yuri, Yenic and Aedus are just as engrossing and will keep you turning the pages until the final word. This is one of the best fantasy series I've read in a long time. If you're looking to get lost in a world full of magic, angst, deception, love and betrayal, this book is the one to buy. Highly Recommended.