Blurb: Sometimes the price of destiny is higher than anyone imagined….
Dark Magic, Hidden Destiny
For three centuries a divine prophecy and a line of warrior queens protected Skala. But the people grew complacent and Erius, a usurper king, claimed his young half sister’s throne.
Now plague and drought stalk the land, war with Skala’s ancient rival Plenimar drains the country’s lifeblood, and to be born female into the royal line has become a death sentence as the king fights to ensure the succession of his only heir, a son. For King Erius the greatest threat comes from his own line — and from Illior’s faithful, who spread the Oracle’s words to a doubting populace.
As noblewomen young and old perish mysteriously, the king’s nephew — his sister’s only child — grows toward manhood. But unbeknownst to the king or the boy, strange, haunted Tobin is the princess’s daughter, given male form by a dark magic to protect her until she can claim her rightful destiny.
Only Tobin’s noble father, two wizards of Illior, and an outlawed forest witch know the truth. Only they can protect young Tobin from a king’s wrath, a mother’s madness, and the terrifying rage of her brother’s demon spirit, determined to avenge his brutal murder….
Review: I have to be honest, there were several points throughout this where I came very close to putting this down and not finishing it because, even though this is a fantasy genre book, it is just enough outside the type of fantasy that I typically enjoy. It is very dark at points, with a horribly morbid, twisted undertone that was just almost too much for me to enjoy. I was able to enjoy and appreciate the quality of writing despite struggling to stay in the story because of how twisted this got. It was for that reason that I decided to stick with it until the end and I am glad because this is a good story. It is still just a bit outside of what I normally like and is the main reason I can’t give this a higher rating. That and the fact that this left off with a rather nasty cliff hanger, which drives me crazy so I am very much interested in seeing where the next book takes this.