My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from publisher to Review
Book Description: Enter Atolas, a world where swords and daggers both extend life and end it, where magic is feared by all but a few, and where feuds and friendships influence kingdoms and courtships. Henry and Isabelle have secretly sworn to marry despite his lowly station as a carpenter, but his devotion to her drives him to commit an unthinkable act that may cost both of them their lives.
At the same time, a secret, dark prophecy has set in motion events that will affect not only them, but the thrones of rulers throughout all of Atolas, threatening to eclipse the world in shadow. But all is not lost while hope remains in the guise of an unlikely hero and the strength of friendship.
My thoughts: This book has a little bit of everything: Romance, Adventure, Action, Mystery, Magic... I can tell that it is well thought out. Jacob Gowans does a wonderful job at laying the foundations while keeping the story moving. There are plots within plots. It is intriguing how it all works and flows together.
I was pulled into the world of Atolas from the beginning. Henry and Isabelle have a strong love for each other. Unfortunately, her father will do anything to tear them apart, including selling her to be a concubine to an Emperor. They pass through many trials that test the strength of their bond and prove who are their friends.
The book ends on a cliffhanger. I am so grateful that I have the second, Secrets of Neverak, already in my possession. This is a book that you need to find out if there will be a happy ever after. I liked the characters, particularly Isabelle, Maggie, and Henry. Ruther, James. and Brandol all have secrets that make them a little less lovable, but it will be great to find out what it is to drive them to their thoughts and actions.
This is a great book with a little bit of kissing and violence.
About the Author (taken from his webpage): Jacob Gowans is a dentist currently working in Utah. He is husband to a beautiful wife, and father to four cute children. He shuns all pets. When not working or writing, he enjoys watching sports, reading, running, acting, listening to a variety of music, kissing his wife, internet shopping, and chasing his kids around the house. He is passionate about board games, both old and new.