A cursed destiny. A band of warriors. And one troubled kingdom.
It is whispered in Agathia that the legendary warriors of the mist—cursed by the gods—can be summoned only when a champion is needed and the cause is just. Gideon, their captain, knows this to be the one path that will lead his men to redemption—lest they face an eternity of damnation.
Years have passed since anyone has journeyed to the river’s edge, but times are desperate. Oppressed by a cruel guardian whose dark magic threatens to destroy her people, the beautiful and courageous Merewen calls upon the bespelled warriors. In Gideon she finds more than a champion, and in his arms, more than protection. However, their enemies are fighting with a power darker than anything than they imagined, and should Gideon fail, she will lose everything she holds dear—including her heart.
Review: I admit, I have a weakness for medieval romance. And when this book landed in my hands, I was intrigued. I mean, the blurb says that our heroine is going to call forth warriors from the river to be her champion. That in itself hooked me.
So we have Merewen, a woman who is well, your typical headstrong romance heroine, but she’s not what you’d picture as the typical medieval lady. She stands up to her uncle, breaks the rules, goes and summons these cursed men to help her… and so on. Most of the time I enjoyed watching Merewen as she fought tooth and nail for what she wanted. Every once in a while, I would get frustrated with her (as did her hero, Gideon), but then things would right themselves and we’d move onward in our tale.
Gideon on the other hand is the captain of the five cursed warriors who are called forth by Merewen. He’s a bit jaded after centuries of damnation. But he’s intrigued about why the gods would grant Merewen her wish for a champion… and attracted to the lass as well. Gideon’s yo-yoing feelings were completely understandable, especially since he didn’t want to fall in love just to return to the river when their task is done.
The concept of the damned warriors rising to be champions is interesting, and one that I hadn’t really read before. I liked the twist that was provided with the men’s companions… each one was unique to the warrior, rather a animal reflection of their personality. The book is just the first step in what appears to be an overarcing plot with an evil wizard wrecking ruin on the land… and of course, these warriors are the ones who will stop him.
This is a solid debut to the series. I enjoyed the non-romance parts of the book more, since there is so much world building. The action scenes were vivid and I almost felt as if I was standing in the middle of the battles. The characters were plentiful and diverse. The bad guys were deviously bad, and the good guys… well, they sure weren’t saints but I was rooting them on anyway. I am definitely looking forward to future books in this story as I just have to know what happens next.