The first boy disappeared on the day of his birth, on a night when the pale yellow moon of the nighttime sky turned red and bathed the heavens in the ghastly color of blood, on the same night the Kingdom of Cokyri abruptly ceased its merciless attack.
Across the land of Hytanica, under the shadow of the crimson moon, infant boys continued to vanish. Not until the blood had faded from the sky did the disappearances stop and the bodies of the murdered infants were found outside the gates of the city, a final word from the greatest enemy Hytanica had ever known. For the next sixteen years, peace reigned, but one mystery remained unsolved. The Cokyrians had abducted forty-nine newborns, but returned only forty-eight bodies.
Now, as seventeen-year-old Princess Alera of Hytanica is besieged from all sides by suitors vying for the Throne, a teenage Cokyrian boy, Narian, is encountered within the walls of her Kingdom, a boy who will show Alera a world where women serve a purpose and not just a husband. As Narian helps Alera find her voice, she struggles against an arranged marriage that will shatter the life she has scarcely begun to live. And when Narian's shocking past is uncovered, and war with Cokyri looms once more, he must fight to defy a fate ordained at his birth.
I have to say it, I didn't really like this book. The characters have no depth to them, so it was hard to connect to anyone. The king wants to marry his eldest daughter off, the daughter doesn't want to marry the top suitor, who is an egotistical bore. There is no shading to the characters, noone is all dark or all light, but that is how the majority are portrayed.
The story didn't go anywhere, there was almost no action at all. There was a war many years ago, but they don't talk any details about it. They're afraid a war might be coming again, but there's nothing much showing signs of that except a couple of Cokyri showing up in Hytanica. The synopsis indicated that 49 infants were taken and only one returned alive, but nothing in the book ever explained that. Perhaps it was being saved for the sequel.
This novel just didn't catch my interest, though I plodded my way through it. In my opinion, 496 pages was way too long for this story. I see that the reviews for this book widely vary, some love it, some do not. So, this one is up to you, if you want to take the chance.
*Disclaimer, I was given this book by the publisher Harlequin, through Netgalley, I was not required to write a positive review.
Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 496 Pages
Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (June 28, 2011)
File Size: 701kb
Publisher: AmazonEncore (August 4, 2009)