When everything that defines you is stripped away, who do you become?
War has come to Atalanta, infecting its quiet villages and lush woodlands, igniting whispered worries in its glittering capitol.
All across the dominion, young men are being Selected for Military and sent to the front lines…and eighteen-year-old Aris Haan’s childhood sweetheart is one of them.
Pyralis Nekkos, Atalanta’s leader, has kept the truth from his people, that their dominion will fall…and much sooner than anyone could guess.
Galena Vadim, his reluctant ally, wishes she could forget their shared past…until her future seems to depend on it.
And for the boy she loves, Aris, a talented wingjet pilot, will give up everything – her home, her name, even her face…
…only to become the key to her dominion’s survival.
My Review: 5 out of 5 Stars*****
I seriously don’t know where to start with this review. I’ve so many feelings and emotions going through my head. Suffice to say, this book is brilliant. It has a wonderful underlying back story about what our military and their families endure through the separation of war.
The story starts off a little slow, Aris is eighteen and about to go through the selection process of where she will be for the rest of her life. She will then be promised to Calix and life will be wonderful. Only that is thrown on its head, a strange encounter with a flyer from the military has her world spun on its head.
I said the story was slow, however it gives the author the chance to do a lot of world building and character development. I had mixed feelings about Aris at first, she seemed a little petulant. I was wrong about her, she is one of the strongest heroines I’ve read in a long time. I grew to realize that not ever kick ass female has to be like that from the get go, maybe, through the strange turn of circumstances in our lives bring out strengths we didn’t even know we had.
So Aris follows Calix into the military, no mean feat since females were not allowed. She is hidden behind a veil that gives the illusion she is in fact Aristos, a man. I loved her growth as a person and a flyer. I loved the friendships she made, especially with Dysis another female.
Of course there was a bigger story here, the war between Atalanta and Safara. The side stories of Ward Nekkos and Ward Vadim of Ruslana were great. There was twists and turns, sub plots to scupper plots. It was all very well thought out and just bloody magic.
I was saddened by the sad reality war changes us, it sometimes makes us into people our loved ones don’t recognize. But it did open it up to a bigger story, loving Major Vidar. I truly didn’t see any of that coming, like wowzer. It was all there in plain sight too. Brilliant writing from Ms Banghart.
The ending, lets just say I was crippled, I actually shed tears. I wanted something to happen so badly I could feel it. It didn’t…..but there is always book 2 right? Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.
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