In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.
When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena.
Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.
Overall Rating: 5/5 — Definite must-read for fantasy, paranormal, and romance lovers!
“You’re to do great things, Protector Kaliope.” Removing his ring, he slips it on my thumb. Then he kisses my palm. “And I love you more than any other.”
CURSE THE GODDESSES!!! How can you do this to me Trisha?! She has once again managed to turn me into a weeping mess at the end of this book. After Astarte’s Wrath, I just got so addicted to her writing and since I’ve been on a serious fantasy withdrawal before these books, I instantly devoured them and can’t seem to get enough of them. So yes, for all you fantasy/supernatural/paranormal lovers out there—GO READ TRISHA WOLFE’S BOOKS IF YOU STILL HAVEN’T STARTED YET!
I’m still trying to recover from everything that happened because it was just so epic. Once again, Trisha has managed to blow my socks off with the world that she uniquely created in this book. It was fantasy because of the goddesses, but it also had a futuristic and dystopian touch to it as well. I admit at times, I can’t seem to get my head to wrap around all the details because it was just so elaborate and unique but I did love every single one of it nevertheless. I’ve read quite a lot of fantasy and dystopian novels and I really have to applaud Trisha again for painting a very unique world that I haven’t encountered before.
What I loved about this story is the perfect combination of suspense, action, and romance. So we meet Kaliope, our very strong-willed Nactue leader who only had one thing in mind: serve and protect the empress of her queendom. But then the threat of the Otherworlders escalated quickly and just a few days after she was given her position as Nactue, all hell literally broke loose in their land and she was abducted alongside Prince Caben down to the Otherworld. So let’s talk a bit about Prince Caben. I honestly hated his guts just as much as Kaliope did at first because he just seemed so stubborn, sneaky, and way over his head. But with all the things he and Kal went through together, you just know that their bond was already set in place and that their attraction grew with every single day they spent together. If you read Astarte’s Wrath, you’d know that one of the steamiest moments there happened inside a bath and just to give you a small spoiler, Kal and Caben’s first real steamy moment also started while they were submerged in a body of water. I just loved how their relationship progressed even while they were being held as prisoners because more than just being romantic lovers, they were also each other’s best friend, companion, partner-in-crime, and source of sanity. So yes, Prince Caben transformed from being a seemingly hot-headed, cocky, spoiled prince to a swoony, loyal, and strong man in love.
But don’t get me wrong, this book wasn’t really just about the romance–it was more about all the suspense, action, and gut-wrenching twists and turns. I really don’t want to spoil anything about this part because every single moment is worth discovering on your own but I do have to mention one of my most favorite parts–The Reckoning. It was a bit like Hunger Games but set in a cage, between two people and so much more gruesome. I don’t know if I’m just bloodthirsty but I kinda got disappointed that some violent scenes were not described fully in detail. But all the fights did have me at the edge of my seat because you just don’t know what the outcome could be. After that, I got the shock of a lifetime with the revelation as to WHY all these were happening and had to happen in the first place. I really did not see that coming. And of course, more action ensued and before I knew it, I was tearing up uncontrollably as the story ended on a heartbreaking cliffhanger. Yep, that definitely undid me but even though it was kind of tragic and painful, it still held so much promise and hope that I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel!