The King was dead.
His body was found slain in his room, only months after his son had been brutally murdered. Skylar Mandolyn, his daughter, has now become the last heir to inherit the throne. But instead of becoming Queen, she has been imprisoned for helping in the escape of Sir Harlin Brien, her knight who was framed for the King’s murder.
Confined to darkness, Skylar's captors have given her no choice but to yield to a new kind of enemy: a kingdom that has advanced in both technology and warfare. It's when she refuses that the prison uses its other means of persuasion, and although unmerciful, the whip lashings and isolation can't suppress the memories of her family's downfall. Pulled between her subconscious and reality, Skylar already knows who the true enemy is, because even the darkness can't hide the deceptive hands that have destroyed them all.
With two kingdoms on the brink of war, Skylar's only hope is in the person who has gone missing — Harlin, the knight who was sworn to protect her. The memory of him surrounds her when the darkness screams louder than the prisoners, and when Death smiles a faceless grin in between the cracks of the stone. While the tremors start to rise from the deep, crawling up through the prison's walls, Skylar doesn't realize that she will soon see why he's one of the Benighted.
The mystery was never how Harlin escaped. It's how he'll return. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review courtesy of Authoramp.
This was a book that was fascinating in the form of its story-telling. Each section of story is a flashback while Skylar is in prison. This meant the story was slowly unveiled in sections and occasionally the reader is not sure what order things happened. I liked it, however towards the end of the read I was looking forward to it being in “real time” again. As such, I wouldn’t want to read a sequel in the same format.
Skylar is gritty and certainly is no helpless damsel though she is in distress. I liked that she’s willing to fight back and how she earned the strength she has. The balance between Harlin and Skylar is nicely done and I appreciated how their relationship developed over time. Dunnewin does a very good job with the slow reveal, but always letting you know just enough to keep you interested in the next chapter; I’d certainly recommend this one!
Warning: Contains repeated violence.
Rating: 4 stars!
Who should read it? Fantasy fans looking for something with a refreshing story-telling format.
Want to read the whole series? TBD