The Shadow Curse is the first book in the Thraesian Saga by Kala Merseal. I was lucky enough to receive a copy for review.
For decades, a curse has plagued the great lands of Altana. Beasts of shadows, dust, and blood swallow up every kingdom until even Therilea falls one fateful night when the full moon lights up the carnage for the gods to behold.
With her father’s foresight, Therilea’s crown princess Ara Zypherus escapes with the king’s most trusted commander, Raethin Corvus. Even as they hastily avoid death, their escape leads them to the Rakevan Forest, a blessed, labyrinthine woods with a mind of its own.
As Ara discovers the dying world outside of her kingdom, she must reconcile with loss, destiny, and the truth of the hidden mysteries of her gods.
Ara must decide: will she accept her destiny that the gods gave her, or will she deny the gods their games and forge her own fate?
This is an amazing fast paced story with a female protagonist Ara, who is the heir to the Thraesian throne, is now trying ti survive against the Kaevari with the help of Raethin and other soldiers who escaped with Ara.
I absolutely loved how Ara grew throughout the story and the change to her relationship with Raethin, especially how they start to react to each other. Not only did Ara grow in her confidence with being a leader for the group of escapees, with the help of the Druids, she begins to master her magick.
Aeskrius is a great antagonist and I’m looking forward to learning more about his background as we one receive little slivers of information about him throughout the book.
Raethin and Ara are the best pairing within the book as you can see the growth of their relationship. They begin on rocky ground as they don’t really like each other but over the course of their journey and through challenges they go through, they begin to appreciate each other and come to care for each others well being. Their relationship isn’t the only one to develop as they journey to survive as their friends, Nyphelia and Arlow become closer and their relationship deepens.
I truely enjoyed this book and definitely be reading it again soon. I’m looking forward to the second book in the saga.