The Betrayal (Book One)
Fantasy with a nice splash of romance
This book happened to catch my eye the other day with the cover and the book blurb. I'm always on the look out for fantasy with some romance in it and this one has it. This turned out to be one of those buys I'm glad I found.
With hints of a looming invasion from a clan that was once part of the Aelven and long ago ousted for their vampiric ways, their leader, Shalar is determined to provide survival for her clan with whatever means she can provide. Feeling unjustly persecuted and aiming for revenge, the leader of Clan Darkshore plans an overtaking of the Aelven land her clan once governed.
Eliani is nextkin of her father to govern one of the Aelven lands known as Alpinon. She meets the son of another governor from another Aelven land when he travels to honor and witness the ceremony that marks Eliani as nextkin. Learning that she and Turisan have a very special, very rare ability called mindspeech, Eliani is afraid that if she should give in and allow herself to speak with Turisan that she will lose herself, opening herself up to heartache that would far surpass what she has already experienced. Now with the fear of an attack from the Aelvens enemy, the kobalen (an inferior race of beings), and quite possibly the beginning of a new war, Eliani is faced with a decision she is reluctant to make. But if she doesn't choose to mindspeak with Turisan, and accept this ability they now share, she could be making a most grievous error. With the land and its people in turmoil, Eliani and Turisan have the ability to sway things in the favor of the Aelven people.
What an awesome new world to get lost in. Pati Nagle really has a wonderful, vivid, and extremely imaginitve creation in The Bertayal and the world of the Aelven. A very well fleshed out story with fantastic world-building. Never that I can recall have I read a book where I felt a strong compassion for the antagonists like I did in this book. Shalar and her people are not evil bent only on destruction and revenge, and I am very intrigued to see how the story further unfolds in future books. The end of the book is in no way the end of the series. Several things were left open, leading you into book two that will hopefully release this time next year.
The romance was not a strong one, meaning it was not what drove the plot forward, but it was a fine romance. It was enough that kept me in tune to see how the plot would unfold as well as the relationship between Eliani and Turisan. The Betrayal had a very nice, slow building romance that added to the overall plot.
Pati Nagle has an awesome website dedicated to her realms of the Aelven. Defintiely something to peek at while reading the book--www.aelven.com.