Amber Eyes

Amber Eyes

by S. D. Grimm

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Overview

Amber Eyes by S. D. Grimm

Destiny can be cruel 
 
Darkness retreated from the light of the scarlet moon, but has since grown even stronger. The Mistress of Shadows has found a new pawn—one that may be the key to unlocking the door to her underground prison. Now evil threatens to escape its shackles and destroy the land. 

In the aftermath of loss and betrayal, Jayden’s fight with the enemy still isn’t over. But while she isn’t sure she can stop the Mistress alone, leaving her friends might be the only way to keep them from being consumed by the darkness.  

With lives hanging in the balance—and no time for error—can Jayden make the right choice? 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683700753
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Publication date: 01/09/2018
Series: Children of the Blood Moon , #2
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 464
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 13 Years

About the Author

S. D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction. That's to be expected from someone who looks up to heroes like Captain America and Wonder Woman, has been sorted into Gryffindor, and isn't much taller than a hobbit. Her patronus is a Red Voltron Lion, her spirit animal is Toothless, and her lightsaber is blue. She has been known to write anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large dog. She has been caught brandishing a wooden spoon in the kitchen while simultaneously cooking dinner and “head-writing” a fight scene. 

She believes that with a little faith, a lot of love, and an untamed imagination, every adventure is possible. That's why she writes. Her debut novel was Scarlet Moon, the first book in the Children of the Blood Moon series. Learn more about her books at www.sdgrimm.com. 

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

THE ENEMY'S SHADOW

Logan stood on the top of a wooded hill facing the direction of the palace, the wolves with him. He'd come here again because of the pull in his chest, like a string attached to something but always out of reach, or a dream he was supposed to remember hours after waking. It had to be telling him where to find the remaining three Deliverers. Specifically his son?

The unreachable tug urged him to stay near the palace. For two days he had. But it made him jumpy. Danger still lurked there. He felt it in the air. Smelled it in the wind. Sword oil and chainmail filtered through the scent of spruce and moss. And the smell of horse grew stronger tonight.

Jayden may have killed Idla, but a bigger threat seemed to pulse below the surface.

Westwind nosed the air as a breeze filtered through the pines.

"What do you smell, friend?" Logan asked.

"Horse and rider mixes with deer and rabbit. And the scent of fear stains the soil here. Something isn't right."

"Perhaps they're looking for my son." Logan's heart jolted at the thought of it.

Westwind didn't say anything in return, but Aurora's voice entered his thoughts. "If your son is still in these woods, he's nowhere near here." She sounded sad and comforting. So similar to Rebekah. The wolf retained Rebekah's normal speech inflections even though the two of them were no longer bonded. It was both a comfort and a curse — hearing his wife's voice daily, having a piece of what used to be her heart now bonded to him.

The memories stung more since he'd seen Rebekah at the palace. She hadn't sounded like the Rebekah he'd known and loved. Her eyes held none of the warmth they used to.

She'd become a cold and heartless killer. A pawn of the palace.

And he still loved her.

He closed his eyes and breathed in, banishing thoughts of her — feelings toward her — to the deepest corner of his heart. He would find a way to get his son from her grasp. But how much would being raised by Rebekah have poisoned his son's heart toward the Feravolk?

Westwind turned to him, his eyes gleaming as traces of the approaching dawn reflected off of them. "I understand your desire to stay, but I think it's time we fled. Unless you want to risk meeting this danger head on."

"It's my duty to protect the Deliverers. That includes my son."

"Yes." Westwind cocked his head. "It also includes Jayden. Keeping her close to the palace is like planting her in a black lion's lair. Come back for your son when you are ready with an army. Don't risk the Deliverer you have."

"You think I should abandon him and find the other two?"

A hint of sorrow filtered across the bond along with Westwind's quiet pause. "I don't think abandon is the right word. But you typically make decisions with your instinct. I think your heart has been taking over."

Sunlight pierced the darkness, making it easier for anyone who could be tracking them to see, despite the camouflaged cloaks they wore. Logan bowed his head. The wolves were right. He should leave.

"Aurora and I are going to check the perimeter again, then we'll look in on Jayden. Perhaps you'll let Gavin talk some sense into you." Westwind's eyes gleamed greenish gold in the moonlight as he turned to leave.

Logan glanced right as someone approached him with soft footfalls. It was only his friend Gavin.

His boots padded against the soil as he drew closer to Logan. "Melanie says Callie found the scent of one set of tracks on top of our trail. Someone is following us."

Melanie's mountain lion would know. As much as he wanted it to be his son, Logan couldn't rule out the possibility that they had been found. "A scout? This area carries the faint scent of horses and chainmail."

Gavin didn't speak right away, but when he did, his voice remained quiet. "This evening, Glider saw a group of horses and riders to the east. I had him follow them, and they've bedded down for the night. If they're working with a scout, it's not the same one on our trail."

"Thankfully, Gavin's eagle would tell them if those riders found their trail. So we're still in the clear for now."

"For now." Gavin leaned his shoulder against a tree and glanced at Logan.

Logan bowed his head under the weight of that look. "I've kept us here too long."

Gavin grasped Logan's shoulder. "We'll find your kid. We'll find all the Deliverers and help them save Soleden. Our people. Your burden is mine, friend."

Save Soleden. Hadn't they done that when Jayden defeated Idla? Deep in his heart, Logan knew of the danger Gavin referred to. "Do you think the Mistress is escaping?"

Gavin took his time breathing in. "All the signs point to it. Evil creatures, like those black lions you met, are her creations, banished into the prison with her. If they've found a way out, she won't be far behind. In the end, Queen Idla was just a pawn of the Mistress of Shadows." He tipped his chin up to the full moon. "Besides, isn't it starting to look red to you?"

A slight hint of red, like blood, spread over the moon's glowing surface. "I was hoping it was my imagination."

"But you knew it wasn't. Otherwise you wouldn't be out here trying to herd the Deliverers."

Logan closed his eyes. Gavin was right. It was time to leave before it was too late.

"Logan." Westwind's thoughts punctured his mind. "Someone has spotted you. The intruder is fleeing. Aurora and I are on her tail, but Jayden and Ryan are following us."

Logan's stomach tightened and so did his fists. "Which direction is the intruder headed?"

"East."

The direction of the palace.

CHAPTER 2

WHITE LION

Everything was black as pitch except the white lion. It paced in front of Ryan. Yellow-moon eyes bored into him. Blood seemed to splash across the creature's coat as it moved, as if it carried the liquid inside like a goblet of red wine.

The lion lunged. Paws smacked into Ryan's shoulders and pushed. His back slammed into the ground. Claws dug into the scars above his birthmark. Scars the black lion had made with pearl-white claws when it attacked him in the palace. All he could think about was the fire in his veins that the black lion venom had pulsed into him. And he shook.

The white lion stopped. Licked a blood-red paw and stained its tongue crimson.

Ryan stared into the creature's uncaring eyes. "Get out of my head."

"You're the one keeping me here."

"I'm pretty sure I'm asking you to move out."

The claws pressed harder, and this time it crouched on top of him. Pressing. Purring. Tail thrashing. He needed air.

"As long as your heart is dark, as long as my taint lives within you, I'll remain."

"Taint. Again with that word." He couldn't help but recall what Anna, the Whisperer, had told him about her friend who had been tainted with black lion venom. A friend Anna was told to kill.

Ryan swallowed.

The claws kneaded. Pricked.

He swung a fist at its face and scraped at its eyes.

The lion growled. "That was a mistake."

Fire shot through his blood. Scorched his insides. He screamed.

"Ryan."

This voice wasn't the lion's. It was hazy. Distant.

"Ryan?"

He sucked in a breath and opened his eyes. Hands pressed against his chest, but this time the weight was light enough for him to breathe. He slammed his arm into the body and knocked his attacker off of him. Quick to his knees, he crouched over the attacker, hands ready to strike.

"Ryan, it's me!" Jayden stared at him, eyes wild and round.

He moved away. "Jayden? I'm — I'm sorry." All the emotions pricked into his skin like his blood was suddenly trying to cool, trying to bring him back to reality. The dark of night still shrouded their camp. Empty trees towered above, lean in the moonlight. His sisters lay sleeping beside a snuffed fire.

No lion. No blood. No claws. Only Jayden, and she shrank away from him.

She rubbed her wrists.

"Did I hurt you?" He reached for her and she pulled back. "I'm sorry." He winced at his words. Couldn't he say anything else?

"It's okay." She stared at him like a spooked horse.

"It's not okay."

"Are you going to tell me what's bothering you?"

"I didn't mean to hurt you."

She sighed and touched his arm, soft and tender. "Do you want to tell me about it?"

Not really. He bit the inside of his lip and tried to think of anything that wouldn't make him sound crazy. Nothing came to mind.

She squeezed his hand. "It might help you to talk about what happened in the palace."

"A black lion attacked me." His words sounded flat.

"I know."

And he'd killed it. With fire from his hands.

After that, the fever dreams from his first encounter with black lion venom had grown stronger. Voices and hallucinations. He hoped it had nothing to do with the fact that a taint pulsed in his heart — taint left there by black lion venom. It all made for pretty poor conversation and even lousier joke fodder. If he could at least crack a joke — make her smile — perhaps she'd think things were heading back toward normalcy.

Oh no. She stared at him with the pity eyes. Not the pity eyes. "Blood was pouring out of your chest, Ryan. I didn't know they could do that."

He flashed a smirk. "Cats with hidden talents."

"Ryan, please. I think this is serious." Her eyes pleaded with him. She wanted to know what happened. She wanted to know how he was doing because of ... Ethan. His throat tightened and his heart ached. He'd left his brother to die. Alone. And now she was here with him — the brother she hadn't fallen for.

What was he supposed to say? That he hated himself for being a coward? That he would cry himself to sleep if his father hadn't told him crying made him look weak? Admitting all of that out loud wasn't an option. He'd already told her it was his fault for dragging Ethan into this mess, and she looked so appalled that he — well, he should have taken Ethan's place.

He sighed and shook his head.

"All right." She stood to leave. "If you don't want my help, fine, but talk to someone. Please?"

He opened his mouth. The words "I want to tell you" were so close to coming out, but he stopped them. Because he didn't want to tell her that evil had fused to a part of his heart. He had to figure out how to solve this on his own. Before he went crazy. Well, crazier.

Before Logan decided to kill him.

* * *

Jayden stared at Ryan and opened her talent. His feelings typically flooded into her, but since they'd escaped the palace, his emotions seemed distant. Had she lost his trust?

She held his gaze and probed with her talent. Eye contact was a doorway into someone's emotions. Some were harder to open, but Ryan's usually tumbled into her as if they were her own. Blood thundered in her ears as her heartbeat sped to match his. Sorrow caused her chest to ache. Uncertainty squeezed her stomach. Yet he sat there with a lopsided smile.

Why wouldn't he tell her what was troubling him?

His eyes narrowed and his feelings siphoned out. The imaginary door slammed shut. He averted his gaze and lay back against his bedroll, staring up at the canopy of trees, hands behind his head as if he were carefree.

When did he learn to close me off like that?

She sighed and headed the few steps to her own bedroll, which lay on the other side of a cluster of blankets occupied by a tangle of three red-headed girls and a dog. How Ryan's sisters had slept through his screaming amazed her. Then again, Jayden hadn't been sleeping well either.

She smiled at Scout's furry body curled up among the girls, his fur almost the same shade as their hair. Wren, the youngest, held the dog close as she slept, and Scout twitched his paws in what Jayden hoped was a happy dream. He hadn't been his usual tail-wagging self since Ethan was gone. The dog's movement seemed to cause the middle sister, Kinsey, to wake. She sat up as soon as she saw Jayden, carefully removed herself from between Chloe and Wren, and scooted to the edge of the blankets. "How's my brother?"

Jayden bit her lip. "He seems fine."

Kinsey patted a vacant part of the blanket beside her and smiled. Something in her eyes resembled a look her mother might've used. Then again, Kinsey had a lot of wisdom for a fourteen-year-old girl. "Lying to me? Not a good idea."

Jayden joined her. "He won't talk to me."

"My brother is stubborn, but you can get through to him."

Only if he let her in.

Kinsey hugged her knees and dusted a dry leaf off the edge of her blanket. "I know you loved Ethan, but you love Ryan too, don't you?"

Jayden's breath caught. Did Ryan's sisters still think of Jayden as his betrothed? Did he? An ache settled in her chest. She'd always love Ryan. He brought a piece of home back to her. He was family. But after she'd met Ethan, she realized there was a different kind of love to be had.

Ryan was like a fire — wild and warm, comfortable in a forge, perfect in a hearth, but never quite tame. Ethan was the wind before a storm. He moved her. Made her feel his power and strength. Pushed her to see things she never would have looked for.

Fire was easy to be near, but difficult to get truly close to, whereas wind ... consumed her. Tangled her hair. She could feel its touch on her face for hours after it dissipated.

Now Ethan was gone.

Kinsey sniffed, bringing Jayden's attention back to the conversation. "Our father told Ryan to go and protect you that night the Feravolk razed the town. I kept wondering why. You had four brothers. Why would my father send our only brother to protect you when the whole town was under attack?" She looked into Jayden's eyes. "Father knew you were a Deliverer. Didn't he?"

Jayden stared with her mouth open. "I don't know."

"I wondered if maybe our family moved to Tareal because he was supposed to protect you. He was always so jumpy about things. It makes sense. You and the other Deliverers were born to save the Feravolk from extinction. Ryan knows this. He'll protect you whether you love him or not."

"But I do love him. I —"

"I know." Her smile was rueful. "And it's okay."

A soft sound caught Jayden's attention, and she turned to see two wolves approaching. Westwind, the taller of the two, led his mate — Aurora — over to where Jayden sat with Kinsey. He eyed her and cocked his head.

She smiled at his greeting and extended her hand. He brushed against it, turned in a circle, and pressed his warm body against her leg. She fondled his ear. "Must be my watch. Tell Logan I'm already awake."

His golden eyes seemed to soften in the moonlight, and he opened his mouth in what looked like a smile.

"I see you're a step ahead of me."

"How do you know what he's saying?" Kinsey seemed to want to lean closer to and yet back away from the wolves at the same time.

Jayden shrugged. Westwind was quite capable of making his thoughts known to anyone willing to listen. She glanced at him. "It's a full moon tonight."

He tilted his head, and his eyes seemed to squint as he stared at her.

Jayden chuckled. "Should we howl or something?"

His body shook against her leg as he laughed.

Kinsey seemed to like this, and she leaned closer.

As soundlessly as he'd laughed, Westwind rose. His ears swiveled. His body stiffened. Aurora stood, too. Both wolves dipped their heads low and growls rumbled in their throats.

Jayden grabbed her daggers and stood. "Intruder?"

Westwind's eyes flickered in the moonlight as he nodded. Their combined growls brought Scout to his feet.

Ryan also jumped up. "Does Logan need help?"

Westwind and Aurora tore off into the woods, Scout chasing after them. Ryan glanced at Jayden before he followed.

Kinsey touched Jayden's arm. "You're not —"

"I'm not letting Ryan go alone."

CHAPTER 3

AN URGENT MESSAGE

Jayden pressed her back against the tree's mossy bark and quieted her breathing. Dawn's first sliver of light peered over the horizon, making it easier to track the intruder and follow the wolves. This intruder's stealth made her difficult to get close to. The wolves had been able to track her, and Jayden and Ryan had been able to follow Logan and Gavin. Finally, they were close enough to surround and catch her.

Jayden risked a glance around the tree. Had the woman seen her? A Feravolk cloak hid the woman's face, but the wolves seemed to think she was a threat, and that was enough for Jayden.

She pulled out her dagger. Felt its weight in her hand. Let its power to calm her emotions fill her. At this distance she'd have to back up a pace to get the shot she wanted or wait until the woman moved to the right spot. Just a step or two farther.

One step.

Her heart thundered. Not yet.

Calm.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Amber Eyes"
by .
Copyright © 2018 S.D. Grimm.
Excerpted by permission of Gilead Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Amber Eyes 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Mrs_Worthington More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness, it took so much self-control to put it down last night so I could sleep. It was so. good. When there’s solid characters with their own secrets and motives and goals, and they get thrown into a blender of trauma and difficulty, it’s bound to be a riveting story. Amber Eyes is exactly that. It picks up really soon after Scarlet Moon, and just takes off from there. The threads of romance weave with battle and loss in a masterful tapestry of tension. Just thinking about it gives me chills. If you haven’t read Scarlet Moon yet, you need to. And if you have read Scarlet Moon, but haven’t read Amber Eyes, you need to grab your copy of it. (and plan to order pizza for dinner, because who has time to make dinner when Ethan is in the book? Really, now.)
NKBookReviewer More than 1 year ago
In "Amber Eyes" author S.D. Grimm has written a 460 page sequel to "Scarlet Moon" in her "Children of the Blood Moon" thrilling series. Book three, "Black Blood" is expected out in January 2019 and I am eagerly awaiting it. These books are categorized as YA (young adult) fantasy fiction. There is no age limit on the entertainment and enjoyment readers receive from this series. Both young and older adults will immediately be drawn into the creative adventures author Grimm creates. The first book was a wonderful find for me. This one was even better. The author is so gifted that I found myself in the middle of another time and place. My emotions were raw. I was elated and saddened, joyful and frightened, and a multitude of emotions in between. What the well described characters felt, I did, too. I was in the story. It takes a great writer to accomplish that. In Book One, "Scarlet Moon", the theme seemed to be love. Love for each other, the land and animals. Relationship love. It opened the day before Jayden was to be married. This book concentrates on choices, decisions and consequences. Doing things that make a difference no matter what happens is hard. Characters have difficult choices to make. Ethan needs to release his revenge and use his gift as it is meant, but t what result? Serena must decide whether to heal people or obey the council. One choice will keep her safe but one will not. The Healers also have a choice to make: if they, too, will all aid the Deliverers or continue to conceal themselves. There is a lot going on with Jayden. It is time for her to accept her place as Deliverer, and not just a camp follower anymore. Thea is a very interesting and confusing character. Gifts play a big part in this book, too. All in all this fantasy world is in chaos, needs a Deliverer to help, and there are more to people than meets the eye. Expect a page turning, twist and turn, action adventure book that you will not want to put down. Romance and relationships are mixed in with the mystery and intrigue. Animal lovers will be thrilled with the interactive parts and gifts written in this wonderful book. I wanted to devour it but at the same time did not want it to end. It definitely gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me. I would recommend it to teens and up. Younger readers would not understand some of the relationship material or might be frightened. There is an abundance of killing in this. While it is a Christian book, it leans more Old Testament with the violence. It is an emotional roller coaster of a read. This would be a fun book club read. I definitely wanted to talk about it with someone who experienced it, too.
NKBookReviewer More than 1 year ago
In "Amber Eyes" author S.D. Grimm has written a 460 page sequel to "Scarlet Moon" in her "Children of the Blood Moon" thrilling series. Book three, "Black Blood" is expected out in January 2019 and I am eagerly awaiting it. These books are categorized as YA (young adult) fantasy fiction. There is no age limit on the entertainment and enjoyment readers receive from this series. Both young and older adults will immediately be drawn into the creative adventures author Grimm creates. The first book was a wonderful find for me. This one was even better. The author is so gifted that I found myself in the middle of another time and place. My emotions were raw. I was elated and saddened, joyful and frightened, and a multitude of emotions in between. What the well described characters felt, I did, too. I was in the story. It takes a great writer to accomplish that. In Book One, "Scarlet Moon", the theme seemed to be love. Love for each other, the land and animals. Relationship love. It opened the day before Jayden was to be married. This book concentrates on choices, decisions and consequences. Doing things that make a difference no matter what happens is hard. Characters have difficult choices to make. Ethan needs to release his revenge and use his gift as it is meant, but t what result? Serena must decide whether to heal people or obey the council. One choice will keep her safe but one will not. The Healers also have a choice to make: if they, too, will all aid the Deliverers or continue to conceal themselves. There is a lot going on with Jayden. It is time for her to accept her place as Deliverer, and not just a camp follower anymore. Thea is a very interesting and confusing character. Gifts play a big part in this book, too. All in all this fantasy world is in chaos, needs a Deliverer to help, and there are more to people than meets the eye. Expect a page turning, twist and turn, action adventure book that you will not want to put down. Romance and relationships are mixed in with the mystery and intrigue. Animal lovers will be thrilled with the interactive parts and gifts written in this wonderful book. I wanted to devour it but at the same time did not want it to end. It definitely gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me. I would recommend it to teens and up. Younger readers would not understand some of the relationship material or might be frightened. There is an abundance of killing in this. While it is a Christian book, it leans more Old Testament with the violence. It is an emotional roller coaster of a read. This would be a fun book club read. I definitely wanted to talk about it with someone who experienced it, too.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
This sequel is a winner! Amber Eyes Children of the Blood Moon #2 By S.D. Grimm The time for the Children of the Blood Moon has come. The Mistress of Darkness is readying her forces for her escape. The Deliverers are the one obstacle to her escape but also the key to it. And she is having them hunted. Logan, Jayden, Ryan, and Ethan follow their path of destiny one that will hopefully reveal the remaining Deliverers and their hidden locations. But each small victory comes with a price and some are more costly than others. Jayden and Ethan are struggling to control their new found talents - talents they fear will control them if they aren't careful. But their talents are what they need to fulfill their roles. Ilda may be dead, defeated by Jayden but her son Franco is more than willing to take her place. And if possible he is even eviler than his mother. But there are forces moving against him that he is unaware of - forces that have agendas of their own. New characters come into play some pawns in this increasingly dangerous world while others drift through, their loyalties unknown. First, there is Quinn, a young woman who has been taken for reasons unknown to her. Her captors are convinced she is hiding a secret power, one that the Mistress needs in her path to freedom. And then there is Serena a healer who doesn't follow the rules handed down by the Circle. And her healing powers are beyond the norm. Twins Madison and Morgan are about to take their own unique places in this fight and it will not be what they are expecting. The black island of Castlerock, a sick place that a monster calls home seems to be the destination that could change the world that they know. But are they prepared for the battle that is coming? Amber Eyes is a fantastic sequel to the Scarlet Moon. The characters are growing into their new roles though not without a few bumps, bruises, and heartaches along the way. And the assassin sister pair of Thea and Kara is an interesting and unknown factor in this all. A sorceress will come with power to destroy all the Creator has built. She’ ll break the land and the people’s hearts and bring death to those who’ d oppose her. But hope will be found when the Deliverers rise through flame, through ash, and heal the heart of the land. Through blazing fire and torrent of rain, the Forest shall fall and rise again. Those who will deliver the land will summon the Creator’s power. They will work as one, each having different talents: the heart of one, soul of another, the mind of one, and strength of her brother. The prophecy that this story is based upon is just as intriguing as the one from Lord of the Rings regarding the One Ring and from what I've read so far the villains are on a similar level of vile evilness. As the story reaches its climax the reader will be completely caught up in this book. And just to prepare the reader there is more to come in the future! Which when a book is as good as this one was one is delighted to hear. Fans of Speculative Fiction will be delighted in the many varied facets of this book. It is geared to a YA and adult audience who loves fantasy. I highly recommend this book but it is of utmost importance to read Scarlet Moon first or else you will be lost. And if you smell lavender beware for the Black Lions are about...
Laura_Pol More than 1 year ago
Unbelievable. That is the word I would use to describe this book. Not because the writing was bad, but OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! Like how many times is my heart going to speed up only to slow down and then accelerate again!? Do you know how many times I thought someone was about to die? Numerous. And I mean NUMEROUS. Like I have no idea how I handled this book because man, just when I thought things would be all gravy for a while, things went downhill right quick. Like who is going to even survive when all this stuff is done!? (I promise I'm breathing while writing this review and not hyperventilating of everything I just went through.) Seriously though. The author took me on another crazy adventure I didn't see coming. I was pretty upset in the beginning about how things sort of developed for one of my favorite characters and didn't expect to love this one. *hides shamefully* However, do you know what happened? The author changed my mind on a certain friendship/relationship halfway through! Like I actually had peace and was okay about the development that happened. I did NOT see that coming or even expected it! I repeat, I did NOT see that coming! Like his story is a gut wrencher, but man, good things are in store for that boy! He really is The Knight. *winks* So, I'm unsure if my thoughts make much sense here, but this story was very surprising in how I came into it and how it ended. Plus, I might have squealed a little over certain bonding of animals and characters. So. Totally. Cool. (I need to ask the author when I can bond with an animal like that!) I recommend the series, though be forewarned that you will be on an up-and-down adventure, begging for a break, only to *choose* (and I mean literally choose) to willingly go back into the story. *I have provided an honest review after having received an ARC from the author. All thoughts expressed are my own and was not required to write a positive review.*