A mysterious curse puts unusual limitations on the cast of Sinclair's slow-moving but intriguing paranormal romance, the first of a trilogy. The blind Darkborn of Minhorne can't survive in the light, while the Lightborn will perish without it. The peaceful lives of Dr. Balthasar Hearne and Lady Telmaine Hearne, magically gifted Darkborn, are disrupted when Tercelle Amberley, once betrothed to Bal's long-missing brother and now engaged to duke-to-be Ferdenzil Mycene, shows up to ask Bal's help in delivering her illegitimate-and Lightborn-fathered-twin boys. She promptly deserts the infants, and an assassin seeking them takes the Hearnes' daughter hostage as further complications ensue. Sinclair (Cavalcade) raises too many unanswered questions, mostly regarding the origins of the curse and the characters' Regency-style manners, but the political intrigue is mostly enough to sustain readers' interest. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
As the bell tolls sunrise, Tercelle Amberley arrives at the doorstep of Balthasar Hearne. Unable to turn away a fellow Darkborn who would burn to ash instantly with sunlight, Bal invites her in. Tercelle confides that she is with child, although not from her betrothed but from a lover who came to her in the daylight. That night she gives birth to twins who Bal discovers are sighted like Lightborns. Tercelle tries to conceal her indiscretion by drugging Bal and murdering the infants. Bal stops Tercelle and sends for his sister, a mage, to take the twins to safety. Tercelle escapes, and Bal is beaten near death. Bal's daughter is kidnapped by the attackers and held as ransom for the infants. With the help of Ishmael, a shadowhunter, Bal's wife Telmaine searches for their daughter. Ishmael discovers that high born Telmaine is an untrained mage fixated on concealing her power from her husband and the rest of high society. Full of magic, mystery and adventure, this novel is the first of a proposed trilogy surrounding the world of Darkborns and Lightborns. Darkborns are a blind race that relies on sonn to "see" their darkened surroundings, whereas darkness is fatal to the sighted Lightborns. The setting has a historical feel, with depictions of scandal and intrigue among the aristocracy and the "uncivilized" mages. It takes careful reading and patience to fully understand the world of the Darkborn and what it means to sonn. Voracious readers who can get past the complex plot and challenging vocabulary will enjoy this fantasy. Reviewer: Sarah Cofer
A divided people occupy the city of Minhorne-the Lightborn, to whom darkness is fatal, and the Darkborn, who burst into flames if touched by sunlight. When a Darkborn physician helps a desperate pregnant woman, he becomes embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens the safety of the city and the delicate balance between its inhabitants. Sf author Sinclair (Legacies) turns her hand to fantasy in a series opener that sparkles with fresh insight into the lines that divide society; the strong, enduring characters draw their appeal from their weaknesses as well as their strengths. Highly recommended.
"Swift action, broad conspiracies, and monumental life-and-death stakes...grand adventure."
"A wonderful read, with an intriguing setting populated by appealing and memorable characters."