Rethana Chosardal’s life in hiding is over, and she has no one but herself to blame. A foolish choice leaves her in the power of the same vengeful clerics who slaughtered most of her family when she was but a child. Worse, the soldiers also seize her best friend and her frail little sister.
Allasin, the clerics' leader, recognizes in Rethana the Blessing of comori, magical energy that can manipulate the elements. Rethana has always craved the power her birthright can bring, but Allasin will only teach her if she serves him in intrigues she cannot hope to understand. Yet this cold, cruel adversary gives her glimpses now and then of a warmer soul--of a master she could fall in love with.
Rethana is torn between two men: the hometown protector who loved her as a girl and the conqueror who loves her as a woman. As civil war threatens, Rethana must choose between her power and her past. Knowing that a reckless act has already cost her the life she once loved, this new choice may well tear her fragile heart apart. How much more will she surrender to protect her precious, dying sister?
Rethana's Surrender is the first book in the Legends of the Light-Walkers. Approximately 100,000 words.
About the Author
Courtney Cantrell is the author of epic fantasy series Legends of the Light-Walkers, paranormal fantasy series Demons of Saltmarch, and a variety of short stories.
She was born in Texas and grew up in Germany. At age 12, she penned her first novel, a one-page murder mystery. (The gardener did it.) By age 17, she had finished two full-length sci-fi novels.
After earning her bachelor's degree in English/Writing from Oklahoma Christian University, Courtney worked as a missionary in Germany for six years. She then returned to Oklahoma City to begin writing full-time. As of 2015, she has completed ten novels in multiple genres.
Courtney lives with her husband, their daughter, their cat, and an assortment of cross-cultural doohickeys. She blogs at courtcan.com and connects with readers and fellow writers as @courtcan on Twitter.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A great read! Courtney Cantrell has set the groundwork for an amazing series. You will not want to miss this one nor put it down once you have it in your hands.
This book took a few pages to get into, with the language and accents at the first (I don't like Huckleberry Finn for the same reason). I had to stumble through the first part, but I am glad I did. The Story cleaned up,became really engaging and hard to put down. I have always loved the "budding magic" angle of fantasy and Courtney's take on that was really interesting. I also thought the writing was better and much cleaner than Colors of Deception. I also liked the end, just enough to be satisfied with this book, but ready to read the next. I am looking forward to the next book and beyond, I have always loved the long epics when you can follow a character for several thousand pages. Good job Courtney!
Rethana's Surrender is about Rethana caring for her sister, dealing with interpersonal conflicts between herself, her townsfolk, and the ruling clerics, and learning magic. The good: The book deals with some social issues, particularly the sexist double standards that many women face, in a way that should be more present in more works. The system of magic is well done. It seems to be well thought out and have a fairly subtle effect on the plot and the world rather than just being deus ex magicka. The focus on relationships and emotions lets the reader get immersed into Rethana's confusions and triumphs. Many books have a larger than life protagonist who is able to overcome all obstacles due to their birthright, power, exceptional intellect, skill, or strength. Rethana is very human and subject to human limitations. She has an edge over the average person and is courageously headstrong, but it doesn't feel like she is much stronger than anyone else. It is nice to see a human protagonist. The bad: I often felt left in the dark when reading. Part of this was an awkward passage of time, where it wasn't always clear how much time had passed after a break in the narrative. Part of this was the language. In the first part, it's hard to deal with the speaker's accents. After that, there are a lot of words in the cleric's language sprinkled in, and I get the sense that Rethana knows a lot of the words and, in some cases, the reader was even told what the words meant, but I could never keep track of more than two or three of them. As a result, even though the story was told in the first person, it had much of the awkwardness of a third person narrative where the reader never quite feels immersed into the world. Rethana's emotional state seems more repetitive and less developed. She has internal emotional conflicts regarding romantic relationships, loyalty to her sister, and desire to rebel and go to her family versus desire to learn and stay with the clerics. Each of these conflicts feels about the same at the end of the book as it did towards the beginning even though there are plenty of events and opportunities for emotional development. Rethana is confused and courageous at the beginning and confused and courageous in roughly the same ways at the end. The worldbuilding and action are both light. That is, the focus of the book is on emotional issues to the exclusion of all else. The world seems like it probably has some unique flair, but we only get to learn about a small part of it, so it has a cookie-cutter medieval fantasy feel (religious ruling class, small towns with some larger cities, hereditary elemental magic without much mechanical explanation, some wandering nomads and witches). And there are only about four different parts of the story, two of which have any action in them. Overall, I feel like there's a lot there and that there will be some interesting relationships and events in the second book, but the first book doesn't develop much to a satisfying conclusion.(less)