A boychild swathed in green, a distinct tree-shaped birthmark on his wrist. A girlchild enveloped in red, marked with the three lines of the desert winds. A boy bundled in white, the koi mark on his wrist as defined as his shock of red hair. And a boychild wrapped in black, a raven his mark to serve his fate.
~ ~ ~
Twenty-five years ago, the hand of fate marked four newborns and sent them to the four corners of the Great Kingdoms. They were schooled and trained as rulers of their lands in preparation for the Golden Eclipse ceremony: a festival to celebrate a thousand years of peace and prosperity since the Great War.
Crow, ruler of Northlands, a skilled swordsman and expert tactician, is as reclusive and stoic as the mountains that surround him.
Tancho has spent his life in strict discipline, governing the Westlands with a fair mind and gentle hand. Quiet and unassuming, yet lethal in combat, he is the embodiment of the waters he lives by.
Yet the same hand of fate unknowingly linked Tancho to Crow in ways they cannot comprehend. Ruled by the stars, the brother sun and the two sister moons above them, and marked by an alchemical sorcery as old as time, their destinies were never their own.
As the eclipse draws near and the festival begins, word comes of another threat. Invaders from unknown lands bring a war no one was prepared for, and Crow and Tancho must decide on which side of the battle line they stand.
In life or death, their destinies will see them joined either way.
This was interesting but not my favorite from the author by a long shot.
It reminded me a little of her series Cronin’s key only it wrapped things up (thankfully) in one story. It is VERY involved and there are a lot of moving pieces.
I loved the world building and by the end I appreciated the romance, but there were times in the middle I had to take a break.
There is a definite focus on the fantasy and less on the romance. That’s kinda how I felt with Cronin, too.
In the end it was a good story – NR doesn’t write bad stories – but not my fav.
(I loved the tatoo bits though )
4 of 5 stars