(Dulcea’s Rebellion #1)
By Laura Maybrooke
Some things never die. Hope. Heroes. Defiance.
Things take a strange turn for Dulcea, the elven enchantress turned war heroine and Dragonmistress, when a countryman's betrayal lands her in enemy hands.
As she awaits her execution, a stranger with mysterious powers offers her another chance at life. Will she die here or risk what sinister fate he has in store for her?
Can Dulcea reclaim her rightful place and lead her army once more? Or does Krath, the man who travels the Realm of the Dead as one of its own, prove to be the obstacle that fells her rebellion?
… Or will this immortal vampire warrior turn out to be the best chance she has of defying the ancient evil arising in the west?
“Would you like to take your chances with me... or with them?”
Considering Neros, the high priest, wants to sacrifice Dulcea “Lightbringer” Silanquel to Asherac so that she may serve until the end of time as the Dark God’s handmaiden, there did not seem to be that much of a choice. But Dulcea knows nothing about her would-be rescuer. She can only hope that he is the lesser of two evils.
Krath, Lord of Gwyndoorn, has walked this earth for over a thousand years. He has seen kingdoms rise and fall. He has seen loved ones murdered. He has seen too many battlefields — too many wars. He has seen far too much. However, there is something about Dulcea that awakens his curiosity. Dulcea is fighting a war that Krath knows she cannot win. The evil that is rising in the west cannot be vanquished. And yet, Dulcea’s courage and determination draw Krath inexplicably towards her.
Dulcea knows she should fear Krath. He could take her life in an instant, or worse, turn her into a willing slave with his mind-control tricks, but he does neither, and Dulcea does not know what to make of him. Krath’s unfailing honestly with her also makes it incredibly difficult for Dulcea not to like him. Kraft is turning everything she thought she knew of his kind on its head. However, with a traitor in her ranks, Dulcea must keep her friends close, and her enemies closer. Only time will tell which one of those Krath is...
From a terrifying abduction to the discovery of the true identity of the Black Dragonlord, Immortal Defiance (Dulcea’s Rebellion #1) by Laura Maybrooke is a book that is both masterful and enchanting. This is what historical fantasy is all about.
Maybrooke has laid a solid foundation for what promises to be the next great epic historical fantasy series. With elves, dragons, humans, and let’s not forget a dashingly handsome vampire, Immortal Defiance is a fantastic romp through a fantasy world torn asunder by war. This book had all the feels, from the wonderfully depicted magical world to the charismatic protagonists and the evil antagonists.
With a rich narrative, which reminded me of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and an almost lyrical quality to the prose, Immortal Defiance has a lot to recommend it. Here is a book that is filled to overflowing with imagination and it has an energy that threatens to mesmerise. This was an enthralling tale that grabbed me from the first sentence and did not let go until that final full stop. It is an irresistible book, so irresistible that I could not put it down. In fact, I read it in one sitting.
There are a lot of flashbacks in this book, which I found endlessly fascinating. They did not interfere with the story in any way, but instead, they enhanced it, giving readers a little more insight into what had happened. It was a bold choice by Maybrooke to do this, as sometimes a lot of flashbacks get in the way of the actual story the author is trying to tell, but in this case, I think Maybrooke pulled it off rather spectacularly. Kudos, Ms Maybrooke.
I adored the characterisation of Dulcea. Dulcea is an elven enchantress, Dragonmistress, and leader of elves. She is determined to bring her people freedom no matter what the cost. But she is also young and idealistic. Dulcea is a strong heroine who knows what she wants and is determined to find a way to achieve it. She is intelligent, canny and yet she is willing to listen to her advisors, even if she does not always like what they have to say. I thought her relationship with Myoden was, at times very sweet, yet it was her growing feelings towards Krath that really drove this story forward. At first, she fears Krath — who wouldn’t be fearful of someone who could use the Netherworld to travel over vast distances within seconds? By the end of this novel, Dulcea’s feelings towards Krath change. He becomes a confidant, a friend, and there are hints that one day their relationship will be of a romantic nature. I hope so, anyway!
Like Dulcea, I was a little unsure of Krath at the beginning of this novel. He is a creature of darkness, but he doesn’t give in to this darker evil side, and he has his emotions firmly under control at all times, which made him sometimes difficult to get a handle on, which I think is what Maybrooke intended. Is he a friend, or is he a foe? Is Dulcea going to survive her encounter with him and come out unscathed, or will she end up like his other devoted servants who are content to live their lives under his mind-control powers? I think this made Krath an endlessly fascinating character and for me, it was Krath’s depiction that closed the deal on this book. I thought his characterisation was brilliant and I cannot wait to read more about him in Book #2.
If you are looking for your next great historical fantasy where the romance is tender, and the magical realm is spectacular, then look no further than Immortal Defiance (Dulcea’s Rebellion #1) by Laura Maybrooke. I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on book #2.
I Highly Recommend.
Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
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"I live in my own little world. But it's ok, they know me here." (Who besides me has this fridge magnet; raise your hand!)
That's sometimes what it feels like. Who says stories aren't real? I live in the land of the Midnight Sun and Polar Nights, together with my husband and daughter, and a cast of fantasy characters running around in my head. It's busy here. Care to stay and chat a while? Laura Maybrooke is an 80s' child, who works too much and writes too little, but who'll never say no to a thrilling romance, a high fantasy adventure, or a cookbook full of delicious treats she'd like to bake one day.