Monday, January 23, 2012

Lord of the Abyss, Royal House of Shadows by Nalini SinghSingh

Lord of the Abyss is a masterful, exciting ending to the Royal House of Shadows series.

In case you missed our earlier reviews on this series please scroll down to the search bar located in the left column of the blog and do a search for the other three of this series.  We reviewed the first two the last week of November and they can be found under their authors names - Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe or under their titles.

Each Story in this series is written by a different author and is loosely influenced by a popular fairy tale.  In this case Beauty and the Beast.  The last of the four siblings of the fallen kingdom of Elden, Micah was only 5 when the kingdom was attacked by the Blood Sorcerer and his mother's spell sent him away to safety.  The spell was warped by the Blood Sorcerer's magic and he existed in a impenetrable sleep until he rose a man with no memory of his childhood or the love of his family.  He awakes to become the Dark Lord of the Abyss who's sole purpose is to condemn evil souls to damnation.  With his black armor and the reputation of the Abyss all fear him as a monster, rightfully so since he can turn into a true monster when needed, so he lives in a cold world where all he knows is the fear and terror of those around him.

At the end of the previous three books the siblings have arrived at Elden just in time for the great battle with the count down taking place on a magical time piece that was sent with each of them when they were whisked away by their mothers spell.  So with each book there is a sense of closure that they completed their initial goal of getting to Elden in time. But it is clear that the battle is not won if all four siblings are not all successful in getting there and that even then they have to work together in the final battle each attacking Elden from a different direction.  Lillian is the Blood Sorcerers daughter.  She has the ability to see the future and realizes that Micah is not going to remember in time to return and that the kingdom will fall fully into her fathers evil hands.  After a lifetime of suffering at the hands of her father's cruelty she refuses to let that happen.  She manages to spell herself into Micah's realm and begins to try her best to help him remember.  Lillian is not beautiful, in fact some would call her ugly.  But she has a strong beautiful heart and can see past Micah's hard exterior to the prince within.  As you read you start to question who is really the beauty and who is the beast - he is a beautiful prince who can turn into a beast and she is a ugly girl, who some cringe away from, but she has a beautiful heart that makes her beautiful...could there be more of the beauty and the beast fairytale woven in then what is obvious up front?  Can he love her for her beautiful heart in spite of her blood and ugly face she inherited from her father - the killer of his parents and destroyer of his homeland?

What I really loved about this one versus the others in this series was that I felt like he was actually Lord of the Abyss.  I felt like in the other three the characters were never really lord of anything.  For example at the end of Lord of the Wolfyn - he isn't really Lord of them, he arrives in Elden with only Reda, the Wolfyn didn't follow him nor do they really like him and he has no plans to go back to that realm and rule.  With this one he is really lord of his realm and plans to return and maintain that role.  It makes him a really compelling strong character and you can't help but think of him with more respect then his elder brothers.  Lillian's father, not realizing what is fully at stake, tries throughout the book to get her back making for some really great battle scenes and shows just how powerful Micah has become.  The battle for Elden really comes down to Micah and Lillian's efforts.  So by the time you get to the battle for Elden you are really invested in their struggles.  It becomes apparent that the other siblings battles aren't really what it is important but that they merge magically to help Micah and Lillian fight the ultimate magical battle to regain their homeland.

This story is enchanting and will be one that I come back and reread again.  It was refreshing to read a story where the girl isn't beautiful.  They both see each other based upon their personalities, strength of character and the beauty of their heart.  You really feel Lillian's struggle to find the will to believe in herself and in her relationship with Micah.  It is truly a touching story full of action, laughter, sorcery and love!

RATING: Five Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries!

That's right the first 5 that I have ever given out.  Thank you to Ms. Singh for writing such a wonderful book! Many thanks.
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