Monday, April 19, 2010

Review Betrayal by Michele Acker

By: Michele Acker
Publisher: Damnation Books, LLC
Digital ISBN: 978-1-61572-057-6
Print ISBN: 978-1-61572-056-9

WARNING: Book contains graphic violence, torture and rape scenes.

This review is based on a review copy provided by Damnation Books in exchange for review, all reviews being my own opinion without guarantee or assumption of liking or disliking.

BETRAYAL by Michele Acker is the first book of the Blood and Ashes series. Ms. Acker has crafted a story which is not for the faint of heart, yet she has interwoven the horror of war with the longings of love. Ms. Acker knows how to develop full-bodied characters and create a believable fantasy world.

Sorea is a young woman who has spent most of her adult life masquerading as a man, Gareth, well-known for his skills as a swordsman and mercenary. She travels with her long-time partner, Daryn. Unknown to both of them, they harbor deep-seated feelings of love for each other.

Ms. Acker draws the reader right into the story as the story opens to the ringing of steel and the stench of blood and dying. She takes the reader on a non-stop journey filled with brutality, but tempered by moments of tenderness, caring, and love.

Sorea and Daryn are drawn into a war with an evil sorceress, Valina, who uses children as sacrifices to strengthen her dark powers. Valina harbors who own secret as to what made her become the hard-hearted woman who rules the land with a fist of terror. Unknowingly, Sorea comes upon Valina in the woods. Thinking Valina is only a mother mourning the death of her child, Sorea drops her guard, only to find herself at the mercy of Valina. She manages to get away and back to Daryn, but Valina is determined to find and destroy Sorea for what she may have learned in the forest.

Using fear as a weapon, Valina destroys Sorea’s home village, kills Sorea’s sister and brother-in-law and takes Sorea’s nieces captive. Sorea embarks on a quest to rescue her nieces. She and Daryn learn from an ancient seer the one thing which will destroy Valina. Unfortunately, they are thwarted in their attempts by Valina’s soldiers, who are not without their own skills.

Do Sorea and Daryn find the courage to tell each other what they feel? Are they able to obtain the item which can kill Valina? Are there others willing to fight against Valina, or are Sorea and Daryn on their own in this battle to the death? Read BETRAYAL for answers to these questions and more.

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