Annika’s status as a half-breed Na’Reish means that she’s been subject to abuse and anger by the aggressive Na’Reish demons. The war between the humans and the Na’Reish means that Kalan can’t trust Annika. He believes she can’t control her demon side and though he hates his agreement he’s bound by his word. But once back at Sacred Lake, he’s faced with convinces the Council and the people that they can trust Annika.
I’ve read this book several times as it’s become one of my favorites. I love the world that Kylie Griffin has created; it’s the right balance of unique and interesting without being overly detailed and bogged down in information. The simple story of two warring species – humans and demons – provides a great backdrop to Annika and Kalan’s love story and by the end of the book the history of these two races is truly revealed. I loved the twists that Griffin put in this book, they really give the backstory punch.
I loved Annika! She’s a perfect mix of vulnerable but strong. She’s lived a lonely existence, despised by the Na’Reish and feared by humans but she still holds strongly to her dreams and hopes. She’s not afraid to challenge Kalan and the human Council and she knows she’s worth more then she’s been given. At the same time she’s also always waiting for someone to hurt her so this creates a reluctance to trust others. Watching her make friends with those who don’t judge her and watching her learn to trust Kalan was great.
Kalan himself makes a great hero because though he doubts Annika a lot in the beginning, his word and honor mean everything to him. He promises to help her even when he doesn’t trust her and he sticks by her even when it means going against his own people. He was bothered by the feelings he starts to develop for Annika and this causes him to make mistakes in how he treats her but once he accepts what he feels he goes all in. The humans follow a deity called the Lady who they put all their faith and trust in; so when Kalan realizes that being with and loving Annika is his journey as they call it, he commits in such a swoon-worthy way. He stands up for Annika against his council, his soldiers, and his best friend and he’s willing to make any sacrifice to keep her in his life. And the way he eventually coaxes Annika into accepting her demon half is beautiful.
There were a lot of people willing to immediately accept Annika just on Kalan’s word and this seemed a bit out of place considering they have been warring with the demons for 500 years. Old habits die hard and all that. But overall it didn’t bother me.
Content Note: references to abuse
••• Book Details •••
Light Blade #1 • Romance, Fantasy • Berkley • February 7, 2012
Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na’Reish King, longs for more than her tormented life among her father’s people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she’s gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy…
With the Na’Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na’Reish Horde have increased. As Chosen-leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons-and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival.
When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father’s dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council-and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into civil war.