Alliance Forged by Kylie Griffin
Series: Light Blade #2
Published: July 3, 2012 by Berkley
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Hunted and marked for death by Na’Reish demons for their half-blood heritage, the Na’Chi are searching for a new home—something an alliance offered by the human leader could provide. With both races divided by prejudice, when Light Blade rebels brutally attack the Na’Chi, the alliance seems doomed to fail.
Varian, leader of the Na’Chi, a hybrid race of gifted warriors, is cursed with the darker impulses of his demon heritage. Controlling the part of himself that craves the high of the battle is a struggle he’s afraid he’ll lose—until he meets Kymora Tayn, a priestess driven to serve her deity. While he’s unwilling to trust anyone outside his people, he finds himself drawn to Kymora’s strength and passionate nature, and discovers she has the power to calm the darkness inside him.
When the Na’Reish raid human territory for blood-slaves and kickstart a war, the key to the survival of both races—Na’Chi and human— is an alliance. However, when Kymora is kidnapped, pitting human against human, Varian realizes he must embrace his darker half, not only to save the alliance…but also the woman he loves.
I love the world that Kylie Griffin has created and I was happy to return to it with this book. The first book ended with the alliance being formed and a lot of people supporting Kalan and Annika but this book brings in those who aren’t content and do not trust the Na’Chi. A lifetime of distrust and fear can’t be swept under the rug and I appreciate that Griffin is aware of that. I’m actually really happy that there’s unrest over the human/Na’Chi alliance because that’s how things would really be.
I was hoping for more romance or a better developed romance in this one. Most of the story is focused on the fantasy side which I don’t mind because it’s an interesting world. But I felt like we don’t see enough of Kymora and Varian’s developing relationship to warrant their feelings by the end. Of course they met in the previous book and are friends for several months before they become more but it just felt a little fast.
Kymora’s faith is tested in this book but for the most part she’s too much of a believer in the Lady to go too far off the rails. Her compassion, devotion, and hard held beliefs make her a bit stubborn but a very likable character. Varian on the other hand struggles throughout with controlling his Na’Reish side and letting Kymora past his walls. Varian has done everything he can to protect his people but he doesn’t trust easily and he’s isolated himself. He keeps pushing Kymora away but she won’t let him separate himself. I liked that this book brought to light the darker side of the Na’Chi but also what it means to embrace both halves and learn to accept both sides.
I wish it was clearer what age the characters are because it would make it easier to understand why they act the way they do. I think Kymora and Varian are in their late 20’s but it’s never stated. I have no idea how old some of the side characters, like Lisella and Zaune, are.
4 stars – it was enjoyable
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