This month I’m looking at the the Light Blade series by Kylie Griffin. My current reading of fantasy romance has been sporadic the past few years, but this has been a favorite from the first book and I’m always recommending it whenever someone says they like the genre.
This mythical world is divided and at war; for decades the humans have fought against the demon like creatures, the Na’Reish, who raid their lands and enslave their people. But the number of gifted humans is dwindling and the Light Blade ranks are shrinking. Without the gifts from the Mother, the humans have no chance against the stronger Na’Reish. Light Blade warrior Kalan leads his people but the weight of their survival is growing heavy on his shoulders. Not to mention the aging Council constantly resists his new ideas.
Hidden in the shadows, the Na’Chi are half-breed demons that must hide even from their own people. The Na’Reish kill half-breeds at birth but one human slave has been smuggling these children out and helping them live. Their hope rests in the hands of the only Na’Chi who wasn’t slated for death, Annika the daughter of the Ne’Reish king. But Annika’s life is far from easy and her status as the king’s daughter is the only thing keeping her alive. When these worlds collide it will change perspectives, unearth long held secrets, and bring a tide of change that could end the war for good!
How I Found the Series
I always find it interesting when I can perfectly remember where I first saw a book and usually it correlates to reads that become long time favorites. In the case of the Light Blade series I discovered them while at work. At the time, I was working in the library and was shelving a large cart full of books. Shelving has always been a favorite part of the job for me because not only do I get to look at all the pretty books but it’s also all about organizing and alphabetizing which pleases my soul. I was placing a book on the shelf when my eye caught on the spine of a trade paperback several spots over. It was the first book, Vengeance Born, and the purple just jumped right out. Though I was in the fiction section, there was something about it that made me think it was actually more of a romance book (this particular library only marked mass market paperback as romance). I pulled it out, read the back and immediately knew I wanted to check out this book. I put it on the bottom of my cart and as soon as I finished I checked it out before anyone else could beat me to it. I knew from the first few chapters that this book was going to be great and instead of getting the rest from the library, I just went ahead and bought them, along with the first. The rest, they say, is history.
Why I Love the Series
Each book brings new elements that grow and enhance this world in wonderful ways. The world building was one of the first things to suck me in, quickly followed by the characters. I love stories with waring groups that lead into forbidden romances, so this was perfect for me. It’s also great because there are so many characters to get invested in and I can’t tell you how many of them I want stories for! I was really interested in the history of the Light Blades and the Na’Reish and Kylie Griffen does a great job of building each element into the story. With so much going on and so many changes, it would be easy to get confused but I never felt like there was an overload of information while reading. Instead each piece is revealed at just the right time.
Outside the world building, the characters are just excellent! With so many different types it’s interesting to see how they handle the different situations, especially when it comes to letting go of long held beliefs about the Na’Reish and the true history between the waring sides. I found the characters to be real and flawed and genuine and this truly enhanced the reading experience. In such a rough world, sometimes hard decisions have to be made and each character’s personal struggle to find their place is unique and captivating.
- Excellent and interesting world building
- A variety of character types to enjoy
- An epic war to invest all your hopes and dreams on
- Swoon worthy forbidden romances
Books in the Series
Normally this is where I’d talk about a few of my favorites in the series, but since it’s only three books, I’ll just highlight each one!
Vengeance Born: Probably my favorite, this was a wonderful set up for the world of the humans, Na’Reish, and Na’Chi. I loved how vulnerable Annika initially seems but then you start to see the strong flame at her core and you can’t help but root for her success. Kalan is a perfect match and though he struggles a bit to overcome prejudices, when he goes all in, his support of Annika is unwavering.
Alliance Forged: We meet both human Kymora and Na’Chi Varian in the first book so I was excited for their story. It’s also interesting because Kymora is blind so that adds a new element to the book. With everything going on, Kymora and Varian have a lot of hurdles in their path but overall the relationship drama is low in this one.
Allegiance Sworn: Taking a different route, this book is set almost completely in Na’Reish land where Light Blade Arek has found himself trapped. But the best thing about this book is the badass Na’Reish clan leader, Imhara, who isn’t afraid to live life her way. I loved the fire between these two whose relationship is by far the most turbulent of all the couples.
A long time back, Kylie Griffin posted that she was working on a new book in the series but I’ve not heard anything new about this. Fingers crossed for more!