*I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.
The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.
With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.
This was a great High Fantasy book, wonderful start for a new series. Magic, lies, betrayal, secrets… Everything that I enjoy!
Kate Brighton aka Traitor Kate thanks to her father’s attempted assassination of the King. Kate is also a wilder a magic user that needs to keep hidden from others or it could mean her own death. While in the middle of an assignment for the Relay Rider’s Kate comes across a brood of nightdrakes attacking a caravan in the daylight, little does she know that her first live Prince Corwin is a part of that caravan. She risks her own life and her secret to save him.
Prince Corwin just wants to keep his head down go with the flow and focus on the upcoming Uror between him and his brother, but after the attack on the caravan he is pulled into a larger issue that no one of rank really seems too worried about.
Angry towards the lack of actions and Kate showing back up in his life, Prince Corwin along with Kate’s friends SIgne and Bonner and Corwin’s own friend Dal. They try to find out what is going on and where these daydrakes are coming from and how it’s possible that they even exist.
I found the situation with the wilder magic frustrating since you find out that those that are allowed to use and wield magic are the same as wilders. I felt like I was playing Dragon Age and dealing with the Chantry all over again.
The Uror, oh man can I just say that this was so cool, different tests and challenges for both sons, a mythical creature that shows up to announce the start of the Uror, and how it ties into the title (that A-HA! moment), the history of the Uror and the family history and how it all plays into the story itself was the best.
I was somewhat surprised as to who it was behind the scenes pulling the strings and directing the attacks.
I’m looking forward to the next book, and seeing where things go with this rag-tag group, the drakes, the continued corruption and the outcome of the Uror.