Berkley, Feb 1 2011, $15.00
Duplicitous Magnus seizes the Dragon Throne of Numia, killing his royal family in the process. However, his nephew the heir Gallus Lucan survives the vicious assault. Lucan escapes. For the next fourteen years, Lucan prepares for a counter attack to remove his odious uncle from the throne. He has gathered an army of loyal soldiers.
The Raven of Tir na Ban High Branna ta Cattia knows the time is right to free her people from the oppressive rule of malevolent Magnus. Thus, the High Priestess journeys to Numia to meet the stranger who haunts her dreams; and to obtain an alliance to help liberate their respective people. When Branna and Lucan finally meet outside of her dreams, they are attracted to one another, but their goals differ. She wants to free their respective people while he wants revenge at any collateral cost. Their feelings for each other remains concealed as love intrudes with their need to defeat their mutual enemy, an abomination willing to kill anyone to keep his power.
Although the story line is straighter than I-80 through the Bonneville Flats and the villain is out of standard casting for an evil ruler, the lead couple makes for an engaging romantic fantasy as she must persuade her beloved that vengeance will harm his people. Each needs the other in more ways than just the alliance against his uncle, but both has doubts as she believes his heart is overrun with rage while he thinks she is an inane do-gooder without a plan or a prayer. Sub-genre fans will enjoy Anya Bast’s exciting tale; previously published in 2004 under the name Joanna King.