Today, I’ve got something awesome: the Book 2 in a dark fantasy series I immensely enjoyed (read my review of Book 1). This was definitely a great read and I can’t wait until I get Book 3!
Sanyare: The Heir Apparent
Her secret is unraveling. One dangerous quest could end it all…
Rie thought she was an ordinary human. After she’s named heir to Sanyaro, the truthseeker and mediator of all nine realms, life becomes a lot more complicated. As she struggles to control her magics, Rie nearly falls prey to a brutal assassination attempt during a public ceremony.
Blamed for the chaos, Rie’s escort, Prince Daenor, is taken prisoner. While Sanyaro tempers the political flames, Rie must once again chase after the truth. As if the threat of another great war and the impending death of her lover weren’t enough, Rie uncovers a dark secret that threatens to crack the very foundations of the faerie realms. When allies fall, can Rie overcome the odds… and the opposition?
My Review: 5 Stars
While the Book 1 was a bit more slow-moving, I found the faster pace of Book 2 much more exciting. I received this book in exchange for an honest review and I can honestly say I enjoyed it very much. The characters (Rie, Greg/Garamaen, and the accompanying supporting cast) were all a thrill to read, and I loved the exploration of the various realms in the world.
Wait until you hit the last few chapters: you’ll love the plot twist there! It totally caught me by surprise—not an easy thing to do.
All in all, an excellent Book 2 that makes me want to find out what the heck happens in Book 3 to bring the story to a close.
Here’s a Taste:
Rie expected three old hags and a giant loom. What she saw, was anything but.
Three women sat behind individual desks arranged in a giant semicircle. The dark-haired women appeared relatively young, maybe in their thirties by human standards, but all of them had to be far older even than Greg. Their fingers sped across computer terminals, and they shouted instructions into headsets as they worked.
“Lachesis, I need a new soul. Male, deserving of good parents. Headed to low nobles in the Summer Court,” the central woman said, her gaze focused on the computer screen in front of her.
“Got it.” The woman to Rie’s right repeated the request into her headset. “A third life is being pulled and prepped. Delivery in five.”
“Fatal accident in the Human Realm. Fifteen dead,” the central woman said. Her voice remained calm, as if the accident were expected.
“Reaper 5-2-6 was there and ready,” the woman to Rie’s left said. “Souls headed to the gates now.”
“Ahem,” the snake-woman interrupted. “Your ladyships have a visitor.”
The central woman glanced up from her terminal and smiled. “Ah, yes,” she said. “Apprentice Sanyare. We’ve been expecting you!” She paused, glancing back at her screen. “Accidental death due in the Winter Court. Avalanche will catch an unprepared ice gnome in twenty.”
“Reaper 2-2-2 head out.”
“Sorry about that,” the central woman said again. “Unfortunately, fate waits for no man or woman. Even us. Now where was I?”
“I believe you were about to introduce yourself.”
“Yes, of course. I am Clotho, to my left is my sister, Lachesis, and to my right my other sister, Atropos.”
“Why am I always the other sister? Why can’t I go first for once?” Atropos said, bitterness underlying the teasing tone.
“Birth comes before death, dear. It only makes sense.”
“Then why doesn’t Lachesis handle the introductions?”
“Do we really have to argue about this again, in front of our guest? Do we have reapers standing by for the airline crash this afternoon?”
“Of course. My reapers know their jobs.”
“I was just checking to make sure I had relayed the accident. The engine will fail any moment.”
“We have it covered.”
“Talk about wackadoo,” Niinka whispered. “These ladies need a break!”
Rie ignored her.
“Wonderful. Back to our guest. You’ve come about the broken threads,” Clotho stated. There was no question. She knew exactly why Rie was there and where she needed to go.
“You’ve noticed the deaths?” Rie asked.
“Of course! At first we thought it was just a system glitch. They happen occasionally when the computers don’t synch up properly,” Clotho said.
“I can’t believe you use computers,” Rie said.
“You think we’re too old?” Clotho replied, a teasing twinkle lighting her eyes. “No, when the humans invented computers, we were thrilled! The weaving had become so complicated, we were losing track of threads. Now, we write code. Much easier to manage a database than a giant loom. Trust me.”
Rie tilted her head to the side and smiled. “I do.”
Atropos took up the story. “Anyway, when my reapers went to the Shadow Realm to clean up the mess, the souls were gone.”
“The Shadow Realm?”
“There have been other realms involved, but it started there,” Clotho said.
“The reapers believe that girl was responsible. Meddling fool,” Atropos added.
“Who?” Rie asked.
“Why we gave that girl the ability to sever souls…” Lachesis drifted off with a shake of her head. She seemed to simultaneously pay attention to the conversation and lose herself in her own thoughts.
“Even so, she should never have had the ability to steal a soul’s life force,” Clotho said. “We didn’t give her that much power.”
“If you didn’t give her the ability, how did she get it?” Rie asked.
“We don’t know. She’s a clever girl, though. Don’t underestimate her,” Clotho said.
“Live and learn. Now, only summerland souls can be borne to the long-lived elves,” Lachesis added.
“She’s been exiled from the Shadow Realm,” Rie said, trying to get back on track.
“Yes, we know,” Clotho replied, her gaze focused on her screen. “Damn, another earthquake in Asia. It’s a mess down there.”
“Natural disaster squad eighteen, you’re up,” Atropos said into her headset.
Rie let out a frustrated breath. This was getting nowhere. “I need to know about the three deaths. The assassins Faerleithril severed in the high court. Lord Garamaen thought you could tell us what happened.”
“That boy. He thinks he commands the fates? Bah,” Atropos said.
“We gave him the power. He has the right,” Lachesis said, speaking for the first time. “I remember spinning his soul.” She sighed, a wistful expression smoothing her expression as she gazed into the distance. “He’s an original, you know. My first golden thread.”
“And you gave him too much power. We’ve all agreed,” Atropos said.
“You agreed, dear sister, not me. I’ve always thought his was a strong and worthy soul.” Lachesis returned to her computer, typing out more commands. “The next batch of souls for the Human Realm are queued up and ready for distribution, Clotho.”
“Just in time, I’m on my last five hundred.”
“I’ll get to work on the next set.”
“But what about the Upper Realm assassins?” Rie tried again.
“Faerleithril severed their threads. Find her, and you find your answers,” Atropos said. “I had nothing to do with it.”
“She’s a menace. She needs to be found and stopped.” Clotho’s gaze narrowed. “Take care of her, and we will owe you.”
“What about your Guardians?”
“We’re running a little short right now,” Lachesis said. “There are issues that must be handled in the summerlands.”
“Souls have been disappearing —“
“It’s nothing you need concern yourself with right now,” Clotho interrupted. “Just take care of Faerleithril. It will be good practice, anyway. Maybe help you gain control of your abilities.”
Rie blushed, but let the comment slide. Of course, Clotho knew of her failures. She was the weaver of fate. She probably knew everything about everyone.
“Where is she?” Rie asked, returning to the question of Faerleithril’s involvement with the assassins.
“If we knew that, we wouldn’t need you,” Atropos snapped, gaze never leaving her screen.
Clotho rolled her eyes and gave Rie a knowing smile, as if to say ignore her. “We don’t know exactly where she is, but we do know where threads have been snapping prematurely. Start in the Summer Court. That’s where the most recent activity, other than your assassins, has occurred.”
“What about the three assassins? What happened to their souls?”
Clotho looked over at Atropos, her gaze asking a silent question. Atropos nodded. Clotho met Rie’s gaze with an intense stare. “They’re gone. We don’t know what happened, exactly, but the souls disappeared from the database. Deleted. Like they never existed at all. We believe Faerleithril has absorbed their life force, somehow, but we’ve never seen the like.”
“They didn’t deserve it,” Lachesis sobbed, tears trickling from her eyes. “Never to be reborn, never have a second life.” She covered her face with her hands, her shoulders shaking.
Clotho rubbed her sister’s back, her expression solemn.
“But you’re the Moirai. Don’t you control destiny?”
Clotho’s mouth turned up in a sardonic smile. “We’re not puppet masters. There are far too many souls to manage with any level of detail. All we do is set a soul on its path, watch the patterns in the cloth, and reap the soul when it’s time.”
“The Greeks were wrong. At least, in part. A soul chooses its own destiny in its every-day decisions. We’re just the watchers and caretakers,” Atropos interrupted.
Clotho tapped her headset. “Ssierra,” she hissed into the microphone, “please have Judith meet Rie at the desk. She’ll need an escort back to the portal.”
Turning back to Rie, she continued. “Talk to the fire king and find Faerleithril. If you can manage that, you might be able to save your man from King Othin’s pit of despair.”
About the Author:
Megan Haskell is the author of the dark fantasy adventure series, The Sanyare Chronicles, and Program Director for O.C. Writers, A Network of Published and Aspiring Authors. She lives in Orange County, California with her husband, two young daughters, and one ridiculously energetic dog.
Find the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sanyare-Heir-Apparent-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01LYJ0G78/
Find her on her website: www.MeganHaskell.com
Connect via the OC Writers Nectwork: www.OCWriters.Network
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