291710Bit of a change here from the other Harper books, but a change seemingly for the better.

We meet Martine of Sembia, an aspiring Harper tasked with traveling north to seal a rift between her world and the plane of ice. All goes well as she sets out, but things quickly go downhill.

Her hippogriff is killed by an icy eruption and her own pride. She seals the rift only to be captured first by creatures from the elemental plane of ice only to escape them and be captured a second time by gnolls and married to their chief before escaping them too and running for safety to nearby gnome warren.

A warren that quickly comes under attack by the gnoll tribe led by a prince of the elemental ice.

No happy ending here, aside from Martine surviving. But pretty much everyone dies and one of the gnolls even winds up traveling with Martine in the end.

The thing that is so interesting with this one is that its very introspective. Martine essentially screws up left right and centre and is actually called out on it by pretty much everyone around her so she does a lot of thinking and growing up.

Rather refreshing I must say, compared to the disillusioned/self assured Harpers we’ve seen to date.

Been a bit since we did something sweet and sappy huh?  Let’s do that then with Dark Skye, latest in the Immortals After Dark series next.

18775652As a boy, Thronos, prince of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body—and left an even deeper impression on his soul.

Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.

With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?