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Monday, April 19, 2010

The Last Vhalgenn by Kayelle Allen

The Last Vhalgenn by Kayelle Allen
Publisher: AudioLark
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Audio
Length: (audio) 1 hr 7 minutes approx.
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Cholla

The Vhalgenn must protect the royal heir, but can she endure betraying the king she loves?

Duty to king and country shaped her life since birth. To protect them, she must betray all she holds sacred. For if she takes the newborn prince to the queen’s homeland for a ritual blessing in the Old Ways, who–or what–will she bring back?

She was raised solely to be the King’s companion, friend, and lover. She was a Vhalgenn. Having been banished from her King’s side by his jealous Queen, she’s both intrigued and worried about why she’s being recalled so suddenly. Why could they possibly need her now, after all this time? Raik was about to find out and be thrust into more intrigue and deception than any one woman could ever want.

Raik is a fascinating character. She’s strong and yet, vulnerable where it concerns her long-time friend, the king. Even when she’s faced with the most difficult decision of her life – to betray her King or not – she’s focused and determined to do what’s best for everyone involved – even if it causes her destruction. I also love the idea of female warriors, it’s very empowering and inspirational on those days when I feel less than adequate. So, to watch Raik go through all she has to deal with – deception, jealousy, annoyance from the young girl traveling with her – reminds me that it could always be worse for me.

The Last Vhalgenn is an exciting and engrossing story of love, betrayal, and doing what must be done, despite the consequences. It captures the ideals of duty, honor and love and embraces them, turning them into a beautifully knit sequence of events that you are unable to stop following. I’m still new to audiobooks, however, I really enjoyed the experience of this audiobook. The reader had a clear, calm voice that puts you at ease and draws you into the story. Also, since the story is told from the first person point of view, I think that listening to, as opposed to reading, The Last Vhalgenn really adds something to the experience. An enticing and wonderful fantasy, The Last Vhalgenn is a sure-fire hit.

1 comment:

Kayelle Allen said...

As the author of the Last Vhalgenn, I deeply appreciate your kind words. This story was fun to write, and no matter how hard I tried to write from a different point of view, the story yearned to be told by Raik herself.

The story was included in A Time To... a collection/anthology edited by Carol McLeod. It finaled for an EPPIE award in 2008. It then went to Shadowfire Press as a standalone ebook. Putting it into audio format seemed like the next step to take.

Thank you for this generous review. I'm glad you and Raik had a good time on her journey.