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Monday, August 17, 2009

Hedda’s Sword by Renee Wildes

Hedda’s Sword by Renee Wildes
Publisher: Samhain Press
Genre: High Fantasy
Length: Full (290 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Eglantine

She’s known nothing but pain—but love waits in the arms of one man.

Guardians of the Light, Book 2

Maleta is a true survivor. Attacked and left for dead at a young age, she has traded her heart and emotions to become the ultimate weapon of vengeance for the Grey Goddess, Hedda. She swears to depose Queen Sunniva and restore her ancestral home to her brother, no matter the cost.

Cianan is drawn to the mysterious land of Shamar on the power of a vision—the death of a beautiful swordswoman to an army of skeletons. When he meets Maleta, he recognizes two things. She is his true Life-Mate. And she is the woman fated to die this horrible death.

He vows to change her fate.

Cianan must unite the diverse people of a fragmented land to overthrow a vicious despot and convince their true queen to take the throne. Falling in love with a mortal woman who’s buried her heart and shies from his every touch—that’s the real challenge.

Maleta knows she can trust Cianan to save her country. Can she trust him to help her save herself?

How can you tell, within the first few pages, whether the ebook you’re reading is likely to be good? Usually, clean editing, easy-reading language and a story scenario that draws you in, are good indicators. But how can you tell if it is likely to be really good? If you have all the above, and in addition to that you find a sentence as beautifully descriptive as this one: “All around him, the skeletal branches of trees loomed. They clutched at his clothing like the wasted fingers of the dead…” on the very first page, things would have to change dramatically for the worse from there for the book as a whole to not be brilliant.

Ms Wildes builds a world for us which is believable and real. She peoples this world with characters which have been shaped with the same care, so that their challenges and motivations stir our sympathy and open a place in our hearts for them. While there were two incidents which, in my opinion, wobbled a little, seemed too underplayed for the great significance they held, the story’s strong points were sufficient to compensate for my momentary frown.

Favourites from the first book in the series, Duality, make some brief appearances, but Hedda’s Sword definitely stands alone, you can enjoy it without having read the first. I would recommend you do, though, as I will be surprised if anyone comes away from this book not wanting to track down more of Ms Wilde’s stories. Definitely worth buying.