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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Zerah’s Offering by Isabelle Santiago

Zerah’s Offering by Isabelle Santiago
Publisher: Drollerie Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (176 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Aloe

When Amaya wakes, with only the memory of her world’s apocalyptic destruction, she is surprised to find herself alone in a world deceptively similar to her own. But there’s so much about Zerah that’s changed.

The Holy Grounds are gone. The Temple destroyed. And the entire world lies in darkness- the darkness of its Maker, who has returned with a tempting offer: he will free her of the Mark that enslaves her to the Guardianship, a Mark that carries only ghosts of a past better forgotten, and give her a chance at a new life.

All it will cost is her soul.

Amaya remembers monsters and a lost love. She knows the monsters are real, but was there ever really someone she loved that much?

This is the second book in the Guardian Circle series. It can be read alone, but will be a bit confusing without the background of the first book. The author has improved her writing style in the second volume. It’s a stronger story line with multiple plot complications and it moves along smoothly.

The world has changed during Amaya’s isolation. The actions of the Guardians in the first book have destroyed it. When Phoenix finds her, she’s not even sure who she is or where she is. Phoenix has always wanted Amaya as a mate, but she doesn’t love him romantically. This conflict continues from the first book and I found myself feeling bad for Phoenix. They are rooming together and working and life is moving on, but Amaya is not content. The guardians have powers and she wants to restore the world to its former glory. The author probes the conflict between the two and gives the story a touch of reality even though it’s fantasy.

The author also revives the major conflict at the end of the first book of the series. Kieran, the lost love that Amaya thought was dead, suddenly resurfaces. Ms. Santiago has a real talent for creating conflict. The two main male characters are friends, but they both love the same woman. The dislike for anything one might do for Amaya is palpable. You can feel the danger when the two magical men clash. There is also conflict between Kieran and Amaya. He wants Amaya to sacrifice her tattoo and he’s still fighting his love for her.

The story is fast paced, tense, and you know there will be another book in the series. They haven’t accomplished what they need to yet. I’m anxious to see the next book. I want to see how the author resolves this quest. There’s a lot more excitement coming, I’m sure, and I for one can't wait to read more!