This was another incredible instalment in The Light of Darkness series, where we follow the lives of Anaya the Priestess and Samael her demon lover, who are now leaders of the House of Fahd. Various factions have issues with both the Fahd panther tribe and the leaders themselves. In the meantime, a group of mercenaries is spreading death and destruction throughout the land, via a lethal powder, on the payroll of a mysterious employer.
The mercenaries aren't all bad though. Gus, one of the fighters, is engaged in a tender courtship with Nia, a black serving woman, who has slowly moved up the ranks from being a lowly prostitute. Now she's a vital part of the Unn team, but she and Gus want to break away and live an honest life.
Phew! And that's without all the other twists and turns, great characters with their own issues and subplots weaving together to make this one monster of a high fantasy series.
Russell writes fight scenes extremely well. They are difficult to choreograph but I was convinced. There were no jarring moments at all. Equally, she also knows how to portray the passion between Anaya and Samael, now married with a son as well as a kingdom to to keep safe. Their intimate moments are beautiful and sexy. I've loved the progression of their relationship throughout the series so far. Out of all the characters, they are my absolute favourites.
And here is the thing. I don't read fantasy. I can't engage with it. There are too many characters and I easily lose the thread....
... until I read this, that is. I can honestly say this is one fantasy series I will stay with until the bitter end. I'm totally invested in these characters and their trials and tribulations. It's a testament to the skill of the author that she has kept my interest this far, and will continue to do so.
Evil lurks in the shadows. More demon villages are left decimated, and the Panther tribe is torn apart. In her new role as Matriarch, Anaya fights to keep the Panther demons united, yet trust seems impossible to gain. Especially as rumours surface about the death powder being a Priesthood tactic. Neither Samael’s strength nor the power of the House of Fahd seem to be enough to stem the Primes’ discontent. Anaya must rally the priests, hunt down those responsible for the rising death toll of demons, and clear the Priesthood’s name. Samael, in turn, must prove his worth to earn the respect lost when taking a priestess for his Consort. Not an easy task, when enemies seek to destroy the unworthy Matriarch and his illegitimate child. Anaya prays for strength, and that the Goddess – or whatever She may be – would aid them in their peril. And yet, no reprieve is granted, for either demon tribes or Priesthood. Will the Panther tribe stand strong under the House of Fahd? And will the Priesthood restore their tarnished named? With yet another enemy lurking in the shadows, waiting for the perfect time to strike, the future could not be more bleak for priests and panthers alike. Now more than ever, Light and Darkness must unite and stand firm against the terrifying dangers encroaching on all sides. Will this be their final hour? Or will they prevail? The Light of Darkness series is intended for a mature audience, containing sensitive subjects including violence, torture, consequences of sexual abuse, emotional scars, mature language, and steamy scenes. The Light of Darkness is perfect for readers who enjoy visceral, gripping High and Epic fantasy tales with dark undertones and romance.