This was a wonderful fantasy that I sincerely hope will be the start of a new series. It has been awhile since I first fell in love with a certain collection of dragons, particularly an impressive gold and a small but mighty white one and these Critons and their riders remind me of the beautiful bond that held such allure for me. Personally, I was disappointed by Carina’s status for most of the book although I realize that it is just the framework of the society. Naturally, I wanted tangible representation of her worth to Marek and it irked me that matters did not come to a head without outside intervention. That being said, I still enjoyed the rich descriptions of this world, the creative presentation of the various creatures and the tale which presents familiar themes in a very entertaining fashion. I look forward to another exciting tale from this author and hope that it will not be a long wait!
“Caller of Light” by T.J. Shaw is a delightful debut fantasy novel that introduces an excellent new voice of the genre. A beautifully crafted tale that is centered on a world containing fascinating creatures called Critons which exist in a society that is divided into multiple kingdoms vying for superiority. A beleagured young woman, Carina McKay, undervalued and ignored by her father and disdained by her half-sister, seeks refuge with the ferocious winged creatures normally used for transport and battle, despite all opposition. King Marek Duncan, bonded rider of the rare solid red Alpha Criton, FireStrike, is startled to discover hidden depths in the young woman he has inexplicably chosen to be his mistress rather than making her half-sister his queen. Together they face unexpected treachery and danger which only deepens their bond and allows Carina to discover more about herself until they both realize that they can soar to wondrous heights, perhaps even dare to interact with the world where Critons are born.
Carina McKay is an outsider. With one parent of royal blood, she's not nobility, yet not a servant either. The only comfort in her mundane existence is her love of Critons, the large fire-breathing creatures that protect the border of her homeland. But her destiny changes forever the day she catches the eye of King Marek Duncan.
Marek's heart is closed to love. After an arranged marriage withers to a bitter end, he dedicates his energy to protecting his kingdom. Yet he's searching for something more--the Caller of Light, the one who summons Critons.
Carina's beauty and willfulness intrigue Marek, and he's determined to have her. When his enemies try to come between them, he discovers just how much he will endure to protect her. Together, they can unlock a love that binds their souls, but only if they find the strength to follow their hearts.