Branna ta Cattia has trained for most of her life for the one mission that will mean the most to the world. She must leave her home to travel to the neighboring country of Numia and find a priest. Though the tyrant ruler of Numia has enslaved most of the high sorceresses of Branna’s country and destroyed most of the temples of Numia, Branna must follow the goddesses wishes. For Branna is the Raven, the high priestess, and her mission is to restore balance to the world, even if it means her life.
Gallus Navius Lucan’s father held the dragon throne until his uncle, Magnus killed Lucan’s family. Lucan escaped only by chance and spent the past 10 years raising an opposition to take back Numia. Coming across a woman casting forbidden high magic was not in Lucan’s plans but he felt forced to protect her from the guards. Taking Branna into the opposition forces stronghold was risky but what else could he do with her?
Traveling with Branna is her protector, Fiall. While Branna looks upon him as a brother, Fiall wants much more. Will he be able to continue supporting her in her quest to find the priest or will his jealousy towards Lucan cause him to turn against Branna? The future holds death, but the question is whose death.
Once again Ms Bast has developed a world that is incredibly detailed and rich with life. She has nations, social structure and cultures that are each unique. Her weaving of magic and power into a struggle between greed and balance is perfect. With different people having different skills and knowledge, the need to obtain those not in Numia become upper most in Magnus’s desires.
The characters were excellent. Branna is the head priestess and the only one who can do a ritual never before attempted. She has faith in the goddess she follows, even when she’s not sure what exactly she is doing. This drive to fulfill her quest and find the priest comes in conflict with her sexual desires towards Lucan. Lucan knows of the magical power of Branna’s people and would love to use it for his cause. He also knows that sex is very casual among Branna’s people too. So, why is she holding back? But Lucan can’t be distracted by Branna. He has a goal, to overthrow his uncle and nothing or no one will get between him achieving that.
While there is a love story intertwined among the quest, it doesn’t seem to be the primary focus. So, while this book is marketed as a romance, it’s more fantasy than romance. I think I could safely give this book to a fantasy reader and they would thoroughly enjoy it. So, don’t expect long love scenes or lots of hot sex because it won’t be in this story. The romance is there but it’s much more subtle.
It took me a little bit to get into this story. I’m not sure why though as it is an excellent story. It may have been getting use to the new world, it’s quirks and names. Then again, it could have just been me having an off day. By the second chapter though, I was hooked and became involved in the happenings to the point of not wanting to put the book down.
I highly recommend this story to anyone who likes fantasy books. Her story is not only about magic, it’s magical.
Epic fantasy romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the Elemental Witch quartet.
Branna ta Cattia is the Raven, a high priestess who has come to Numia to defeat its tyrant. It's a journey made on the strength of her prophetic dreams, visions of ancient rituals, sacred spells, and of a handsome stranger destined to help her.