~Dynasty of Ghosts~

this novel covers A LOT of ground from battlefields to the gothic castle of a deranged king to the courtly proprieties (and no-less gothic royal cemeteries) of another royal palace and its hunting lodge to the bustling city that surrounds it. We follow the lives of Illya, a quiet, “fey” boy who grew up in the forest backwaters of the kingdom of Aldania under the thumb of his oppressive and high-minded grandfather, father, cousins and brothers who believe Illya to be too much of an outsider–being “fey” in their minds and also being the second son of a second son, oh and because he can see ghosts! He joins the military under the dashing Prince Knight (and heir to the kingdom), Ashe, as a forest scout and archer and manages to be caught by the eye of the selfish and arrogant prince. But after a betrayal in battle, Ashe and Illya are captured by the forces of the mad king of Gunthar and are sequestered in his castle tower where a young princess hung herself because of the unrequited love of one of Ashe’s ancestors. Anyway, the king is out to drive Ashe insane and Illya is in great peril not only from the king’s men but from the ghosts that haunt the place. They must escape, with the help of the princess’ spirit and make it back to Aldania and along the way, of course the two grow to understand and love each other, and although this happens very slowly, it is very well crafted. But, when the two get back there is all of the court politics to deal with and we are taken from one world and placed in another very different one of powdered faces, courtly proprieties and backstabbing ex-lovers as Ashe tries to continue his affair with the young ranger and Illya tries to sort out the problems of his ghost companion while another presence threatens to tear him apart from his love and rob Illya of his life.

Overall this is a very beautiful story and very well thought out and worth the read. My only problem is the ending which doesn’t give enough closure. The political turmoil is not resolved even though it is one of the novel’s major catalysts. We have to assume a great many things in the end, and although it ends rather happily, there is just too much still going on, as if there could be a sequel, though I highly doubt this is the case since the author has said nothing of continuing it on her website.


One Response

  1. Link fixed … sorry about that!

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