by Christie Golden

July 2004
ISBN: 0-373-80208-0
Reviewer Graphic Button LUNA Books
Trade Paperback

Ms. Golden has created a fantasy world that is multi-faceted and complex and is filled with characters that represent every human emotion possible: greed, love, hate, passion, lust, compassion, despair and hope.

Kevla Bai-sha’s world of Arukan is a society of Caste systems and Clans, and positions mean everything in the way you survive. Kevla is without caste, and when she is sent to work in the palace of a High Caste Lord, her life changes dramatically … and her destiny unfolds.

A “Shadow” threatens the world of Arukan, bringing with it the promise of eternal darkness if its not stopped. Kevla learns she is one of the “Five Elementals” that can help save the world, and embarks on a dangerous journey to bring her “Fire Elemental” into play.

With her, goes Jashemi-kha-Tahmu, her soul mate and friend. Their love is taboo, but both realize it’s destined to be --- in this life and future ones. Together they face the many dangers, and along with the help of the “Truekeepers”, bring about the culmination of the saga.

Ms. Golden’s talent lies in the complexity of her fantasy world where she builds a place so realistic a reader feels it could be part of history. Luna Books focuses on the world building of their novels, and this reader feels the romance suffered because of that. If readers are looking for a book where the romance element is secondary, then this book will delight in all ways.

Reviewed in July 2004 by Kari.

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