Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
At the age of sixteen, Trygare Kan Ingan was taken by his blacksmith father to see the Drune Priest to determine what path his son would follow in life. Would he be a blacksmith, like his father, or would he be a soldier? In spite of his wife’s protests, his father taught Trygare how to use a sword and ride a horse. Now he needed to know from the priest which path his son would follow.
When the priest reveals that Trygare would be the father of kings who would rule for thousands of years, there was no question he would have to leave his village of Glynkillen and seek the princess he would have to marry. His father advised him to go to see the Chev of Cymene, who was a distant cousin and ask to be given a place among his soldiers. When Trygare is finally before the Chev and shows him the ring his father presented him with, he is accepted as a soldier. Of course, being only sixteen he is met with constant ridicule for being young and not even being able to grow a mustache. He is teased by the Chev’s son-under-the-law, Cormac, but when he and Trygare set off to a village to rid it of a beast, and Trygare kills the dragon the two become bonded as brothers.
What Trygare never realized is that the Gods were up in the heavens deciding how his life would go. They present him with a princess. He falls in love with her and she hates him. His reward for killing the dragon was the hand in marriage of Princess Caithwyn, something he pictured as being perfect. However, it turned out to be a nightmare. From the moment they entered their room after the ceremony, she took a knife to him threatening him with death if he so much as touched her. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get her to accept him.
After months of marriage, war once again breaks out in Cymene and Trygare is on his way to battle with his wife’s words in his ears, “I hope you die, and I will finally be rid of you.” Every day she waited with her sister, Cormac’s wife, for the wagon carrying the dead, praying he was one of them. When he finally arrived back severely injured she immediately realized how mistaken she was. She wanted him and needed to get him well so she could prove herself. Trygare fought like a beast during the war since the Gods once again decided to mess with his life by gifting him with the bloodsong. The sight of blood would make him more beast than man and that was how he fought.
At long last, he finds happiness when Caith admits she wants him and becomes pregnant with their first child the Gods decided to have more fun. Give and take away. His son Riven is born and his life forever changed. His life is full of tragedy, betrayal and grief and so he leaves Cymene for far off Francovia where according to the Gods his true destiny lies.
Of course, when life seems to be going Trygare’s way, the Gods throw him a curve ball. He is destined not to know happiness and eventually everything that happens changes Riven and not for the better. This is the prequel to Riven’s story and the history of the Kan Ingan’s. It is not a HEA but it is a wonderful story about an honorable man who seemed to have very little say in his life. He loved his son and his son loved him, but what chance does one have when the Gods are directing your life for their entertainment?
I don’t read or watch prequels but I am so happy I read this one, it is about Riven’s early life and his father. Even if you read the rest of the books in the series you should not miss this one. This is a book full of love, betrayal, honor and lies.