The nine kingdoms of Celadmore are at war. The people suffer under tyrants that strive to gain land and power in the struggle for superiority.
Queen Kasnata is trapped in a loveless, political marriage to King Mercia Nosfa VI. Her children are held hostage by her husband to force her armies to march on his whim.
The people of Grashindorph, capital city of Nosfa, are oppressed by their king and beneath the surface of the city a revolution stirs.As war threatens to tear Celadmore to pieces, Kasnata struggles to bring peace back to the realm.
She fights against venality to bring hope to all those that are oppressed, as well as those that have been caught in the savagery of warring kings. Can the legendary queen, Empress of the Order find the strength to fight knowing the fate of her people rests on her shoulders?
“We assume he has been alone with the queen for the last few days and yet no one seems too concerned about it. He seems to have the trust of a lot of very suspicious individuals. If I were an assassin or a spy, then that is how I would infiltrate our people.” Misna observed with a shrug.“You are an assassin, spy and infiltrator.” Amalia said with a raised eyebrow.“Then perhaps we should be more mindful of General Bird than we have been.”
C. S. Woolley (Caroline Sarah Woolley) was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire and raised in the nearby town of Wilmslow. From an early age she discovered she had a flair and passion for writing. This was fuelled by winning local poetry and short story competitions during her years at Mottram St. Andrews Primary School.
During high school she continued to write and found her time split between acting, writing and her studies. At 14 she began writing novels. University did nothing to change her love of writing. She spent a year reading Law at Manchester Metropolitan University before changing her mind and moving to read English at Hull University. After graduating she moved to Nottingham where she lives now and works for Network Rail.
She is also part of Beeston Community Church.In 2010 she published her first novel, Nicolette Mace - The Raven Siren: The Kevin Metis Saga on the kindle.
Her hobbies include horse riding, including show jumping and cross country, formula 1, tennis, free climbing, play guitar and is also an avid PC and console gamer.
Her musical tastes are very wide ranging with her favourite bands including Thin Lizzy, the Darkness and McBusted.
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Shorter than the other books in the series, this book is a prequel, set 400 years (possibly more or less, not really sure how good my maths is) before the events of Shroud of Darkness.
Though the book is set in the same world, it has a very different, darker, wilder feel to it. War is raging across the realm but instead of it being an outside evil that unifies the people of Celadmore, it is the people themselves that are at war.
It is full of interesting themes, the divine right of kings featuring quite heavily in the opening chapters, it kept me entertained and engaged from the start of chapter 1.
Sticking with the same opening of the first chapter as Shroud of Darkness and Lady of Fire, the symmetry used is a wonderful link between each volume, the consistency kept from being lazy by the creative way in which the opening line: "The battlefield; a place where heroes are made, legends thrive, myths enthrall and lives are broken.” is followed by the same actions being taken in very different scenarios.
Following the revered Queen Kasnata as the main character is very different from the character of Queen Venetia, though there are many similarities that can be seen.There are some very nice cameos from the immortal character within the series as well. All in all, a very enjoyable book that has left me eagerly anticipating Volume 2.