A review by Nalini Haynes
★★★★★ five out of five stars
Winter Be My Shield is so epically awesome that I’ve spent a lot of time pondering that tome since reviewing it. I’ve considered removing and/or rewriting my review because my opinions have changed upon reflection and I learnt I made at least one error: the polygamous society is based on a real-world society in Siberia. I haven’t changed my review because reviews are typically first reactions to first reads; to alter my review a year later seems ethically questionable.
Black Sun Light My Way continues the story of Sierra, a powerful Sympath – person who gets magic from other people’s pleasure or pain. Kell, the Sith-like Blood Mage who is the truest villain in the story, sends Rasten, his Blood Mage minion, to hunt Sierra down and return her to him.
Rasten is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, learned helplessness and deep-seated rage against Kell for all the suffering Kell has inflicted upon Rasten for ten years. Rasten’s plan is to work with Sierra to defeat Kell but first he needs to convince Sierra to join forces.
Isidro was captured by Kell and tortured for the power Isidro’s suffering gave Kell. The damage to the bones in Isidro’s right arm has left him with a permanent disability and susceptible to great pain. Isidro is Sierra’s love; her magic helps him – sometimes – and hurts him at others.
Delphine, from a race of conquerors who subjugate their women, is now a prisoner of the people who were once her slaves. Delphine falls in love with Isidro, creating a romantic triangle where issues of race, politics and society are explored. Society is particularly developed as Delphine learns more about her captors’ lifestyle where marriages tend to comprise a minimum of two women and two men because their harsh environment requires a team working together to survive.
The second in a trilogy, Black Sun Light My Way builds tension, masterfully developing the plot and characters. And the conclusion. OMG. I didn’t see that coming. Now I have to wait for the final instalment, WAH!
Highly recommended, Jo Spurrier’s Black Sun Light My Way is more than a debut trilogy, it’s BRILLIANT.