Long, long ago, Aenarion the Defender defeated four of the mightiest daemons ever to blight creation. But one daemon managed to survive. N'Kari, the Keeper of Secrets, fled unseen. The daemon's consciousness was a spark of energy that hid within the mighty Vortex constructed by the Archmage Caledor Dragontamer on the Isle of the Dead. The Vortex saved the world, but the ghosts of Caledor and all the other mages who participated in the ritual magic are trapped within, continuously performing the spell for the rest of eternity. N'Kari's presence went unnoticed as he slowly regained his power. It would take several millennia, but eventually N'Kari would find a way to escape the Vortex. Then he would have vengeance on all of Aenarion's descendants.
Princes Tyrion and Teclis had grown up in the wilds of Chrace. They are twins and about to turn sixteen years of age. Tyrion is physically superior to his brother. Tyrion is able to see the patterns on a battlefield with hardly a glance. He is a natural when it comes to weaponry and a brilliant tactician. Teclis is weak in body, constantly ill. But he is superior to his brother in intelligence and the magical arts. He remembers everything he reads and is wise beyond his years. The brothers are close, but when their aunt, Lady Malene, and one of the Phoenix King's elite guards, Korbien Ironglaive, arrive, the twins' lives would forever change.
Tyrion and Teclis are escorted to the Phoenix King's court where they are to be tested. They must learn the arts of war and the mysteries of magic, as well as the secrets of survival in the Phoenix King's court. Soon it becomes obvious that a daemon is on a path of death and destruction. Signs point to the daemon called N'Kari. The twins are hunted by N'Kari's assassins and beset by treachery on all sides. The brothers must fight to survive if they are to have any hope of claiming their destiny as the greatest heroes of the age.
**** FOUR STARS! The first in a trilogy, this tale begins where all great stories do - at the beginning. In the prologue, readers watch as Aenarion battles the four daemons. Then readers stand witness as the Archmage Caledor and the other mages sacrifice everything, including their eternal peace, to save the world. I was riveted!
From the first page of the first chapter, I found the characters of Tyrion and Teclis to be intriguing. As a long time fan of William King's, I could easily see the author's indefinable writing style on each page. The plot line runs smoothly and subplots are subtly planted beneath (for blooming in the future titles.) Though the twins have yet to reach their full potential, the author still manages to keep readers thoroughly entertained. ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.