Read for the Once Upon a Time IX Reading Challenge.
Lady Altheia is kidnapped on the night of her birthday celebration. While her family frantically searches for her, she wakes up in the forest, and realizes her captors are the Lithmern- ancient enemies of Alkyra. What’s worse is that they’ve brought back the shadow magic that nearly brought down the kingdom many years ago.
Alkyra has grown complacent since that last shadow war. The line of the kings has died out, and the Gifts that were granted to the first of that line, that helped them win the last shadow war, have disappeared. With the Gifts gone, the other three races of Alkyra have retreated to their ancient lands, leaving the humans alone.
It’s the Wyrds (cat creatures) that first find Altheia, and with the knowledge of the Lirthmern return, they realize it’s time to reestablish old alliances. If Altheia and her family can find the Gifts, they may have a chance a defeating the Lithmern.
This is an enjoyable book. I have it in an omnibus with four other books in the series. In reading the reviews, I did notice that people had the most issues with this first book (one of the author’s first). There’s some needed editing, but knowing that the other books get better helped me ignore that.