They are the light against the darkness.
The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.
And they use demons to hunt demons...
Nezafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they leash wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.
Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.
As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery — and her own loyalty to the empire.
But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…
Title: The Midnight Sea
Series: The Fourth Element #1
Author: Kat Ross
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Source: FREE on Amazon
I absolutely loved the shit out of this thing. The world that Ross built up consists of enemy kingdoms and territories that separate the humans from the demons, but the third parties, the daeva, are a mystery all in itself. What starts off as a fucked up society that holds daeva as working slaves and war partners soon turns into a huge scandal dating back centuries.
When I first read this, I got a lot of Nazafareen’s life and her transition from living in the harsh mountains with her badass tribe to moving down into the city, to serve the emperor and defeat the demons threatening from the high north. She has a good reason for wanting some demon blood, but as she grows into the years that pass, we see her slowly begin to lose that vengeance streak and find herself in a more complicated situation. One of my favorite things about this was seeing her grow from a kid to an adult, and reinvent herself based on the everyday life as a warrior rather than a daughter to a home of ghosts.
Darius, her daeva, was just as cool, and to be honest a little obvious. The whole thing really, with the slaves and the “they’re bad, it’s okay” spiel. For Nazafareen, it took her a while to really see that the system was totally bogus, but it was okay, because it all worked out perfectly. I was a bit annoyed with her, of course, for the ignorance, but you can’t blame her because it’s all she really knew, and her learning from that made the story better.
I’m just more shocked and amazed by the world that came to be from this, than the characters themselves. I mean don’t get me wrong, they were great, too, but the world really sells it. It’s always great to have a sound foundation with these kind of stories, you know?
And God, but speaking of characters…
I can’t tell you anything without bawling like a baby back bitch so I’ll just say that while some were sweet and pretty basic, there were a few that just blew my fucking mind out of the water, like WTF???????????? And I swear I had visions every time they came up. I really need someone to read this and love it so much that they decide to draw the scenes in this book. Cause darling here can’t draw for shite and she needs these things to come to life.
The writing style, the world’s foundation, the complex characters, the drama. I don’t like comparing books, but reading this almost reminded me of Maas’ awesome world, and that might be why I had a hard time putting it down. I love those tones of intensity with other-wordly feels and old age elegance. Nazafareen’s far from a swan but God, you gotta love her XD