Lord of the Abyss is the last installment in the Royal House of Shadows Series based upon four siblings from the kingdom of Elden. Each book in this series is written by a different author. Nalini Singh writes this tale of Micah and Liliana. The only fairytale I could relate this to was Beauty and the Beast.
Some back story to start with…the series starts with the Kingdom of Elden under attack by the Blood Sorcerer. In a desperate attempt to save their children, the King and Queen cast two separate spells to protect their children. The Queen scatters her kids away, while the King fills each one with the need for vengeance. Each carries a time piece that is slowly counting down until there is no time left to save the kingdom.
Micah was only five when his home came under attack for the Blood Sorcerer. Thrust far away, he has no memories of his life before becoming the Lord of the Abyss. The Abyss is equal to our Hell. Micah goes out and retrieves the lost souls and delivers them to the Abyss. He knows nothing of his past, but he does have a kind heart. While very uncouth, he has a heart of gold. He takes care of the villagers and some lost souls who were brutalized in life. While he has ghosts and his trusted friends Bard and Jissa, he is very lonely.
Liliana is the daughter of the Blood Sorcerer. Never having known love or affection, it is amazing how she grows into the gentle, but strong woman she is. She knows time is running out for the siblings to reclaim Elden. Using her blood magic, she jumps to Micah’s location. Her only choice is to try gently but quickly to make him remember his past so they may return and claim the Kingdom of Elden from the Blood Sorcerer before it is too late.
Overall, I have had a hard time with this series. I had such hopes for it. The problems come about because each story seems to be very disjointed. Some seem to jump years ahead while other seem to happen right after the attack. There isn’t really a good basis for the story to understand how all the different siblings play into the overall story.
This story was probably the best of all four. Nalini Singh really has a way with story telling. While the characters were both virgins, they didn’t let that get in the way with they steaminess. It progressed pretty naturally for two people not knowing what they were really doing. It grew steadily and there was conflict. It didn’t come easily to Liliana to feel loved. She lied in the book, but mostly in ways to protect Micah. Trying to keep her emotions in check thinking she would die when they learned her identity, she tried to protect herself from knowing love or joy.
Micah wasn’t too deep of a character for me. He has lived as the Lord of the Abyss for as long as he can remember. Mostly he just wants to continue on with his life, but he gets into rages and has lots of pain if he remembers much of his life from childhood. In some ways he is still a child in petulant moods. He demands Liliana to cook for him and tell him stories. The stories she tells are based upon his life to help him remember, but she also makes foods from his childhood. Slowly through gentleness and mock gruffness, the two learn to trust and love one another. Increasingly, I fell more in love with Micah as the book went on. He grew up, but the biggest part is he fell in love with Liliana the person not the appearance.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. There just wasn’t a lot of depth to it like I would have liked. The series overall disappointed me, but each book had their own ups and downs that left me liking them by themselves.
- The books are supposed to be based on fairy tales. Two out of the four are very clear about that. The other two you might be able to tell, but it isn’t a big part of the theme.
- There are four time pieces each sibling receives from their mother to mark the time they need to return to take the kingdom back. One story totally leaves this out.
- The series had a wonderful theme, but I feel they didn’t really melt the stories together very well.
- The stories feel rushed…like you are going towards a goal and then … it’s over. On top of that, you don’t get the other characters ending to the battle. You only get to really see Micah and Liliana’s view of the battle which feels rushed.
Available 11/15/2011 in paperback.
Available 12/01/2011 digitally.
This book was provided by Net Galley in digital format. My review is honest and fair on this book and series.