Filled to the brim with forbidden love, an ancient evil, and a nation in disrepair, Empyreal Fate is a tale of riveting bravery and mortal corruption.
The land of Llathala lingers on the brink of war between men and elves, a dark history surrounding each race. Stirred by tensions of the land, a shadow of the past reemerges, taking precedence in reality and consuming the very soul of mans’ mortal weakness. Darrion, the son of a poor laborer, is ensnared in a hostile world, forced to choose between loyalty to his king or the counsel of the elves. Yet Fate has other plans in store, tying his course to Amarya, an elven royalblood of mysterious quality and unsurpassable beauty. But this forbidden connection incites betrayal from members of their own kin, marking them as traitors to the crown. In a land torn asunder, only Fate’s decree can allow such love to coexist with an ancient enmity.
Behold: A Llathalan Annal: Empyreal Fate – Part One.
Blurb and cover from Goodreads
4 out of 5 stars
I’ve been meaning to read this book for about a year and when the opportunity came to download it for free came up, I couldn’t resist! Empyreal Fate is far from an easy read. Written in a complex style, it utilizes archaic language and metaphors which give it great beauty, but can be a little difficult to keep up with at times. It has romance, it has ancient evil, it has a vengeful scorned suitor, it has magic, and all the ingredients of a wonderful legend. I think it’s all original, but it feels like a story written a century ago, which I find incredible. There is one scene in particular that deals with rape, which I more or less skipped, but from what I saw it seemed graphic to me. For that reason, I do not classify it as YA or recommend it to YA readers.
This book is clearly meant to be the opening to a larger series. The plot takes you on a twisting, winding path, following the stories of multiple characters and switching POV quite frequently. While I could get frustrated with the swapping perspectives, I have immense respect for the time, effort, and deep philosophy that went into this story. Rachel Hunter is definitely an old soul and her story shocked me with its magnificent and epic style. I think this is a very special story that needs a special audience to appreciate it. I think the story runs around 250 pages, but it reads like a novel at least twice that length, there is so much packed into the pages.
The characters were fascinating and mostly individualistic. Their attributes tended to be extreme, but I did care about and loathe all the right ones. Their relationships were complex and simple at the same time, their dialogue was a bit archaic, but that fit in with the rest of the story.
Though there are many characters whose perspectives we get to see, the main focal points are Amarya, the elf princess, and Darrion, the son of a humble farmer with a fierce protectiveness over his little sister and a warmongering brother. Their romance was breathtaking and tragic at once, as is the nature of these stories. I really, really hope their current situation changes in the future books, because I’m a huge sucker for HEA and I know that sometimes it’s about the story, but…well, like I said, I’m a sucker for HEA.
I got kind of mad at everybody, including Amarya, for keeping Amarya and Darrion apart. Her sense of duty to her people was admirable, but could come across as a “holier-than-thou” attitude at times. There was one character, Laervyen, who is an elf lord seeking to win over Amarya and I think I hated him most of all. I just wanted somebody to shoot him or knife him, just throttle him, and get it over with. He was one of the top three evil characters in this book and…yes, I’ve been reading too many stories about assassins lately and I’m kind of mean, but…if you read the book, I dare you not to want him dead, too!
Empyreal Fate is not a fluffy beach read nor a cozy cup-of-tea kind of book. It is deep, it is profound, but it is definitely worth looking into. I recommend it to fans of epic fantasy and readers who appreciate books with higher complexity levels.