Beware a rant!
It was not a bad book, fast-paced, with multiple plot twists. The constant dangers and tribulations made the protagonists’ quest a continuous trial. They kept me reading long into the night. They kept promising me things, taunting me with them, just as soon as I turn the next page… but nothing was really delivered, until I finished the last line and closed my Kindle. Then I sighed with disappointment. Even the ending was a cliffhanger – my least favorite kind. Nothing was resolved, and the heroes are still in the middle of their adventures. I doubt I’ll read their story to its conclusion in the next book.
The genre of this novel is a fantasy romance. After falling under a spell of an evil sorcerer, Princess Kayla and a knight Rane embark on an adventure. They are under geas to steal a priceless magical artifact from a witch and bring it back to the sorcerer. If they disobey or linger, they will go mad.
The problem is: the witch lives in the Dark Forest, where wild magic roams unrestrained, turning men into monsters and monsters into frogs. Pursued by the wild magic but unable to stop, the princess and the knight must push on. They stomp through the dense trees of the enchanted forest, killing everyone who opposes them while exploring their mutual relationship.
Their escapades are perilous, their numerous enemies powerful, but every character in the book is two-dimensional. No personal growth manifests and no world development either. The little cartoon figures hop along the flat surface of the world with painted trees, castles, and other landscape elements. There are colors but no depth.
Still, the novel read okay. I finished it. I have to say though that I liked the author’s historical novels much better than her fantasy. I’ve read several of her historical novels. They are rich in details, well-researched, and populated by living and breathing people. Diener definitely can write. It just feels like she didn’t try very hard with this book.