A Sword of Greed and Envy (Nokturn Rising #1) by M.C. Clay

Exciting new fantasy series from a debut author set against a backdrop of medieval magic and competing races: vampires, lycans, reapers and humans.

In the lands of Maldara, being human means being prey to the three races of Nokturn: the Vampires of Arcanum, the Reapers of Mortem and the Werewolves of Fortis.

Larkin Kravinoff has spent her life – all seventeen years of it – forging herself into a skilled hunter in the human lands of Medeor.

She has survived this long with little to no contact with the outer Nokturn world until one fateful night when her path crosses that of Ash – a Nokturn – but one who is unlike what she has been made to believe of the Nokturn races.

After their chance encounter, Lark never expects to see Ash again, but when she is forced to compete in a human battle arena for Nokturn enjoyment and against all odds emerges the victor, she find herself face to face with the errant Nokturn lord once more.

Spoilers ahead (click on >Details to reveal)

    It turns out that Ash is a Reaper and when she finds herself falsely imprisoned in the vampire court, he unexpectedly comes to her rescue rather than stealing her soul.

    But her freedom is short-lived and when she is recaptured and placed on the slave auction blocks, fate intervenes and brings Ash to her rescue once again, but she can no longer return home, so she journeys with Ash to the Reaper territory of Mortem, only to realize she has escaped the frying pan to land in the fires with only Ash as an ally.

    Faced with repeated trials in Mortem and in a struggle to survive Lark finds herself confounded when a strange new power starts to emerge from within her.

    Afraid of the changes wreaking havoc in her life and desperate for the comforts of home, when Lark asks to visit, Ash returns her to Medeor and pushes her away.

    But the loss of Ash makes her face her growing feelings for the Reaper so she sets out alone on a perilous return joinery to Mortem, where she and Ash finally accept their forbidden relationship.

    But with his family and friends unable to support his mating a human, Lark leaves once more to protect Ash’s throne and unwittingly sparks a civil war.

    Now the Vampires and Werewolves have allied and news of her power has reached the vampire king’s son who seeks to claim her for himself and the only way free is for Ash and Lark to ally their people and take Arcanum themselves.

    The best laid plans, though, go awry as they are ambushed in the cliffhanger ending to the first book of the series.

So much happened in the course of this first book that it kept your interest from beginning to end, taking you on a fast-paced rollercoaster ride of adventure.

I wished for a bit more focus on insights into the characters and their feelings and motivations as the back and forth between Lark and Ash felt a bit disjointed here and there.

Otherwise it was an interesting and enjoyable read and served as a well-crafted introduction to Clay’s all-new fantasy universe.

Looking forward to the remainder of the Nokturn Rising series: A Cage of Teeth and Betrayal (Book 2), A Crown of Chaos and Vengeance (Book 3) and A Reign of Thorns and Fire (Book 4)

Amazon:

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