She died protecting the man she loved. She died by his hands. And on that blood soaked grave, vengeance grew.
Quinn Darkova leads a listless existence in the dark realm. As honored guest and beloved by Mazzulah, she wants for nothing. But when Risk enters the realm to save her, the dark god can’t resist a good bargain.
Lazarus is not the man he once was. Consumed by his own grief, he’s a beast whose sole motivation in life is getting revenge on the man who took Quinn from him.
Fate isn’t done with either of them.
There’s still one game left to play.
Winner takes all, and no matter the victor, the Sirian continent will never be the same again.
This is the fifth and final book in the Dark Maji series. This series must be read in order.
While this was a good end to the series, I will say that this book ramped up a few things that I’m not certain readers will quite enjoy. Firstly, the depravity of Nero is fully seen on display, both in actions he actively takes part of and things he did in the past. That depravity (of a different sort but equally heinous) is shared by another king, and his end was well deserved. Secondly, the editing in this particular book left a lot to be desired. There were several mistakes, which while they didn’t necessarily take away anything from the story, the rest of the series was so well done that it did take me out of the book/world, if only for a few moments. All in all I didn’t feel cheated by the ending, and it seemed a good way to leave things- though I would love a side story to tie up the loose ends.
After five months of journeying across the continent with her sister, Quinn is finally ready to return to the king she swore to serve.
But war has been brewing over Norcasta in her absence. While Lazarus may reign as king, there are those that would see the blood heirs in power instead.
Quinn, however, will never let that happen. Her brutality threatens to drive a wedge between her and those she cares about, but they should know she would do anything to protect them.
Caught between the wills of his Left and Right Hands, Lazarus must navigate the pit of vipers that is his court and decide what sort of king he wants to be. But when Quinn pushes too far, she ignites a series of events that will either cement his rule, or destroy House Fierté entirely.
I loved the development that Risk makes in this novel, and how Quinn and Lazarus have their reckoning. The end of this book was… soul destroying, and of course I immediately had to start the next and final book in the series. I quite enjoyed the book, and how everyone in Lazarus’ dark vassal/emissary court fits in with the average court fixture.
Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯
Quinn Darkova made a vow from the very beginning.
And now she’s home.
For revenge . . .
Except N’skara isn’t the same as it was ten years ago, and the person she came for is nowhere to be found. After being taken ashore by armed guards of the same Council they came to sway, Quinn knows it’s up to her to uncover the truth about what really happened, while seeking the retribution owed to her.
Lazarus knew she was hiding something. He knew she had unfinished business in N’skara. But never could he have known this. He hadn’t predicted how set in their ways the people were. He hadn’t listened to the warnings when Quinn spoke of secrets and lies. He hadn’t realized that the woman he couldn’t stay away from was forged as much by blood as she was by darkness.
Now it was time to learn.
In a land of sheep, it pays to be a wolf.
This is the back story we have been waiting for; what led Quinn to doing what she did, and becoming what she is. Carpenter and Dark have said it was the driving force behind the series and you can certainly see why. There is such treachery and heartbreak; there could be no greater title for this book. This is where the series turns dark, and where the depravity is seen. Quinn has to face her past demons but also move Lazarus’ agenda along and forge a completely new path and life for the N’skara… whether they want it or not.
I absolutely loved this book. It showed such depth of Quinn and even of Lazarus. Quinn is better understood in this book, and their relationship deepens with the level of trust and understanding they had to give and use. This book is also where the true spice between them is finally fully out there.
Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯
Some will try to trap her in hopes of harnessing her dark power.
Others will seek to end her, deeming it too terrible to risk.
In the end, he will destroy them all—because Quinn is his weapon, and he plans to keep it that way.
Lazarus was warned that Quinn’s power might be too great, even for him, but nothing prepared him for the truth of it until she held a dagger over him, and he was powerless to stop it. Now at odds with himself, the future king of Norcasta must find a way to regain control of his house and secure an alliance with the Pirate Queen…before fate tips its hand once more, and his carefully laid plans are led astray.
Quinn’s loyalty is not easily won, but Lazarus has managed to do it. Now the vassal and right-hand of Lord Fierté, Quinn seeks to gain him an alliance with Ilvas all the while challenging him at every turn. With the Cisean tribes won over, and the blood heirs behind them, Quinn expects this to be an easy task, but soon finds herself entangled in a web of lies.
Forced to gamble with her life—and the lives of her comrades—Quinn must make a choice that will either save or doom them all.
Now this book went much like the first; I was enthralled and pulled deeply into it. In many ways this series seriously differs from Carpenter’s usual works. There is that delicious tension between Quinn and Lazarus, but it hasn’t become more than tension; she’s still his vassal, but honestly, that adds so much more to the stakes within the story. I won’t say the “mystery” was all that hard to solve for I had figured it out before it really became an issue, but the real treasure of this story was getting further backstory for some of the Ilvas people. Like all Carpenter novels I couldn’t put it down, and can’t wait to continue onto book 3. This book was a bit shorter than the last, but it felt just right. If you like sweet heat and slow build, smart women this is definitely a series for you!
Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯
Throne of Glass meets Black Jewels in this twisted yet alluring dark fantasy tale.
Quinn Darkova, freed from the chains of slavery, wants nothing more than vengeance against those who sold her. But with her dark powers on the rise and her ascension nearing, Quinn’s blood retribution will have to wait in favor of her immediate survival.
Lazarus Fierté is a nobleman without equal. He’s as controlling as he is stubborn, and for the last six years he’s been waiting for a woman to appear—but not just any woman. A Maji of great power, capable of terrible things. She could be the key to everything he holds dear.
His savior … or his destroyer.
The only thing he didn’t predict was that she would become both.
*Please note, this is a dark fantasy series. There is a heavy romance subplot between two consenting adults but the material is dark in nature. The characters are not heroes. This isn’t a story about saving the day.*
From the beginning, this book had me drawn in. From the beginning we’re shown that Quinn has something to fear, something to run from, and something she wants vengeance for. There are different stakes at every turn, and every choice leads to potential ruination. The multitude of subplots gives the book a great build where you never really want to set it down, because who knows what might happen next! The slow build up of relationship between Quinn and the other vassals and Lazarus is both gradual and intense at the same time. I quite enjoyed falling into Quinn’s world, and am greatly looking forward to continuing on in the series.
Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯