I was absolutely thrilled when the author, Alice Endacott, asked me to be one of her ARC readers for this book! 🙂 I have loved her other novels and knowing this one was set in the same world made me very keen to jump on board the early-reader train.
On top of that, Endacott is a self-published Aussie author, so it’s pretty amazing to be able to a small part of that journey with her.
Now, on to the book…
Many years after the brutal Kade takeover of the Third Country, healer Freya Kuch has succeeded when many Pious have failed: she is a perfect Kade citizen. However, this life of willing subjugation is torn apart when she is caught in an attack perpetrated by the anarchic followers of the Dark Gods and is assigned to care for Zarech, their captured leader. Contrary to her expectations, he is not a raving madman but charismatic and rational. As she unwillingly becomes closer to Zarech and he reveals knowledge the Kade has deliberately repressed, she begins to reconsider everything.
Her obedience to the strict Kade regime is further complicated by her attraction to Ashtyn, whose bold comments against the Kade frighten and compel her in equal measure. She tries to ignore her feelings knowing full well the brutal punishments for adultery and dissidence. But soon, she is forced to decide: will she maintain her life of careful safety, or give in to her heart’s dark desires and fight against the Kade’s regime?
Dark Intent lets us dive back in to the world of the Godskissed Continent, where Queendom of the Seven Lakes and its sequel were set. It’s a world of light urban fantasy that I have loved (as someone who isn’t traditionally a fantasy reader), and the world-building continues to impress in this novel.
Freya is a fabulous and flawed character to be following in this book. She is wilful and intelligent, and best of all she is far from perfect. I genuinely love reading characters who I can admire but also have me internally screaming “JUST DO X THING!” because I’ve no doubt that most of us live lives that would have readers alternating between those feelings as well. I am all about those relatable characters.
Also, Ashtyn?! I still can’t figure out where I stand on him! Which is KIND OF GREAT because PEOPLE ARE CONFUSING and Endacott has perfectly captured that inner conflict you feel when you like someone but they have these incongruities and you can’t quite put your finger on what it is but SOMETHING about them doesn’t feel 100% – another reason I adore her writing!
The situation Freya had me questioning what I’d be doing in her shoes. Does she continue to lay low and lead a safer life where she is well respected in her profession, or does she start fighting to overturn the rulers who led to the destruction of her family and former way of life? I reckon I’d be curled up in a ball crying with indecision in her shoes so it was incredibly motivating to read about her just getting on with things.
Rating: If you’re already a fan of Endacott’s work, you’ll adore this just as much. If you haven’t tried any yet, this is as good a place as any to start! Those who like urban fantasy or light fantasy will enjoy this read.
AU Release date: 10 December 2018
What are some self-published books you’ve read and enjoyed?
I’d love to know your thoughts if you’ve read this one!
Until next time,