*I received a free copy of Destined for a King from Loveswept via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Destined for a King by Ashlyn MacNamara
Series: The Bastard Brotherhood #1
Published by Loveswept on 6 September 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge, COYER Summer 2016
Though she is intended for the king, Calista Thorne picks up a crossbow to defend her ancestral home, Blackbriar Keep, from a gang of landless knights. She even manages to sink a poison-tipped arrow into their commander, who survives long enough to conquer the Keep and claim Calista for his own. Now, with her father’s life at stake, Calista must nurse the brigand back to health, and the strangest thing happens: She finds herself fascinated by his tautly muscled body, and enthralled by his hotly whispered demands.
Ever since his father’s death, the fearsome warrior they call Torch has been consumed by his quest for revenge. Taking Blackbriar Keep is the first step in that plan, and—by the three gods—it won’t be the last. But after taking one look into Calista’s smoldering gray eyes, Torch discovers a passion nobler than retribution. He will fulfill his destiny and take her from the usurper king, even in his weakened state. For with Calista’s love, no man has ever felt more powerful.
Destined for a King is the story of two very strong characters, a world in which the king is the ultimate ruler, and where there is no room for mistakes…
Destined for a King is set in a fantasy world, that has a little bit of a medieval feel to it. There is magic, and there is a war on the horizon. This war is brought literally into Calista’s front yard, when Torch and his Bastard Brotherhood take the fort under siege. Torch is badly hurt, though, and Calista has to nurse him back to health, or her father will not only stay in prison, but be executed. Torch doesn’t really care that Calista has been promised to the king, as he has seen her in a vision, and he knows that they will be together.
I was immediately swept into the midst of the story of Destined for a King, and the characters were so well done I wanted to stay in this hostile and slightly scary world. I also loved that the women held an important place in this world, Calista even knew how to use a bow and arrow to try to defend her home against intruders. She also knew how to use medicinal plants in order to heal, and her knowledge is very important to the story both in this book, and, I am guessing in the future books of this series.
Macnamara managed to paint a very colorful, albeit a bit dark, world in Destined for a King, and her characters came to life in a way that made me think I could reach into my kindle and touch them. There is mystery, suspense, betrayal, usurpers, excitement and romance galore, so readers get the full array of emotions going while entering the story and taking part in Calista and Torch’s adventure.
Written in third person, past tense, from Calista’s and Torch’s perspectives, but with a lot of dialogues to keep the readers on their toes, Destined for a King made me feel like I had spent a while in a completely different space, where danger lurked, but salvation was possible anyway. If you’re a fantasy fan, or a romance fan, or a mystery fan – this book is for you!
With a spate of impatience, she jerked the sheet back from his legs – only to drop it as if it had suddenly caught fire. Her cheeks flamed. owl had removed even his lord’s smallcothes. As an unmarried woman, she shouldn’t have to contend with a naked man, especially not one so wholly masculine. Even out cold, his presence on her mattress made her feel somehow vulnerable.
The girl turned her head to the side and eyed the vial. “What’s in it?”
“Elixir of poppy. For pain. Don’t take too much, though. I don’t have any more left, and we may be needing it before he’s healthy again.” A smug sort of satisfaction rang through that statement. It portended as much ill as her smile had.