Audry Duvessa knows something about dark forces. She has been given the moniker “Dark Beauty” for her role in her mother’s coven of sorcerers. Audry is destined to take over and continue her mother’s work, but a surprising ally opens her eyes to the possibility of redemption.
When Audry’s mother tasks her to find a firebird, she meets Roei Shurwud, a hunter who follows the word of God. Roei hunts dark creatures and sorcerers like Audry and her family, but something about the young woman fascinates him.
These two very different people find their paths aligning time and again during Audry’s quest for the firebird, and Roei’s faith is tested by several calamities. He ends up partnering with Audry for his own reasons, and the two discover a conspiracy that could destroy both their homes.
Audry has a reason to hate hunters, but she’s surprised by Roei’s gentle faith and devotion. Even in the midst of destruction and disaster, Roei must decide whether this imperious young witch is ready for redemption—or whether her lack of faith will lead her ever further away from the path toward God.
I have read a few Christian fantasy novels, and each one seems to be different. This one has to be my favorite one yet!
Roei and Audry start off being mortal enemies. Roei is a respected hunter who has a strong relationship with the other hunters, and with God. He is living an honest life, he protects the people he loves, and he loves what he does. Audry is a witch who he suspects is up to something, but he can’t help but be drawn to her in some ways. Once disaster strikes and he loses almost everything he loves, their paths cross again. Roei must help Audry on her quest to find the feathers that will lead her to the Firebird, and Audry must learn to trust both God and the men who follow Him again.
At first, things seem very black and white in the story. You know that Audry is evil and Roei is good. Audry is a witch, and Roei follows God. There’s no way that there could even possibly be a grey area. That is, until they begin their journey. Roei learns about some fo the things that men like himself have done in the past, and Audry learns that not all people who follow God are the same. Not all people who follow God are the same as those who want to hurt her and other witches like herself.
The journey to the Firebird takes a long time, a few years it seems, and Audry and Roei have to learn to rely on each other more during that time. At first, they are mortal enemies. But the Firebird’s feathers are not going to reveal themselves unless they work together. Once the stakes are heightened and both parties see what they have to lose, they quickly decide that they need to start working together in order to get home as quickly as possible.
This story element of the search for the feathers was such a good way to set these characters on a meaningful journey. I honestly think that it couldn’t have been done any better than it was! And, believe it or not, this book has so much more than just that one journey. That is the main focus, but there are many other storylines weaving in and out of it.
As I got further into the book, the characters just began to unfold in front of me. You learn the truth about the backstories of both Roei and Audry, as they tell each other secrets that no one else knows. Many, many years pass as the story progresses, and you can see their bond grow stronger and stronger. It’s truly a beautiful book, these two characters come to life as you read the story.
My only small complaint would be how fast the story moves closer to the end. It has a slower and more detailed format at the beginning, which really worked for this sort of novel, and then it had a lot of timeskips closer to the end. It didn’t confuse me in the slightest, but I would have loved a deeper look into the characters’ lives. This didn’t really affect my overall reading experience though, I just really need to know more about these characters! I hope that more information and details about those lives are given in the second book of the Saga.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new, wonderful Christian fantasy novel.
I received a copy of this novel, and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars