In the Company of the Dead (The Sundered Oath – 1) by Ciara Ballintyne
Only a fool crosses a god, but Ellaeva and Lyram will do anything to get what they want.
Chosen as a five-year-old orphan to be the Left Hand of Death, Ellaeva has nothing to call her own—nothing except a desire to avenge her murdered parents. Her duties leave her no time to pursue the man responsible, until both her work and revenge lead to the same place—the lonely castle where Lyram Aharris is serving out his exile for striking his prince.
Lyram is third in line for the throne, and when the castle is unexpectedly besieged, he fears his prince means to remove him from contention for the crown permanently. Ellaeva’s arrival brings hope, until she reveals she has not come for the siege, but instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the dark god of decay.
Within their stone prison, Ellaeva and Lyram must fight to save themselves from political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, the greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.
Ciara Ballintyne was born in 1981 in Sydney, Australia, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, one masochistic cat, and one cat with a god complex. She holds degrees in law and accounting, and has been a practising financial services lawyer since 2004. She is both an idealist and a cynic.
She started reading epic fantasy at the age of nine, when she kidnapped Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings from her father. Another two years passed before she began her first attempts at the craft of writing. Confronting the Demon is her debut book.
She enjoys horse-riding, and speculation about taking over the world. If she could choose to be anything it would be a dragon, but instead she shares more in common with Dr. Gregory House of House. M.D.
Ellaeva is a Battle Priestess and on the hunt for the priest that murdered her parents. But being a priestess means she has to follow the orders of the goddess Ahura, those orders are to save a man that will be greatly needed in the future. Lyram has been banished after striking the prince. He spends his days drinking himself into a stupor over the loss of his wife. Lyram finds his castle under siege and thinks it is because he is third in line for the throne. But it really is a plan to take out both Ellaeva and Lyram at the same time.
This is the start of a new epic fantasy story. There are so many things happening to so many people that in true form the story starts out slowly while it builds the world around you. But once you get a feel for this world the pace starts picking up. Until you are rushing headlong to the end with a twist you won’t expect.
This is a great story that had me up into the early hours of the night wanting to know what happened next. Both Ellaeva and Lyram are not the snow white, perfect person but are flawed which makes you like them. Both are trying to exact revenge yet have to try and survive the siege first.
This is a great start to a new fantasy series and one that I recommend checking out. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.
I received In the Company of the Dead from Candid Book Reviews for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.