I believe this is Shea Godfrey’s first book. It tells of two countries who have hated each other for generations – two very different lands with very different climates, leaders, and views on women. Lyoness, where our Princess Jessa is born and basically kept captive, is a harsh land with an even harsher ruler. Arravan is where the Durand family rules. It is lush and green and the women are granted much freedom. Princess Darrius, the youngest of the Durand children, is quite taken with the foreign Jessa when she and her evil brother arrive under the pretence of a possible marriage between the families. There’s also some mystical stuff and some political intrigue.
I finished this book about an hour ago and I have some mixed feelings about it. Moving from All That Matters to Nightshade took me a little time to get used to the change in language. It’s more of the formal, medival type, which I like very much. There were many times that Jessa used her native language and I had no idea what she was saying and I felt like I missed out on some things because of it. I could get the general gist of it most of the time but there were a few times when I really wanted to know what she was saying. But, overall, I enjoyed the flow and feel of the words. The author used some interesting sentence formatting to show various emotion and flow and, while that sometimes bothers me, in most cases during Nightshade, I enjoyed it.
As I got nearer to the end of the book, watching the page numbers tick away, I realized that either the author was going to have to very quickly wrap up several plot lines or there had better be a sequel on the way. Well, nearly nothing was really resolved so I certainly hope there’s a second book. Even with a sequel, I found the ending abrupt and, to me, that took away from some of the good feeling I had while reading. Particularly because I had no idea that there was going to be no closure to the major events that had been building from the beginning. And I hate that. I think sequels can be done without leaving the reader double checking to make sure some pages weren’t accidentally missed.
But, now that you know what to expect and can prepare yourself a bit, go buy the book if you enjoy the fantasy sort of thing with kings and queens and battles and magic. I enjoyed it a lot – and there’s some good sex scenes, too. Really, I did like it and had a difficult time putting it down. I’m still just a little miffed at the abrupt nature of the ending. I’m going to ramble a bit here because I guess some things were settled but the majority have not. I don’t want to make it seem worse than it was. I just finished it so I’m still caught up in the story, I guess. Read it and post your comments here if you think I’m wrong or want to expand on what I said. Thanks.