Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…
As the dark Lord who condemns souls to damnation in the Abyss, Micah is nothing but a feared monster wrapped in impenetrable black armor. He has no idea he is the last heir of Elden, its last hope. Only one woman knows—the daughter of his enemy.
Liliana is nothing like her father, the Blood Sorcerer who'd cursed Micah. She sees past Micah's armor to the prince inside. A prince whose sinful touch she craves. But first she has to brave his dark, dangerous lair and help him remember. Because they only have till midnight to save Elden.
And here is SonomaLass's review:
Although this is the fourth, and final, book in a series, I read it as a stand-alone book, and it worked that way. The focus of the story is very much on the two main characters, and the couples from the other books don't really come in until the big final battle to save the world.
Nalini Singh is a fine writer, and she always sucks me in with her world-building skills. I liked how she took some familiar mythic elements and gave them unique twists in this book. In some ways the book was very simple, with a clear-cut and somewhat two-dimensional villain and that sense one gets in fantasy that OF COURSE good will triumph over evil, but only just in the nick of time. In less skillful hands, this story could have been unremarkable, but this story is told so well that its original elements outshine anything that might otherwise feel derivative or too familiar. I felt like she was dealing in archetypes rather than stereotypes.
I thought the pacing of the story was excellent; I like that Singh took time to develop the relationship between the main characters while setting up the huge task they would have to work together to complete. As a reader, I really enjoy having the main love story first, and then a change to see the lovers working together to overcome something, so that I can see the power of their togetherness in action. This book fit that bill beautifully.
Liliana, the heroine, is presented throughout the book as unattractive; she has a hooked nose and a big butt, among other things. In a way that bugged me all the way through, because it was presented as particularly unusual and commented upon repeatedly, yet many of the other characters in the book were much less attractive. It took me out of the story a bit every time it came up; in a romance or a fairy tale, it is a shock to have an unattractive heroine, but once that was established, I didn’t see the need to keep reminding the reader.
Micah, the hero, is physically perfect but emotionally challenged — which is not his fault, because he's the victim of a curse. He learns to love the unattractive woman, and she helps him heal emotionally, and that felt very balanced and right to me. So why, at the very end, did it have to turn out that her looks were also a curse? That was disappointing, but overall the book was an enjoyable read.