The Grove, GUARDIANS OF DESTINY Book #2
by Jean Johnson
Synopsis:Calm the magics caught in thrall:
Put your faith in strangers’ pleas,
Watcher, Witch, and treasure trove;
Ride the wave to calm the trees,
Servant saves the sacred grove.
At the behest of their leader, the Witches of Darkhana are mobilized. Their mission: gather the most honest, true servants of each deity so that they may respectfully represent their land at the reopening of the Convocation of Gods and Man. For Witch-Priest Aradin Teral, his part in the quest has taken him across the length and breadth of Katan, searching for the best possible representative of an empire bent on preventing that very task.
Ever since the destruction of the last Convocation, the magics of the Grove have been warped, endangering pilgrims and residents alike and requiring the guardianship of the strongest mage the priesthood can spare. Priestess Saleria is now the Keeper of the Grove, and Guardian of the Divine Garden. The arrival of a black-robed stranger bearing the faces of two men brings the promise of change, even peace, to the isolated valley. But it also ushers in an irresistible passion and a threat to Saleria’s control of the wildest magics in the woods...
*eARC received from the Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
This is my first book by this author and follows on from her previous offering in this series The Tower (Guardans of Destiny). This is a fantasy with a sprinkling of romance and is set to delight fans of her previous Sons of Destiny series.
In a land full of magic we meet the Witch Priest Aradin Teral, he has been sent on a quest to locate a suitable representative of the Kingdom known as Katan to meet with the Gods and Goddesses at the upcoming Convocation of Gods and Man. The Gods that have helped to protect mankind have been missing since the world splintered and now it's vital that humanity entreat them to save the world from the things that live in their Hellworld. Prophecies are starting to come true and the Seers in the world are beginning to see changes that could herald vast destruction.
Aradins journey takes him to Saleria the woman who as a priestess is Guardian of The Grove, a famed, magical garden where a God and Goddess once united. Left far too long the magic the land is imbued with has begun to run wild and strange and dangerous hybrids run amok threatening nearby homes and lives. Saleria struggles on a daily basis to contain the deadly creatures and drain the fearsome magic. Charged with the prayers and petitions for her Gods her life is full of toil and sorely lacking in peace.
Her world begins to change the day she meets Aradin Teral for he is a priest unlike any who have ever crossed her path. The young man Aradin carries the soul and consciousness of Teral and together they form a formidable Witch Priest. Not truly convinced that her path lies away from the Grove Saleria nevertheless allows Aradin access to the Grove in order to learn its secrets. As she slowly begins to trust the unusual pairing her feelings for Aradin grow but leaving the Grove could be deadly. Surrounded by dark magic and at the mercy of those with political ambitions Aradin and Saleria must find a way to control the threat before it's too late.
Wow such an unusual world. A society that follows their Gods and the teachings of their priests. Although a simple outlook in many ways the author manages to imbue her work with a strong sense of humanity and it's petty feelings of jealousy and greed. I loved that Saleria although truly dedicated to her calling still managed to find it possible to fall in love, it would have felt dry and boring without the two(should that be three?) main characters as their personalities lifted this tale .Absolutely adored the conversations between Aradin and Teral as at times they were hilarious but for me Saleria's love of life shone through.
A complicated story that is sure to delight Ms Johnson's fans and a good read for all those who enjoy fantasy and a romance for those like me who are just old fashioned romantics at heart.