Duskfall: Chaos Queen 1 by Christopher Husberg
Stuck with arrows and close to death, a man is pulled from the icy waters of the Gulf of Nahl. As he is nursed back to health by a local fisherman, two things become very clear: he has no idea who he is, and he can kill a man with terrifying ease.
The fisherman is a Tiellan, a race which has long been oppressed and grown wary of humans. His daughter, Winter, is a seemingly quiet young woman, but behind her placid mask she has her demons. She is addicted to frost fire - a substance that both threatens to destroy her and simultaneously gives her phenomenal power.
A young priestess, Cinzia, hears the troubling news of an uprising in her native city of Navone. Absconding from the cloistered life that she has kept for the last seven years, she knows she must make the long journey home. The flames of rebellion threatening her church and all that she believes in are bad enough, but far worse is the knowledge that the heretic who sparked the fire is her own sister.
These three characters may have set out on different paths, but fate will bring them together on one thrilling and perilous adventure.
This is a dark book, and one at the start of a quality series called the Chaos Queen Quintet. The cover has a velvety feel to it and on the back is a quote that "there are daemons that even daemons fear..." This is Husberg's debut novel and as he is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I could imagine this being an even darker voyage into the world of the unknown.
Duskfall Chaos Queen 1 is the first part of a five part saga fans of this type of fantasy fiction can immerse themselves in between Game of Thrones and enjoy it just as much. As it is his debut, you would think it might not be as well written as a seasoned writer, but you would be wrong. This novel has its setting in a medieval place where elves known as tiellan mix with humans who are supposed to be very devout Christians. This religion is almost forced upon all humans and those who even question it are put to test, or even persecuted as a result of their disbelief. Whereas we get to find out what life is like for the humans from the start, we also get a view on the tiellan race and what they have to cope with too. Young Winter is honour bound to marry human, Knot, and in doing so escapes her own race and the unhappiness that comes with it. With her human groom she can make a new life for herself, if not for the fact killers try to invade the ceremony.
After the invasion, Knot leaves for another city where he can start anew, and once Winter comes to him, they feel they can make life work. The story is also about several other characters that over the book intertwine as does their feelings about life and what it can bring them if they make the right choices.
Duskfall is a strong start to a 5 book series that sets itself the task of keeping the interest of the reader, and to be honest I don't doubt that from what I've read.