Title: The Gift of Surrender
Author: D. L. Warner
The Citadel of Almourol was in an uproar, and excitement was rife in the air. The announcement that the princess was to marry had those in the citadel in a frenzy of cleaning, the merchants in a frenzy of preparation, and the countryside in a state of excitement of the "New Regent" who would soon be governing their kingdom. Princess Sarianna was a girl who knew what she wanted, and yet, she was unsure of the feelings of others. Content to help her father rule, she was unprepared for Vauraus' failing health, and his demand that she marry. Now she is faced with the courting process, and the desire to please not only her beloved father, but also her own desires to love. As the process starts, she is unhappy with the first suitor that comes, rejecting him soundly for attempting to rape her and force her to the altar. She is afraid that others will be like Prince Rowsdower, and her apprehension grows. She is not used to the crudity of treatment she received thus far, and fear dogs her steps now.
She has been little prepared to be a wife, and yet she could rule the kingdom with no trouble at all. She knew precious little of the ways of men and women, and this apart from the experience she had at Queen Taraasta's son left her shaking and uncertain. Of all the Kingdoms of Hanyanoore, Arinpera was the center, the seat, and its Crown Princess was known as the Light of Arinpera. Until this husband-hunt, she was certain the name was only a beloved nickname her father used, but knowing that it carried great responsibility as well and power made Sarianna even more cautious. There was also the fact that danger suddenly loomed on all sides, and the coming of the King of Ritvala and his three very virile sons did nothing to ease her mind. Only her heart can speak true, and it seems focused on King Magnus' youngest son, much to the disdain of the advisor Neuvoja.
Nikulainen is the youngest son of King Magnus and his Surrimestan hostage consort Lady Reija. Niku, as he is known to his family, is certain that the princess will not chose him as her Regent. The son of a king and his hostage, Niku is uncertain of his place in his father's heart, and has no idea that he holds any power to guide his life as he chooses. When the messenger delivers the announcement of the search for a bridegroom for the Crown Princess Sarianna, he truly believed his older brothers, Armas and Julin would be offers to the Great King as regents for the kingdom, and mate to the Prefect of Arinpera, the Keeper of the Light of Arinpera. Already he has faced the enemies of Arinpera when he first arrived at the Citadel of Almourol. Riding as he was wont to do, enjoying the freedom of the trip to The Great King's Citadel, he arrived to find it under attack, and immediately leapt into the fray. He rousted those who put the princess in danger, and was there to welcome his father and brothers while unwittingly falling into his father's plan.
Little does Niku know that with his Surrimestan heritage, he is his father's first choice as a mate to the Great King's daughter. Magnus is sure his older sons don't have what it takes to win the princess, and at the same time, he wants the best for the son of his heart. Niku has been prepared to rule, the training subtle, his heritage special, and with his unique powers joined with those of the Crown Princess, Magnus sees a bright future for the lands of the Hanyanoore. Niku is challenged by the status he holds as Regent to the great King, and although he chafes at the restrictions, he finds himself drawn in to the order of the kingdoms, the complexities of the people, and the ability to help them in their disputes. He is wary of the danger that looms around him and the princess, and knows that the success will be measured in his ability to keep them all safe, and bring her safely to the altar...
The Gift of Surrender is a wonderful fantasy filled with excellent characters and a delightful sense of whimsy. D. L. Warner has constructed memorable characters with impossible names, but they resonate with the reader, and work their way into your heart. Definitely a book for the lovers of fantasy, and a good romance, The Gift of Surrender will keep you turning the pages as the Princess Sarianna and her Regent Nikulainen work to solve the mystery of the danger posed to the kingdom. In doing so, they will discover more than they bargained for, and more than they ever wanted. The key is to find the path to happiness, and rule benevolently, and above all, love completely. For this pair, the path has not been easy, and many difficulties lie ahead. They must find the answers to the danger surrounding them, and find a way to save themselves, and thus save their kingdom.
The Gift of Surrender is a book you won't soon forget, and it will keep you entertained with beautiful scenes, heartfelt love, and the shadows of constant danger. Time is measured, but you will find it flies as you are absorbed in the trials and triumphs of Niku and Sarianna as they work to make the Lands of the Hanyanoore safe, prosperous, and peaceful once again. This interesting and engrossing book is available from Sybaritic Press (print), and Forbidden Publications (ebook) The Gift of Surrender is a book you will read again and again. Kudos go to Ms. Warner for a most memorable book, and a simply delightfully written fantasy. I loved the dialogue, the almost tongue in cheek humor as brother’s banter lends a sense of reality to the story, and a sense of family togetherness even when they disagree. The Gift of Surrender will provide you with a few wonderful hours of escape, so I shall let you to it! Enjoy…
Yours in good reading,