Title: Shattered Soul
Author: Angela Verdenius
Published in January 2011 by Wings ePress
Genre: Futuristic/Sci-Fi Romance
Cover Artist: Richard Stroud
Related Books: (1) Heart of an Outlaw • (2) Soul of a Mercenary • (3) Heart of the Betrayed • (4) Love's Sweet Assassin • (5) Soul of a Hunter • (6) Love's Bewitching Thief • (7) Heart of the Forsaken • (8) Soul of a Witch • (9) Heart of a Traitor • (10) Soul of the Forgotten • (11) Love's Beguiling Healer • (12) Heart of a Peacekeeper • (13) Soul of a Predator • (14) Love's Winsome Warrior • (15) Heart of a Smuggler • (16) Soul of a Guardian •
A flash, a cry of surprise, and a split-second of stillness. Heart in her throat, she swung her head around, horror filling her. Horror and fear and despair.
Rani was down on one knee, her sword at her feet and one hand at her throat. Blood spilled down under her palm and between her fingers. She made a choked sound and looked up, her beautiful eyes wide in shock.
Her throat was cut. Her sister’s throat had been cut!.
Even as Ceri stared, Rani lowered her head, her hand tightening around her throat as though in an effort to stem the lifeblood pumping hotly from beneath her hand to drench the front of her sleeveless vest..
A blast of frigid air burst forth from the crack. Ceri couldn’t move. Still staring in horror at her sister dying before her eyes, she couldn’t reach out, couldn’t touch her—
And then there was nothing.
This was only the start of Rani's nightmare. It was bad enough being torn from her sister's side, but to end up in the Inner Sanctum of The Overlord, the most evil and vile creature in the known Sectors is almost too much. There are two people there she wants to trust, but the Dark Mage, Phemar had her bound, chained, had not fed her nor given her a drink. He had forced something dark, evil, and vile inside of her and all Rani could do was fight. One of the men, Fredrico, a pirate by Rani's guess, tried to encourage her not to fight the evil forced inside of her, counselled her to accept her fate. But Rani is Reeka, and Reekas fight that which they perceive as a threat to their beings. It might have been a losing battle if not for the intervention of the Witch Woman. Beulah knows for Rani to survive she must be given the freedom, and in order for her to follow her destiny, she has to live. It is the goodness in Rani that allows Bulah to convince her of the hopelessness of her plight, and to make amends with her soul as her destiny plays out.
To coerce Rani into compliance, Phemar has shattered her soul, infused her with his evil, then tried to force her to survive. In his own perverted mind she had to bend to his will. Only with a soul made whole can Rani discover her true power. When push comes to shove, the tables may be turned, but now all Phemar can do is bait the Reeka, angering her more and driving her closer to a major confrontation. All Fredrico and his friend and mentor Veknor can do is watch as the trouble brews and then finally explodes. Rani is uncertain of the so-called destiny she is to fulfill, but she only knows the betrayal. The separation from Ceri came with her not being allowed to die. The pain of having to be separated forever from her blood sister, and her sister Reekas is almost too much to bear, and the attraction she feels toward Fredrico her betrayer only adds to her misery. He is the reason she was here, he brought her to this hell, trapped her here, and has left her without hope. But there is a connection there, and maybe destiny will give her some compensation for being dragged from all she has ever loved in her life. It is little comfort, but at this point she will cling to anything positive, however transient.
Fredrico has long given up the hope of any kind of normal life. Working for The Overlord gives him power, but that comes with a price he is not quite sure it worth the trouble until he is sent to pick up the Reeka Phemar marked for The Overlord. There is definitely something brewing he does not quite understand, but Phemar is excited, and The Overlord is upset. His temper is uncertain, and it does not bode well for the denizens of the Inner Sanctum. With the liberation of the Reeka from her prison of ice, and watching Phemar trying to force her into compliance as she is dying, Fredrico is struck by the fact she might be an ally, a friend, someone with whom he can talk to and, like Veknor, have is back against the evil with which they are surrounded. Rani hates the betrayal, and although he tries his best, until she resigns herself to her situation, he can do nothing to help. Fredrico is surprised by her strength, her determination, and her loyalty to what she sees as right. As they discover the threat to the Outlaw Sector, and to their friends and family in the Lawful Sector, he is surprised at her sadness, her resignation. He is forced to recognise she will never be a party to the evil around her, but she will serve as long as it is for the protection of her friends and family, her sister Reekas.
Veknor has never been in such a position before. He found in Fredrico, a very unlikely friendship, a loyalty he was not expecting. Yes, Fredrico was brash, bold, hard, and often seemed to be unfeeling, but he had proved himself to Veknor on many occasions. He was a true friend in a place where most would stab you in the back for advancement. Fredrico was loyal when others would have betrayed him, so he knew exactly how Fredrico felt when Rani accused him, and rightly so, of betrayaing her. Veknor knew it went against evey impulse the pirate posessed, and that he hated Phemar every bit as much as Veknor did, but there was not a thing they could do about it now. Phemar was The Overlord's creature, his Dark Mage, and to go against him was a sure way to end up decorating the wall of the banquet room, or even ending up as a main course for The Overlord's pets. Time, they needed to bide their time, but that may not be possible as they begin to understand the threat of the Darknen to The Overlord, the Outlaw Sector, and eventually to the Lawful Sector. When the moment comes, it comes in a very dangerous way, and it has unexpected consequences for the trio, their fledgling friendships, and possibly the survival of their worlds.
Angela Verdenius has brought her readers one of her best books ever. Shattered Soul is the newest addition to Angela’s Heart and Soul series, and more than lives up to any great press it could get. Sisters, torn from each other in a narrow cave, frozen in a blanket of ice. One fit and ready to fight, the other dying as she was frozen in time. In that stasis, she is helpless, a prime target for bounty hunters or for the evil which will try and steal her heart, her soul, and her life. But Rani is a Reeka Warrior, and as such she is made of sterner stuff than Phemar could ever imagine. The hardest thing on Rani's psyche is the separation from her sister, Ceri. The Overlord, himself, has seen the Reeka strength, has admired them for their loyalty, beauty, and their cunning in battle. To bind one such as Rani to him is the goal, but it has unexpected conssequennnces when Phemar gets out of hand and tried to Kill not only Rani, but alos Fredrico and Veknor as well.
Shattered Soul is back to the darkness, delving deep into the evil and twisted world of The Overlord and his most vile minions. But in all truthfullness, it is there the story gets most interesting. Once again, I found Shattered Soul to be an exceptional read, and one that I know I will go back to again and again. Angela has brought Fredrico, The Overlord's second in command, messenger, and valued space pirate to his knees, but the Warrior, the people, and the situations will still rivet the attention. So come along with Fredrico, Rani, and Veknor as they fight for their destiny together, and with Rani as she fights to fulfill hers. Angela’s writing sweeps you along with the action, brings you to tears at points with the situations Rani is forced to endure, and will have you clapping at their victories. Shattered Soul is the book for you if you enjoy danger, and loyal group of friends in a very precarious situation, and a strong heroine who, in a very real sense, loses it all. Released in January 2011 by Wings ePress, it is must buy, and a story you will not, cannot forget. It is definitely another in Angela's line of fine romances that Wings has to offer. Get your copy today, and you will have many pages of total enjoyment as only Angela Verdenius can provide.
Yours in good reading,