Title: The Shadow Prince
Author: Jan Zimlich
Published in September 2002 by LoveSpell
The Caspian Sea lies, at one point, in the shadow of a mighty fortress. The rumors and speculations run rampant about this place. The whispers tell of demons and a demon Prince, a royal second son given as a payment of debt. The Magii are a mighty tribe in the Empire of Median Empire; the magnificent fortress is called Khorazm. The tales that are told as rumors are true, and no one knows that better than Adrik Kiryl, also known as the Shadow Prince. The Magii have been renowned throughout the empires as a tribe of magicians and great sorcerers, but none are as great as Adrik.
This Darkling Prince has been raised from birth to take the place of the demon Malkaval in the Shadow Realm, a destiny that would doom him for eternity. He has never known much of the world as it really exists. His sphere has been kept to the dark teachings of Malkaval in preparation for entry into the Shadow Realm. He has never known love, but has experienced lust. Never has he known anger either, but rage has been his companion. Hope is a word he has no acquaintance with, but despair carries an edge almost as keen as the arrows in his quiver or the sword at his back. He longs for something he has no words for until...
Arkanna is thrilled. The seer, Shalelle is gone, she is in control of the Arizanti. The daughter is almost dead, and if not, soon she will wish she were for her suffering will be great. But as with most of those who look with eyes filled only with greed, Arkanna misses the important things. The fate of Lorienne of the Arizanti is not hers to control. The greedy son of King Hedemon, Burian Kiryl, has demanded a payment. Lorienne was the bargain, dead or half dead was not, and he will bide his time to get even. The dying girl is, however, a perfect gift for his demon monk of a brother; he chuckles about the burden that his brother can pick up or leave.
Burian is not fate's choice for Lorienne either and so she ends in the arms of the most feared warrior and sorcerer of the Median Empire. She has always been aware of a woman's place in this world, but she never thought her lot would be that of a slave. Now, as a newfound desire flows hot in her veins, she seeks escape from the Khorazm fortress. Ancient hatreds are surrounding her, and the demon has plagued her stay. She has no idea where she will go, but she wants only her freedom right now. The rest she will work out later, or so she thinks...
Come with me now and journey back into the darkness of history. Back to the realms when magic and sorcery were prized, and those who were thought to control such powers were revered, respected, and most of all, if the reputation was great enough...feared. Taken from a period of Magii history and an ancient battle that was fought in 585 BC, Jan Zimlich has woven for us a story of treachery, hatred and an unfathomable evil, and made it all seem quite real. The story, although darkly written, is the perfect vehicle for the characters involved. It is perfectly written to pull you into the depths of the dark evils of greed, and the possible salvation of love.
The highs and lows are an exhilarating ride and the outcome is always uncertain. The Shadow Prince is not Jan's usual futuristic work, but it is an intensely satisfying book of historical fiction. Carefully researched and yet full of imagination, the tale told of Adrik and Lorienne is a romance and a trip back through time. This is a place where men and woman are influenced by prophecy, the stars and astrological and meteorological events. The Shadow Prince is one of the premiere offerings in the September releases, and an excellent example of Jan's versatility as an author. Mark this on your September list!
Yours in good reading,