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Allegiance Sworn by Kylie Griffin
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Allegiance Sworn

by Kylie Griffin

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I was delighted when I discovered Kylie Griffin to be an Australian author writing in the paranormal fantasy genre. Published by Berkley in the US (and distributed by Penguin in Australia), Allegiance Sworn is the third book in Griffin's Light Blade series featuring the conflict between a brutal demonkind called the Na'Reish and the Light Blade warriors who protect the human race.

In Vengeance Born we were introduced to Annika, the half-blood daughter of the Na'Reish king desperate to escape her father's cruel regime. When a Light Blade warrior, Kalan, is captured during a demon ambush, Annika offers to free him in exchange for sanctuary in the human territory. To escape the Na'Reish and overcome the Council objections, the pair must learn to trust each other with their lives, and their hearts.

In Alliance Forged Kalan and Annika are stunned when a party of Na’Chi, half-bloods just like Annika, appear at Sacred Lake seeking refuge, and offering an alliance in the coming war against the Na'Reish. While the Lady, the human's deity, has told temple priestess Kymora that the coalition is vital in order to defeat the Na'Reish, not everyone is willing to put their prejudice aside. Hoping to promote acceptance of the Na'Chi, Kymora offers to work closely with them and their fierce leader, Varian but when rebel Light Blades attack the camp the fragile treaty is in danger of collapsing. In order to ensure it survives, Kymora must convince Varian to trust her, and himself.

In Allegiance Sworn, war is imminent and during a Na'Reish attack in human territory, Light Blade warrior, Arek is captured. Sold on as a blood slave, Arek would rather die than serve a Na'Reish but Clan-leader Imhara Kaal surprises him. She is an advocate for the Old Ways and wants to put an end to the Na'Reish King's plans for war. Arek isn't sure he can trust the she-demon but unless he learns to, he risks losing everything.

Set in an imaginative world where humans and demons are on the brink of war, Griffin combines romance, action, intrigue and magic in each book of her Light Blade series. I eagerly read one after another, enjoying an escape into the fantasy of warriors and heroines falling in love and fighting for peace.

The Na'Reish are a demon race with characteristics not unlike vampires in that they feed from from humans. They treat humans much like cattle and despise the Na'Chi, mixed bloods, who are usually killed at birth. They live in clans and fight amongst themselves for power and status but are led by a King, Savyn.
The humans live in a feudal type society, led by the Council of Light Blades who respects the teachings of the Lady, their deity. Some humans are blessed with abilities that vary including the power to heal, and in the case of some Light Blade warriors, the power to kill with a touch.
Griffin has done a wonderful job of developing the political and social structure of both societies over the three books and teasing out the intriguing connection between them. The world is detailed, vivid and interesting, with elements that are both familiar and unique.

I love that we don't lose touch with characters even as the books moves on. In Allegiance Sworn, Annika, Kalan, Kymora and Varian all have roles to play though Arek and Imhara are the featured couple.

Trust is always a major obstacle to love between Griffin's pairings, and in Allegiance Sworn, Arek, a Light Blade warrior whose mother was killed by the Na'Reish, struggles with believing Imhara is not the blood thirsty, violent creature he is familiar with. To survive, Imhara must make an ally of Arek but earning his trust is a difficult task, complicated by the attraction that grows between them.

While the books in the Light Blade series feature romance there is plenty of action, adventure and intrigue to entertain the reader. Corruption in the Council, secret enclaves of Na'Chi, skirmishes between enemies and the impending war creates scenes of tension and excitement.

This is a fantasy series that offers more than romance and I have really enjoyed the first three books of the Light Blade. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Kylie Griffin and she told me she has around four more books planned to finish out the series. I hope that we see them on the shelves soon. ( )
  shelleyraec | Jun 4, 2013 |
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Clan leader Imhara Kaal tries to recruit warrior Arek Barial to present a petition to the Blade council that advocates for a caste-free society, an action that would reveal her status as a rebel if she were to do it herself.

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