The only thing that mattered to Sollara was escaping the Deep Kingdom and exploring the world she had only ever dared to dream about. But when her dreams clash with her reality, she awakes in the arms of a handsome stranger, somewhere in an unknown and magical land. Not knowing who her enemies or allies are, she turns to those she was raised to despise for help.
All she had was her soul and she was determined to keep it.
This synopsis does NOTHING for the book. In fact, it sounds like a completely different book.
Sollara is turning 18 and has never seen the sun. She lives deep below the group in the Deep Kingdom because some of her descendants tried to over throw the Atlantians in the great city of Atlantis. Needless to say, that didn't go so well. So, on the morning of her 18th birthday she constructs a plan to visit the surface. Sollara successfully makes it to the surface. There she sees this swoon worthy boy, and is completely mesmerized. She's speechless and drawn to him in a way that she has never felt before. Those are not good signs. Her father notices the boy and Sollara's reaction, and instantly takes her back below ground.
You would think the story would be about finding her soulmate and visiting the surface again, until her maid overhears her mother and father talking in secret. It seems Sollara's real parents are dead (murdered actually) and the people she thinks are her parents are really like sick, twisted kidnappers. The maid concocts a plan to smuggle Sollara out of the Deep Kingdom and into the safety of some of the Dark Ones. The plan works, but not before a HUGE sacrifice is made.
I can't say too much more about the plot without giving away too much of the story. It was complicated, to say the least.
Sollara and Kai (swoon worthy surface dweller) were interesting. On a simple scale, they are fated to be together. (Afterall, there is a prophecy that says so.) You could expect the sappy romance level that comes with fated lovers. It wasn't horrible, but it was what you expect. There was plenty of passion without it reading like a romance novel. I do appreciate the level at which Sollara and Kai are devoted to one another. It saves Kai from making a horrible mistake later in the book. There are other characters that are a nice compliment to Sollara and Kai as well.
There was an element of mythology that went a long with this book. Sollara is named after her parents, one of which is the god/goddess of the sun. (I can't remember which. but I think it was the mother. Sorry!) In the book, these characters are called Elementals. Kai is also an Elemental. His parents controlled the sea. Other Elementals were mentioned, but we really didn't get to know much about them. There was also a mentioning of the city of Atlantis (ok, more than a mentioning, but I think it will come up more in the following books). The really creepy part of the book were the Dark Ones. They were some weird type of vampire creature. The "good" Dark Ones don't like feeding on humans and want to co-exist. The others, well... you can guess.
Sollara's "parents" (not the dead ones) were evil. Pure evil. I haven't read something like them in some time. Yikes. Without a doubt, they are the things nightmares are made of. Mari--who makes Mommy Dearest look like Mother Theresa-- was the sickest of them all. She would kill in cold blood without a moment's notice. Apparently, if she (and the other council members of the Dark Kingdom) drink the blood of an Elemental it has more power than ambrosia. One sip of Elemental blood could render them immortal. Of course, that same sip would make their desire for blood almost unquenchable and send them on a bloodlust killing spree. The blood would also keep them young forever, and the youthfulness is what gives these evil ones their power.
The detail and graphic nature of these killings make this book suitable for the older YA readers and adults. This is not your Twilight tween paranormal romance novel. There were many unique and strange elements that I encountered as I read. I don't know much (i.e. nothing) about Basque mythology, so I don't know which elements in the novel were myth related or not.
My favorite part of the book was the ending. Holy crap! I had to read those pages twice to make sure I read it correctly. What a surprise! With that being said, I don't know what the next book will hold for us. My mind is racing at all of the possibilities. I have my theories, but I can't share them with you, or else I would ruin the book. Originally, the ending made me go, "WHAT!? Noooooo. There must be more!" Seriously. I said this aloud as I read. It scared the dog. This ending made me dislike the book at first, pushing it into the 3 range. But then I started to think about the future story and how amazing it will be because of this ending. Now I think I'm happy with giving this a solid 4.
Simply speaking, if you like the paranormal and don't get squeamish at blood (a lot of blood), then you will like this book. Just don't let your Team Edward twelve year old daughter/niece read it. It would be too much. Look for the book's release date on September 1st. =)