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Ellaeva, the battle priestess, is on a quest to enter Jerreki, a land where the rulers have been killing and driving out her fellow priestesses. Turned back at the border, she asks the king of Ahlleyn to send her in secret as part of an embassy that includes Lyram Aharris, a man from her past as well as the hated Prince Drault and the Duchess Narrawen. What they find in Jerreki is unspeakable evil, and Ellaeva and Lyram must put duty and justice above love in order to prevail. This is the second book in The Sundered Oath series. I didn't read the first book, though I intend to remedy that omission, I felt I picked up the story and the characters very easily. The author weaves the backstory into the narrative seamlessly, no data dump here. In fact, the writing is quite brilliant; the descriptions give an excellent description of the world and people while not being overly verbose. There's a lot of battle scenes and fighting which I sometimes get bored with, but they drew me in, and I could almost see each parry and thrust. Drault is a wonderful villain, not over the top, but still capable of great evil. Narrawen's character is more subtle, but I disliked her just as much as Drault by the end of the book. And neither of them is the true enemy. Ellaeva and Lyram are heroes in the true sense of the word. Both have lost much and want so much more, but let the needs of others and their own senses of duty override their love. I can't wait for the next book in this series and I will definitely find some more of Ms. Ballintyne's books. A truly great fantasy series. I received a copy from the author to reivew, but then bought my copy because I liked it so much.