A macabre fantasy that has it all. A peasant enslaved becomes a hero, a Princess becomes a queen before her time, along with murder, ghosts, and zombies.
But then the action takes place at Castle Gloom in the Kingdom of Gehenna. A dark secret entity is gathering together an army of the undead to conquer all.
This is really enjoyable.
Thorn is the pigheaded forester's son who has his own special abilities, a peasant's common sense (sometimes) and who ends up on a fantastical journey--after having been bought from the slavers by Ghenna's executioner, Tyburn.
Lilth Shadow became the ruler of Gehenna when her family (parents and brother) was attacked and killed in the forest when returning from a state visit to a neighbouring kingdom--Lumina.
Then there is K'leef, a captured Prince, held hostage by Duke Raphael Solar, the enemies of the Gehenna for eons. Lily's parents' royal visit had been to arrange for Lily is to marry the Duke's son Gabriel, to bring peace between the two kingdoms. Did I mention that Lily cannot stand Gabriel?
It seems like Lily might have a little of the family's necromancer magic--a dangerous thing as women with that sort of magic are killed in Geheena.
A host of other interesting characters support the cast--along with Hades! I love Thorn's way with difficult animals, and other monstrous type mammals. In fact the pure delight of Hades and Thorn together is beautifully penned.
Tightly written, with plenty of action, and a nicely woven plot, the story races along with no being bogged down (unless you're reliving a dying maid's last moments!)
Recommended for Grade 4 and up, however a good book is valued by any age group, and as an adult I certainly enjoyed reading this
A NetGalley ARC