Title: Alliance (Torsere: Book Three)
Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 284 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: King Ryneq and his dragon rider consort, Nykin, return to Torsere to defend the kingdom against the lowland armies already camped along Torsere’s borders. Seran wants the dragons, and with a new witch in his ranks, war is inevitable.
With the elves of Hervath now helping them, Ryneq has a chance at holding Seran at bay. But the witch is using old dark magic, and as Nykin and the dragon riders battle her deadly attack, unexpected betrayal forces Ryneq to make a difficult decision.
Faced with the prospect of losing his kingdom, Ryneq gambles on a plan that could ultimately save Torsere, if they can stay alive long enough to see it through. With Ryneq standing against Seran and his witch, time is of the essence, and Nykin must make a sacrifice to end the war. Only then will Ryneq and Nykin be able to start a life together.
Review: Author Annabelle Jacobs brings her Torsere trilogy to a grand and gripping finish in Alliance, an action packed and sometimes emotional farewell to King Ryneq, Nykin, and the myriad role players—the dragons in particular—who’ve made this alternate universe such a thrill to visit.
Each step of this journey has been fraught with the battle of good versus evil, when avarice is the motive which makes a monster of a neighboring king, and vengeance finds a witch employing all the knowledge of the dark magic in her possession in an effort to atone for a loss and to gain the absolute power that will corrupt absolutely. The author packs a world of danger and betrayal, magic and wonder, honor and duty, loyalty and love between the covers of this final installment of the series. Between the rush of adrenaline and the emotional impact of the fight these heroes are up against, Alliance is a book whose pages melted away with the need to see how the battle would resolve itself, and the payoff at the end was well worth the journey.
Harsh words spoken and the tangle of emotions bring to the fore the conflict of love and duty to a country and its people, when Ryneq and Nykin are forced to put the good of Torsere before their own need to keep each other safe and alive. War is a time of sacrifice and suffering, each battle a time for victories and losses, and these men each surrender to the greater good but not without a fight of their own. Annabelle Jacobs, without the use of pretense or overly effusive language, illustrates the love Ryneq and Nykin feel for each other in every touch, every kiss, every display of anger and fear, and every sigh of relief upon being reunited.
Perhaps the best love story in this series, however, is that of Nykin and his dragon, Fimor. What the author has accomplished in illustrating the bond between dragon and rider exceeds any of the ordinary tropes often seen in speculative fiction, such as the mate bonding in paranormal romance, nor can it be described in the same terms as that of, say, a witch and their familiar. The relationship between Nykin and Fimor transcends friendship, goes beyond brotherhood, and enters into the realms of a spiritual connection, which plays out often in a quite touching and poignant way, particularly in one climactic scene of the book.
The three part arc is fulfilled not only in the core story of the war brought to Torsere’s walls over the course of the trilogy but also plays out in this installment in several concurring storylines; in the alliance with the elves, in relationships between minor characters, and in the loss of one of Torsere’s own, which again drives home the connection between dragon and rider and inspired a few tears as well. All was skillfully woven together then unfolded into what is a must read series for any fan of high fantasy and an epic hero’s journey.
You can buy Alliance (Torsere: Book Three) here: