Captive of the Stolen Empire

Van Dyke

Ilya Valerious stands watching her entire life crumble around her. Born and trained to rule her city-state, she now must watch it being sacked and conquered by the cruel emperor and his magical captains. Everyone is being killed, those she loves devastated, and herself taken captive to be held at the palace – and Lucien, the man responsible, is now her captor. As she joins other rulers in her same predicament, her rage and need for revenge burns hot. Lucien has never known anything but complete and utter devotion to the emperor who saved him as a child and raised him as his own. Why doesn’t the beautiful Ilya see that her conquered people will ultimately be better?  As the threads of both worlds unwind, both Ilya and Lucien discover that not all is as it seems and maybe changing their world is the only way to understand and make it better.

Wow, what an emotional and compelling story! It begins with a punch to the plexus and doesn’t let go until the final sigh at the end. The author does an absolutely superb job of drawing all the emotions of the characters right into the heart of the reader until one is completely invested and fast-turning every page.  It is because of this talent, however, that Ilya and Lucien’s relationship needs more time and depth to be believable. We read about the changes and understand the motivations behind them, but aren’t really able to digest and fully believe them. Still, the gifted storytelling, along with the twists and turns that lead to that happy ending, are just too scrumptious to put down!

Ruth Lynn Ritter