ALLIANCE FORGED

Reviews

 

Copyright © 2009-2014 Kylie Griffin

RT Magazine (June 2012): The tentative alliance initiated in the first Light Blade novel is in danger of collapse in the second outing of Griffin's exciting fantasy series. A major theme of this book is co-existence and the acceptance of those with differences. The old saying 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' works, but old prejudices are hard to combat. Griffin does a stellar job envisioning her world and its compelling protagonists. Well worth your time!


Worlds of Wonder & Genre Go Round Reviews (Harriet Klausner): Human Light Blade leader Kalan and his human/half demon Na’Chi wife Annika offer an alliance to her species. Desperate as only purebreds survive especially with the demonic Na’Reish horde hunting them down for genocidal extinction, the Na’Chi led by Varian the warrior accept.


The shaky pact collapses when Light Blade rebels, opposed to the agreement, assault a Na’Chi encampment. In the attack, Varian saves the life of Kalan’s blind sister Kymora the temple-elect of the goddess. They are attracted to each other, but the warrior trusts no one not of Na’Chi at a time when the Na’Reish prepares for war and the Light Blade rebels continue their hostilities.


The second Light Blade romantic military fantasy (see Vengeance Born) is a terrific thriller as the endless war between demon and humans is reaching a critical mass with the Na’Chi caught in the middle. The lead couple is a strong pairing of interracial attraction and doubts while the support cast enhance the internal human squabble. With an insightful look at racial intolerance in a time of long-term constant combat and security alert, fans will appreciate Kylie Griffin’s superb look at an Alliance Forged does not mean alliance accepted even with a common enemy on the march.


Bookaholics Romance Book Club (Stephanie): In Alliance Forged, the war between humans and the Na'Reish demons is bitter and fierce. But a small group of half-breed demon/humans named Na'Chi have found an uneasy pact with the human leader. However the strong prejudice against them makes life difficult. When their village is attacked by humans who are supposed to uphold justice it appears that a rebellion may doom their treaty.


The half-breed leader Varian, feels the weight of his people. He constantly feels he must try to keep his demon side in check even though it make him powerful than a regular human. He secretly cares for the blind, human priestess Kymora Tayn. However, Varian is scarred and knows even those of his clan do not find him attractive. He is resigned to being alone. But when his village is attacked and the visiting Kymora is left defenseless he runs to her rescue. When he saves her, their time together becomes intense and their admiration and respect for each other turns into feeling of affection, passion and love. But can their newfound love endure hatred and prejudice on both sides?


The author writes a novel that romance readers will cherish. As two lonely and lost souls find acceptance and love. Reading Varian and Kymora finally find another person who understands and cares for them was very touching to read. Each sees into the heart of the other person. I liked how the blind Kymora pursues Varian early in the story because Varian feels that he is not worthy. Neither have experienced love or tender affection and it was sweet to read them discovering each other. While I admired Kymora's compassion and courage (she is no push over), Varian was the true star of this book. He must make many difficult decisions when those he cares for revolt and he must brutally squash the rebellion to keep the human alliance. These tough choices deeply affect him yet he forges on for the good of his people. As Varian struggles against his dark demon side and the passion he feels for Kymora, the reader can feel his anguish. He is a noble man who suppresses/denies his needs for others. And when the perceptive Kymora sees the good in him and loves him even when he does not believe he deserves it this emotionally charged book was poignant and addicting.


A battle scarred, noble hero and a valiant heroine caught in a war of deep prejudice make for a powerfully affecting read.


A Window Seat on a Rainy Day (Aimee): Ah... back to the Light Blade world... What a pleasure. In this latest installment of Kylie Griffin's Light Blade series, we get the story that was greatly hinted at in the first book, Vengeance Born. This is the story of the Na'Chi warrior Varian and the human priestess Kymora. This is one of the more unique stories I've read in a while. Throughout the book, typical romance story tropes are avoided left and right. For that, it gets a big plus!...


The Reading Café (Barb Lie): Alliance Forged by Kylie Griffin is the second book of her Light Blade series, and if you remember from my review of Vengeance Born, this is fantasy romance.  Griffin does a masterful job of creating this worldbuilding, of Humans (Light Blade), Na’Reish (demons), and Na’Chi (half human/demons).  The story picks up shortly after Vengeance Born left off, when Kalan,  the Chosen of the Light Blade, forces his command of the Council and Soldiers, by allowing Na’Chi to be part of their alliance, and his commitment to Annika, a NaChi, as his mate.  In order to win the [on]going war with the Na’Reish, the two sides need to join hands to work together to defeat the enemy.


But prejudice is still a big issue for many to accept the Na’Chi as friends.  Alliance Forged is a dual story, showing how prejudice threatens to divide the Light Blade soldiers, with friends turning against each other.  Those that are willing to work with the strong Na’Chi and those who refuse to accept them as allies.    The other part is the romance between two unlikely pairings, but one that you saw the start of in Vengeance Born.


Kymora is Kalan’s sister, she is the priestess, the Temple Elect.  Kymora, who is also blind, speaks for the Lady, who is the human’s deity. Kymora is such a wonderful character.  She cares about others, and you marvel at how she can get around her blindness. She uses her gift, being able to sense aura’s and has worked to perfect that gift.  Kymora believes she has a destiny that the Lady expects her to fulfill, and that is to bring the Na’Chi and Humans together to help save them all.


Varian is the leader of the Na’Chi. We met Varian in Vengeance Born, when he led his people to follow Annika and Kalan when they returned to Sacred Lake.  That was when Varian and Kymora met, and soon thereafter, an uneasy alliance was born.  In this book, Kymora is working with the Na’Chi to teach them how to live with humans, and help them.  She befriends Varian, who isn’t an easy person to deal with.  Varian takes it upon himself to protect his people, and half of his inner self is full demon, that he brings out during battles.  Varian has a hard time keeping this dangerous angry part of him in control.   He begins to realize that Kymora soothes his anger, and he finds unfamiliar feelings, he doesn’t know how to handle when he is around her.  Kymora, finds herself content and happy around Varian, and she was very aggressive with him, trying to entice him to act on his feelings, until he could no longer resist.  Varian has always believed he would never have someone love him; that his people respected him as a leader, but did not want to be his friend.


This is an amazing love story, to watch Kymora break the shield around Varian, and how they both explored their growing love, something neither had experienced.  Very nicely done, as I really enjoyed this romance, as it was totally different, and very nice to see.


The ending was very exciting with the rebels fighting the alliance taking things too far, bringing danger to their own people, and sides have to be chosen.  The climatic ending is a race against time to save their own, and during this battle, Varian opens his heart to his true love.  A great story, and wonderful ending.  The battle is still on the horizon, with the humans/Na’chi to possibly face the [on]coming Na’reish demons.  The third book will be about Arek, who played a big part early on in this book, and in the first one.  I already cannot wait for his story, and to find out what will happen to him, as well as the war upcoming.  Great book and series by Kylie Griffin.


All About Romance (Louise Vandervliet): ...I loved the love story between Kymora and Varian. Kymora was never afraid to share her feelings, no matter how vulnerable it made her. She pushed and prodded Varian along simply through her honesty. Never once did her prodding turn annoying. Just the opposite, in fact. She was refreshing and engaging and it was easy to see how Varian couldn’t resist her. Meanwhile, Varian was a Tortured male – with a capital “T”. He had a hard life of abuse and condemnation and yet he was a man worthy of love. Is there anything better than that?...


Two Lips Reviews (5/5): Alliance Forged by Kylie Griffin is the second novel in the Light Blade series. Even though it is only the second, I really recommend reading these books in order.

This is a complicated series with many undertones you might not get if you do not. Having said that, this is such a well rounded book; it is not only a well-done romance but the world building and politics are really well done and kept me reading.

This book is not what I would call a light fluffy read; it has amazing depth, and really sends the reader into the story. The chemistry is easily felt and the characters are very believable. This is the story you pick up when you want to sink into a new and wondrous place for a while.


Once Upon A Romance (4 stars): "...once the book started delving into the main story, it really steamrolled and was really hard to put down. The characters were well written and the budding romance between Varian and Kymora was like watching a beautiful flower blooming. The conflict between the Na’Chi and humans against the invading demons was edgy and fast paced. Overall, I thought it was a good read."