Before the Storm: Eden Trilogy, Book 1
Marian Perera, ebook 2010
Premise: Alex is a concubine in the stronghold of Stephen Garnath, who is trying to bring the scattered baronies under his military might. That is, until she's given away to Robert, possibly the only man who might stand up to Stephen's armies. Alex and Robert have to decide whether they can trust each other long enough to figure out why she was placed with him, before his province is overrun.
Alex is great fun to read, Robert solid and well developed, and I loved the wide range of the supporting cast, especially the other women.
The plot is fast-paced and fun, the romance convincing and sexy, the politics intriguing, the magic unique... It was a very good book.
I'm not surprised, of course. I bought it for my Kindle because I enjoy Marian's blog (Flights of Fantasy), so I know she's smart and careful about her worldbuilding.
I liked that there wasn't an immediate hook for the sequel. The strong climax means the book can be complete in itself, but I can see plenty of threads she could follow up.
If this is before the storm, I'm quite interested to see what else the author has up her sleeve.
4 Stars - A Very Good Book
Buy Before the Storm at Amazon.com