From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up- In 1404, Ember, 16, should have been the wife of a rich landowner, but she has been promised to Conatus, a group of monklike warriors shrouded in mystery and housed and trained in Tearmunn, an estate in the Scottish Lowlands. Ember's birth was nearly fatal for her mother and, at his wits end, her father called upon Conatus for help. A midwife saved both the baby and her mother, but the cost was dear; Ember was promised to Conatus. When a brooding and handsome warrior named Barrow comes to collect her, Ember all too willingly joins the elite guard. The bulk of the book details her initiation, training, and gradual understanding of the magic that is at work at Tearmunn. Alternating chapters give insight into Cian and Eira, sister warriors who are part of the circle of leaders of Conatus. Readers slowly grow to understand that Eira is beckoned to the dark side and, in Cremer's world, this is evil indeed. They will need to be patient with the slow start of Rift, but those who persevere will be rewarded with a richly layered, supernatural romance both appealing and unique. Ember and Barrow's connection is steamy (but not explicit). Ember is a realistic heroine whose warrior skills make her a formidable protagonist, and Cremer deftly weaves in an antagonist in the form of the well-intentioned Eira. Ties to the "Nightshade" trilogy (Philomel) are loose, and this prequel is refreshingly able to stand alone.-Tara Kehoe, Plainsboro Public Library, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
“A bit different from Nightshade, this is a book for historical and paranormal romance lovers alike. ...A great new book that will leave you breathless.” – Romantic Times
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“A richly layered, supernatural romance both appealing and unique.” – School Library Journal
“Cremer’s trademark quick pace, romantic sensuality, and strong female characters will have fans clamoring for the next title.” - Booklist