by Andrea Creamer
Book: Nightshade Prequel #1
Pub Date: Aug 7 2012
Genre: Shapeshifters, Paranormal, Magic, Young Adult
Book Links: Goodreads Amazon
Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother's life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind.
My Review: Ember is in the meadow when Alistair shows up. Ember is happy and Alistair has come to take her just like he promised. They talk and walk to Ember's home. They arrive to a feast going on with some guests she wasn't expecting. One of the man sat up and decided it was time to leave. He is there to take Ember to Conatus. Ember is promised to this group after her mother was having difficulties during her delivery. A woman from Conatus came with healing abilities to save her mother and baby, which meant giving Ember to the group once she became 16. However Morrow will not have her leaving just yet. So Borrow makes a deal, if he can't beat his best warriors then they will wait longer, if he wins they leave within the hour. At the end Mr. Borrow wins, so Ember must leave soon. Maids and servants pack while Ember and her sister Agnes talk. Agnes and the rest of the family will go on the journey with Ember. After that Agnes is to go to France and marry. They arrive and settle into their room for the night. They all aren't to happy but Ember tries to go along. Ember is excited to be away from them and have her own life and be with Alistair. The next day Ember gets ready to take her trial. She is first introduced to what she has to do and is brought to a room with 3 doors. Each door hides something different and after getting a look behind all three, Ember must choose one. Once she does she can't turn back. After getting to know whats behind each door, Ember chose the war type room. She goes through the door and so her trail begins. With a lantern and dagger in hand, Ember goes forward to face her trail. She goes into a room and something is there. This thing attacks Ember, after a few minutes her instinct kicks in and she uses the dagger to defeat this creature. At this Ember is able to get out of the room and finish her trail with a victory. She is now part of the circle and a warrior. First Ember is taken and has some of her questions answered and is given information about what she would have to do. Then she is to be given a mentor, ideal for her would be the only other female, but instead Barrow is chosen. Once the news is revealed to everyone, Ember's dad comes in all furious. He can't stand whats going on. He wants his debt paid in some other way, but there isn't. He wants Ember to be married off like his other daughter, and he is also upset over the choice she made to be a warrior. Instead of yelling, Ember just calmly tells him to leave, when he doesn't just leave, he is escorted out and the door locked to prevent anymore interruptions. After everything is settled, they all go off and prepare for the feast to welcome her and just to enjoy this time. The feast however hits a bump, when Ember's dad once again loses his cool and complains again about everything that is going on. So with that he is escorted out, and the rest of Ember's family follow him out in a better manner. The feast continues but Ember, isn't into it anymore, and is shown to her room. The next day Ember's family is gone and now her training is to begin. Alistair however is off on a mission amd Ember will train with Barrow alone. For a while Ember and Barrow train which by the end of each day her muscles are sore and still she fights. Once Alistair is back he goes to Ember's room. She is surprised but happy to see him. Alistair can finally be with Ember and he goes in to kiss her but she is caught off guard and pushes him back. She speaks of the vows they took, but Alistair tells her it doesnt mean much. That they can be together even after the vows they took being in the guard. Ember cant take it and has him leave the room. The next morning Ember and Barrow start off normally. Everyone is at a meeting, but Ember and Barrow don't need to be there. They need to continue their training and head over to the Smith shop to pick up the weapon, and at that they continue with their training. Now I'll leave the other half for you all to discover. I must say since this is a prequel to Creamer's Nightshade series, it is one of the best prequel's out there. There is a mix of light and dark that grabs the reader until the very last page. The love with Ember and Alistair, is just fun. What girl wouldn't like a cute guy with a sword loving after you. Not to mention he loves that Ember is not just like any other girl out there. Plus who doesn't like a cute challenge with love. This book was just amazing and I can't wait to read more.