Hers to Claim by Patricia A. Knight
Series: Verdantia #4
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A prince from the Nyth Uchel mountains … a healer from the Oshtech desert …
Scornfully rejected by her desert lover and uncertain of her place in the world, Adonia traveled a perilous road to the fabled mountain-city of Nyth Uchel. She came to heal the sick and dying, but in the arms of highborn prince, Hel, Adonia found the answer to saving herself.
Descended from nobility, once great kings of Verdantia, Hel willingly bore the burden of his dying city and its people on his shoulders. Watching helplessly as a malingering evil attacked the very soil under his feet, he crushed his pride to summon help. He’d been staggered to discover the answer to saving his city and perhaps all Verdantia might lie behind a heavy fall of chocolate hair and shy brown eyes.
As their entire planet faces an encroaching black death, two seemingly disparate individuals forge a partnership of love and sacrifice that will alter their future forever. All of Verdantia will be tested.
Buy the book here:
A fantastic addition to the Verdantia Series!
(Mild Spoilers if you haven’t read the previous books in the series)
The fourth book brought back all of the characters we’ve come to love from this series – Ram & Steffiana play a huge role, and Hel’s bickering with Ram was a particularly delightful aspect of the book:
“Bring it on, dickless wonder […] Your wife inspires more fear in me. You aren’t half the man she is.”
In addition, all three members of the Royal Tetriarch are featured heavily. Even Eric and Sophi pop up for a few scenes – so basically, everyone but Tok had a few moments to catch the reader up on life after their book.
Speaking of cameos and awesomeness – Patricia A. Knight included a feature I’d not seen before (but appreciated the wisdom of) a live-linked Easter egg embedded in the dialogue. Doral whispers something in Ari’s ear… The reader clicks the link (and is asked to sign up for Patricia A. Knight’s newsletter) and the page reveals the secret whispered.
Was it an epic secret? Nah.
Was it amusing? Sure.
Was it a genius marketing ploy? Absolutely.
I did a full breakdown of the intricacies of this high-fantasy Sci-Fi world in My review for Hers to Command. Rather than rehashing all of that, I’ll simply encourage you to catch up with that post.
However, I want to remind you of one important fact: The Planet Verdantia is sentient; She has feelings, and interacts with her population. That interaction occurs when certain Verdantians have sex… Crazy, sweaty, kinky, burn-up-the sheets sex…
All this awesome sex helps the planet flourish – it keeps the lights on, makes the crops grow, and it powers the shields which protect the Verdantia from outside forces…
Only Verdantians with a specific set of genetic markers are capable of performing the sexual rites, and they were systematically slaughtered during the war with the Haarb. Only a handful of Magistras survived the decimation of Verdantia… It was assumed that all of the female survivors (who are of age) had already been paired up…
Turns out, we were wrong.
What will I be at the end of this journey? Someone different I suspect.
We met Adonia in Hers to Choose. She is a warrior and a healer who traveled with Sophi’s deadly First Arrows. She was raised with a loathing of the high-bred Verdantians who performed rites. Toward the end of her time in the desert with Eric and Sophi, she discovered she had much to learn about Verdantian Magicks.
She began to travel with Sophi and Eric as they made their way across the planet. She suffered nearly irreparable heartache when her betrothed, Klaran, cast her off – telling her that she wasn’t feminine enough and that he used her in order join the service of Ducca DeStoria.
She obviously needed to get away from Klaran, so she fled to Sylvan Mintoth and began advanced study in the healing Rites. She hoped to become a more proficient healer despite the fact that her common Oshtesh genetics would never allow her to actually attempt the sexual rites. She was keeping to herself and watching over Queen Fleur (who is pregnant with her fourth child) when a scraggly, smelly, fur-covered nobleman storms into the throne-room.
“You are a light for my dark soul – a gift from our Great Mother…”
Though the Haarb have been eradicated, Verdantia is still under attack. A mysterious force threatens the planet on the metaphysical plane – a darkness has descended across the remote regions of the planet. We’re talking poisoned soil, plagues, mutants, and zombies… The kingdom of Nyth Uchel has taken the blunt force of this attack, and Prince DeHelios has come to Sylvan Mintoth to beg for help.
He has lost his wife,
his young children,
and has little hope left.
He needs the Tetriarch to provide him with a healer and brite-weed to combat the illness which has claimed the lives of so many. He needs a magistra to return to Nyth Uchel with him and perform the Great Rite if there is any hope of restoring light to the darkness which has enveloped his kingdom…
The Tetriarch agree to part with copious amounts of healing herbs and with their beloved medica Adonia, but there are no magistras left on Verdantia…
Hel leaves Sylvan Mintoth with a heavy heart – with no magistra his hopes of saving his city are nearly nonexistent. He must put all his faith in a healer who has little faith in herself… The road to Nyth Uchel is long and treacherous, the Tetriarch insist that Ram and Steffiana accompany Hel and Adonia on their journey…
Along the way they will face mutants, evil soul-sucking ghouls, and a steadily encroaching winter. They attempt to decipher the riddles of rambling mystics and soon learn that Adonia is not precisely what she seems…
Verdantia works in mysterious ways, and the group has a great deal to prepare for if they hope to succeed in the coming war against an intangible enemy…
There was a lot going on in this installment:
We learn more about the history of Verdantia, and of the first Tetriarc.
a few riddles,
lots of action,
a particularly kinky Prince,
some hilarious alpha-male bickering,
and an epic battle for Verdantia herself!
Another exciting feature:
Patricia A. Knight has included a glossary of terms with pronunciation to assist the reader with acclimating to this richly detailed Sci-Fi world.
The only drawback:
I’ve grown quite fond of the bad-ass female main characters in this series, but Adonia had a nasty habit of putting herself down and generally believing that she was unworthy despite all evidence to the contrary… That being said, her attainment of self-worth was a good source for character progression…
Overall, it was another fabulous installment of the Verdantia Series, and I’ll be the first in line for book five when Patricia A. Knight blesses us with one!
***I was provided an ARC of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review***
To launch Pre-Orders of HERS TO CLAIM, Book 4 in the Verdantia Series, Patricia A. Knight is offering a$119.00 Kindle Paperwhite for $2.99, and GIVING AWAY signed bookmarks and an autographed paperback copy of each title in the series: Hers To Command, Hers To Choose & Hers To Cherish!