Whoa. Fox Rising grabs you by the throat and shakes you till you're limp.
In this sequel to the excellent Shadow Fox, Jared Dunefallen, Tarika Drayton, and the steadfast Nathaniel prepare for war while sorting out their complicated, messy, and wrenching relationship. It is no small achievement that Ms. Barnard makes battlefield combat more civil than the clashes between her leads. Jared is one terribly tortured soul, and life doesn't get any easier in the alternate universe he and Tarika call home. He is a man bedeviled and doomed in more ways than one, and his slide into self destruction is as painful as Tarika's strength is admirable, as Nathaniel's chivalry is endearing. The secondary characters, such as the sweet Phillip, mysterious Marishka, or vile Necar, are every bit as engaging.
This is not a light or fluffy read; I found my heart racing and my jaw clenching with anxiety for the characters, gripping me so tightly I actually had to - HAD TO - finish it the same day I started it. This epic tale reminded me often of The Mists of Avalon, with a tangled triangle whose resolution will decide the fate of their world.
I highly recommend Fox Rising, but warn you: these characters will get under your skin, piss you off, break your heart, and make you anxiously impatient to see how the saga ends. The countdown has started for the next installment...
Author of DRAGON & HAWK