I love the covers but I have to mention that who ever created them did not pay attention to the description. Shanti has a very blonde hair and a very pale skin. Other than that, the covers are perfect, they indeed capture her essence.
These books read as one story and only make sense if they are read in order.
This is the prequel to the series. I have read this prequel after I finished the third book. Here we meet Shanti and Rohan when they were kids. The events occur about two years after the attack on the village in which Shanti’s parents were killed and her gift first presented itself. Shanti is seven years old and very much in training to become the warrior she is meant to be. We get a glimpse pf her training, physical, as well as strategic, history and languages.
Rohan is still scared and doesn’t talk. Their relationship is strained as he was adopted in her grandfather’s house after losing his parents in the same attack two years prior. However, two orphans, different from the rest of the village, each in their own way, rapidly form a real sibling bond and through the struggles and fights they stick together.
This was a fantastic start of a series. I have read this book twice. I don’t even know where to start with praise. K.F. Breene’s writing is beautiful, funny, descriptive and has a nice flow. She has the ability to transfer the emotions from her characters into the reader. I had moments where I cried and I had moments of uncontrollable laughter.
The story starts when a group of soldiers finds Shanti in the wastelands nearly dead from dehydration and starvation. And they bring her to their home place. Then the fun starts. It is absolutely hilarious how K.F. Breene exploits the cultural differences. Some of the dialogues had me in fits of laughter. But this is just part of the appeal. The world itself is slowly becoming more visible and clearer. It is unknown to Shanti, so it is unknown to us. We get more and more information as she is either getting to know the new places or recounts her knowledge of places to the others.
And Shanti, she is exactly as she is supposed to be, like all the female characters I like to read, she is strong and kind, but unlike the other female characters, ruthless when necessary. She is very much different than the world she landed in and the people have problems figuring her out because she does not fit within their social norms. This causes all kinds of funny situations. However, the topic is very serious, as there is a war brewing, invaders coming and all the violence that comes as a result. Shanti is a seasoned warrior and the author is not shy in describing the battles in detail.
I also have to mention some of the other characters, firstly Captain Cayan who is perfect in every way. I can’t say more without giving spoilers. Then we have Captain Sanders and his band of Cadets. Sanders is a grumpy but loyal and a very interesting character. Cadets, well, you have to get to know them yourself, all I can say is that they are delightful. There are more interesting characters certainly, but pay attention to the few appearances of the town’s doctor. His banter with Shanti is too funny. All in all, a great book worth reading.
Hunted is the second installment in the series and it is as good as the first one. I could not stop and I even read the next one right away.
Here we see Shanti experiencing some insecurities and showing her more vulnerable side. She is not proud pf some of her actions and she is correcting her mistakes. Her life is getting more complicated and the relationships in her life more complex. We meet her adopted brother Rohnan who is a very interesting person and adds to the dynamics of the story. We meet some new characters, but the Honour Guard and Sanders are back and we get to know them better.
There is a lot of fighting, a lot of running and little less funny banters, but the story is great and non-stop action. I like the character development, development of the world and the more serious tone the story is adopting. Buy the next book right away because these two read like one book.
I love the series. I have enjoyed this book immensely, I read the third one and the prequel immediately within 24 hours.
This is the third book in the series and it is immediate sequel to the events of the second book. These two actually read like one book. Shanti is regaining her confidence and her purpose. She is amazing, and Captain Cayan is amazing, and Rohan is amazing, and Sanders is amazing. Her honour Guard is very present with an addition of a very interesting young female character Ruisa.
This book is about the trials of the Chosen and the upcoming battle with the Xander’s army. We actually briefly meet Xander, the Supreme Being, in this book. We get a closer look at Shanti and Captain Cayan, Sanders, Marc and some of the other characters. In a way this book follows two parallel stories, one inside the trials and the one outside. Although is it constant fighting and struggle, it seems more steady and less crazy than the second book. I have no idea what is going to happen next and I cannot wait to find out. In the meantime I decided to read the sequel before continuing with the story.
This book was one great battle and a roller coaster of emotions. There is a lot of violence in this book, which is to be expected in a series about warriors defending their homes and the lives of their loved ones.
All the main characters are further developed and we meet some new ones, and some highly anticipated ones. They do not disappoint. Their selfless sacrifices are heart melting.
Shanti is little less amazing in this book, however, the Captain’s and Shanti’s people are absolutely magnificent. Shanti’s horse and some other animals are constant source of entertainment. Shanti is going through a period pf despair due to such a prolonged struggle with no end in sight, but she seems to be snapping out of it slowly. I hope she will be back to her old fantastic self in the next book. There are some surprises., which I will not reveal, but I will mention the unexpected faction of insurgents.
I immediately started reading the next book, which is nearing to the end of the series. I was under the impression that the book five would be the last one, but I recently found out that the sixth and final book is in the making.
All the characters and the world and the story are so gripping, I drown in it every time I read. It is difficult to stop reading this series. I get translated into the world and become an active observer. I really love this series and I will be so sad when it comes to an end.
This is another battle book and it is amazing. I cannot believe how good the descriptions and details are. K.F. Breene is really bringing the battle home. Most of the time I felt like I was in the middle of a fight in the woods in the dark, or scaling the wall of the castle, hiding in the shadows, trembling in anticipation of upcoming conflict.
In this book Shanti, Cayan and their people are taking offensive and gathering wanderer’s network. Honour Guard is getting bigger and Sanders is absolutely delightful in his grumpiness. I cannot believe that I am saying this but this book is even more suspenseful than the previous books. There are some disappointments but they make the series more raw, more real and more suspenseful. Not every situation has a happy ending but ultimately Shanti and Cayan overcome the obstacles.
Regardless of my mixed feelings about finishing this series, I started reading the last book immediately. This is absolutely amazing series.
I am over half book now and I have mixed feelings in a sense that I am stalling because I don’t want to finish and say goodbye to Shanti and her group, and on the other hand I cannot wait to see how it is going to end.
I can say again that this is absolutely amazing series. The story is developing in a very logical, consistent and incredibly suspenseful way. There is romance but it is not the focus of the story in a sense that it takes over the series. On the other hand, it is a focus of the story, it is about them as a couple, pair and a team. Shanti and Cayan. The story is about them, but they are not isolated from the rest of the world. There are so many characters, important characters and K.F. Breene is developing them with the story. By the time you reach this book, the characters are so complex, and you have a feeling you know them personally.
But back to the story. The story is one continuous uninterrupted narrative, best read all together. Regardless of possible disagreements, I would never say the books end with cliffhangers, as this is not the type of series that goes on and on, but has a logical beginning, development and the end, with a little glimpse into the distant past, which is not really relevant for the story, but for the character development and explanation of the relationship between Shanti and Rohan.
Each book covers one big chapter of Shanti and Cayan’s life. In the first book they meet and get to know each other, in the second they figure out what their tasks are and what they need to do, in the third, they start gathering people and overcoming obstacles, In the fourth they defend themselves and their people, in the fifth they go on offensive and in the last book they complete the tasks and fulfill the expectations (I hope – it would only be logical). There are some funny times, some happy times, and some sad times. There are losses as well but that is to be expected considering how much time they spend fighting battles with Xandre and his minions. The series would not be so good if K.F. Breene didn’t add this extra layer.
Xandre we only meet in the last book, but his presence is tangible through his subordinates, minions and fear that he causes among people. That fear is so incredibly tangible, I could almost feel it. Shanti feels it as well. Shanti feels it so much in the second book, that it sounds almost desperate and hopeless. All the more to admire how Cayan never lost his faith in her and how he helped her overcome her doubts. During the third book, they both overcome their doubts, fears and unify their efforts, they solidify their relationship and the special bond they have. As their bond forms and becomes stronger, so does the faith of people in salvation they are foretold to bring. People start rising, fighting and claiming back their lives and freedom.
The world K.F. Breene created is very well developed and described. I felt like I was there at times. I am wondering what was the inspiration for Cayan’s town and castle. I definitely felt like I have walked the streets there, stood in Cayan’s castle, been at the Women’s Circle meeting, and trained in the fields with the Honour Guard.
This is one of the best series I have read. It gave me a similar feeling as Kristen Painter’s House of Comarré. Amazing. I wasn’t even looking for this series, nor did I have any expectations. I read the first two books of Darkness series, which I liked a lot, and I subscribed to K.F. Breene Newsletter, the first Warrior book was announced, then the second and third. I waited for the fifth before I started reading the series. I am glad I did. Waiting for the last book was so frustrating, I cannot imagine waiting after every single one of them. Fortunately, they are all out now and can be read in a matter of days, they are so fast and thrilling. I have read some reviews about lack of interaction between Shanti and Cayan in one of the books, but I honestly cannot fathom why would someone say that. I did not notice anything but a perfect development of the story, the world and the characters. I don’t want it to finish but I cannot wait to see how it ends.
And I can say it ends well! One of the best series ever!
K.F. Breene also wrote a little bonus epilogue to Overtaken as a separate short story. Do not miss it!
List of K.F. Breene’s books and the biography is available on Goodreads.