Fey invasion gone awry
This is the second book by Kristine Kathryn Rush for me. The first was Diving into the Wreck about an formidable female protagonist called Boss (we never learn her name) and her exploration of an old derelict of the spaceways. This is something different.
The Sacriface is a fantasy with a blend of sword & sorcery, high fantasy and folk lore. The Fey are a race of warriors as beautiful as they are brutal. Their powers are collected from the traditional folklore more than Tolkien’s Middle Earth. No one can stand against them until they invade the peaceful Blue Island, an island that has been safe from invasion for centuries. The people there live peaceful lives and don’t know anything about war. The islanders even have a religion with a self-scarifying Jesus-like prophet.
It should have been an easy grab for the Fey but then one of the islanders discover that holy water acts as a poison killing the Fay instantly and the tide turns. The Fey has to go hiding in the Shadowlands created by their leader Rugar son of the Black King.
The rest is mostly intrigues to get the upper hand.
What makes this story interesting beside the novel take on the Fey and magic is the characters. The Fey was lead by a Vision of warrior princess Jewel walking through the Blue Island Royal Castle like she owned it. Jewel has vision too of the striking young prince Nicholas. Jewel and her fellow Fey remind me a bit of S. A. Salvatore’s Drews. Nicholas is trained in the art of war and when they finally meet it is in a sword fight. I am impressed by Jewel and Nicholas love story but most of the story centers on diplomacy and treachery. You have to like that kind of stories (exemplified by C. J. Cherryh) or you will probably think this is too slow.
Rush has turned the Elves into Orcs and uses religious intolerance that strikes close to home combined with interesting characters and drama. I liked this audiobook quite a lot.
The Fey have swept across three continents and never faced defeat. But now they have reached Blue Isle, where there dwells a people of simplicity and faith, untainted by war. Yet as they face invasion, the Islanders discover a deadly undreamed-of power of their own. So begins a conflict that must destroy one race or the other–or maybe both.