A Tale of Stars and Shadow

A Tale of Stars and Shadow

Finalist for the 2020 ACT Writers Fiction award

A 2019 SPFBO finalist

A Tale of stars and shadow cover image
A Prince of Song and Shade by Lisa Cassidy
King Of Masks & Magic by Lisa Cassidy
A Duet of Sword & Song by Lisa Cassidy
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Tiffany
September 18, 2022

I went back and forth with this book. It’s a lot of cloak and dagger. And it wasn’t going anywhere. Until the end. I had thoughts of who shadowhawk might be at first, but then book doesn’t give you enough to guess one way or the other. Which made it even better at the end

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BA
September 15, 2022

I really enjoyed this book. I look forward to the next book which I am reading now. It's something different which is nice in the fantasy world.

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JenS.
September 13, 2022

You’ll never guess the ending. It’s been a long time since I’ve said that but this engaging world and deep characters kept me guessing. The deep grief and angst is a bit intense at times but worth it. You want to cheer all these characters on!!

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kirby
September 12, 2022

I binged this so hard. The plots, the characters, the intrigue. Sophisticated writing, entrancing, I couldn’t put it down. I KNEW that was who Shadowhawk was but the whole time I kept second guessing myself because it was done well enough to keep me guessing. Absolutely amazing will be getting the second book and probably everything she writes. *chefs kiss*

This story was beautifully written and filled with real emotion. (I apologize in advance for potential spoilers.) Talyn’s survivor’s guilt and struggle to rebuild her life and her self confidence felt so relatable. Each character started out beaten or broken in some way and to watch the growth and healing that they all undergo was wonderful. Add to that the flood, the edge of your seat game of alleya, and the final twist at the end? A truly masterful story and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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Home bound Customer
September 5, 2022

Sass and swagger and believable characters! Great story that was exciting and inspiring! Already downloaded book 2 and I am starting now!!!

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L.E.O.
July 3, 2022

What a crew, all that intrigue,great story telling and I love everyone of them , Moving to the next one.

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Briarsandweeds
June 29, 2022

Never leaves you trying to figure out how or why! Every page worth reading. Great story line and character development.

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j.mcreal
March 20, 2022

I cant make up my mind if I want to read the 2nd book. I love this book in hindsight, and I think the excessive descriptions were purposeful but not a great fit for an ADHD reader like myself. Great story however, and I need a good TL;DR for this series.

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Laurey
February 26, 2022

While it took me a little while to get into- it grabbed on then held me to the pages for the rest. Great read. Love that the storyline is not dominated by romance or even the hints of it. Just enough excitement and progression of story line. Looking forwards to the next book

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SarahBeth
February 25, 2022

Several twists & turns along the way. The ending was a semi-cliffhanger. But also answered a couple questions I had while reading. I can’t wait to read the next & hope as good as this one.

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SarahN
February 13, 2022

Okay, first of all this book is well thought out. The characters are well developed. And second of all I really wasn’t expecting that twist at the end!!! Damn.

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D R LEGG
January 2, 2022

Initially the writing style felt obviously self published but the story telling then took over. Compelled to devour an interesting world of intrigue and cultural mores with characters worth investing in I am looking forward to the next book.

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em
December 31, 2021

Well written, strong and believable heroine, great character development, and good pacing. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the second.

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Casey
December 19, 2021

An epic journey with twists, turns, battles and will power. The characters couldn’t be more perfectly depicted, the action is intense and the hope for a better world leaps off the pages. Please please please let there be another series of books

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Michelle
December 3, 2021

Enjoyed the team building and wolf pack. Main character strengths and internal struggles. The end was so unpredictable with a unexpected twist! On to book two..can’t wait

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Takoul
November 24, 2021

If Wheel of Time caught their attention, then this book should too. I was looking for an empire\city based, low magic, gritty and personal series of books. Oh, and thieves. I wanted some thieves. Because real life struggles are often best found at their doors I got all this and more. Love the world, the empires, the people, the magic, the lead character. Yip, yip! The only gripe as a world builder I had was, what happened to all the masons, the quarries, the spoil heaps?

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Julie de Gruy
November 22, 2021

Once the plot was established, it was hard to put the book down. Talyn and her Wolves fighting the good fight.

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Jacoster
November 20, 2021

If you are after a masterful tale with lots of twists and turns and something for everyone, look no further, you have found it. Take a journey with loveable and complex characters as they heal from past wounds to make a better future.

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Kelsey
November 6, 2021

Good read, a few slow places but I felt her emotions And really enjoyed the characters. Would read again too

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Sandy Curtis
November 2, 2021

Loved the characters and how they all merged. Theres were quite a few exciting twists and turns in the plot that made it hard for me to put the book down. You've created a world I'd like to visit. Thanks for a great series.

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Amie Steinbach
October 17, 2021

Are you the kind of reader who wants to read a book that does more than tell a story? A book that makes you want to know the characters? One that keeps you guessing but also gets you thinking like the characters? Are you a reader who wants to be lost in the world you are reading about? If so, this series is for you. From characters with carefully designs backgrounds to a world so well constructed you BELIEVE it exist, A Tale of Stars and Shadow draws you in an doesn't let you go! (I would also recommend Lisa Cassidy's other series, The Mage Chronicles.)

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Ashlie Steinbach
October 16, 2021

Are you the kind of reader who wants to read a book that does more than tell a story? A book that makes you want to know the characters? One that keeps you guessing but also gets you thinking like the characters? Are you a reader who wants to be lost in the world you are reading about? If so, this series is for you. From characters with carefully designs backgrounds to a world so well constructed you BELIEVE it exist, A Tale of Stars and Shadow draws you in an doesn't let you go! (I would also recommend Lisa Cassidy's other series, The Mage Chronicles.)

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Georgiacider
October 15, 2021

A brilliant fantasy series that kept me entertained and eager for more Would definitely recommend to all Keep writing Lisa

Five stars for great plot, astonishing female lead. And great attention to grammar etc. made this a really great read. I am a 71 year old child. Who in the great ethereal hinterland that is the '. net' decides the age constraints should be soundly spoken to. Thank. You

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H L B
September 9, 2021

This series is surprisingly refreshing and different with well developed characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it.

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Laurie Bell
August 2, 2021

It is a joy to read a book that makes full use of the English language to evoke emotion and stir a passion for life. With rich language skills, a fantastic character driven story I could not put this down. Maybe one in twenty books is worth the time and emotion spent through the story line to read and to want to keep a permanent copy and even read again. Lisa Cassidy is an author to follow and keep! Off to her next book in the series.

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Maja Tracey-Stone
July 30, 2021

Devoured the full series in one sitting. Fantasy, magic and romance driven by a great plot line filled with complex connections and familial entwining. Love it when I do not have to wait years to follow characters who’s lives reach out compelling me to finish their tale.

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G G
July 8, 2021

Politics, magic, wings, subterfuge, Robin Hood-tropes, various characters’ POV, this book has all of these and more. Complex characters who grow and develop as the story continues (with some pausing for self-reflection too!) The world building was strong and the descriptions vivid. The caste system was also well done and something I hope is explored more in the next books in the series. This book sets the stage for several more books in the series and I’m looking forward to reading them all.

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J.B. Sandersen
July 5, 2021

What a fascinating universe! I loved the depth of conflict depicted in the story, not all is as it seems. I was very shocked by the ending. I admit to being a rough start into the book. I felt like I missed the first book, and if I didn't there is definitely room for a prequel. I was left wondering what happened to Tal for much of the book but maybe that was the intention, but I wasn't a huge fan of that part, Very pivotal to Tal as a character. I can't wait for the next adventure!

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Kindle Customer
June 6, 2021

Cassidy does a phenomenal job creating and establishing a fantasy world in this novel that is unique but still easily understandable. She truly takes her time fleshing it out and making sure the reader can recreate it in his/her mind. I could easily see this turned into a TV show adaption from that angle. This story primarily focuses on the main character's character development Tayln is suffering from grief and trying to figure out how to move on with her life, find something to hang out to. Her palpable sense of loss is heartbreaking but critical to who she is. Her trying to move on, while training an unlikely group of men to fulfill orders to guard a prince, is the driving force of this novel rather than a specific plot point. That does make this read intentionally slow and I'm not sure the true main plot of the story has been revealed yet. Hence why I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5. Bottom line: this novel sets up the beginning of what I feel like will mean amazing series and I think the subsequent books will be better as the plot pick up. This laid solid groundwork and I'm excited to see where it goes.

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Evelyn Puerto
May 27, 2021

It took me a little to get into this story, partly because the world the author is so complex. But once I got interested in the protagonist and her fate, I never looked back. So many of the characters were memorable. This one kept me up late at night. Then I got to the stunning twist at the end and promptly bought the next one.

Very enjoyable book even though there were parts that seemed to drag a bit and I guessed the plot twist early on. I can't wait to dive into the next one to see what happens next with the Captain!

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Christine
May 5, 2021

I read a lot and this series has brought me into the world being created. While reading I found I fought myself to put it down. I found hints of what was to come but could not link them all together. That is rare for me. I have enjoyed each book in this series and am looking forward to the next book

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M
April 20, 2021

The ending.... was so unexpected i almost had a hear attack !! But it was such a good ending that makes me want to continue binge reading this series... ugh i am such a bookaholic and this series is totally hitting the spot!!! I love how Talyn’s character progressess and blooms into a confident warrior leading soldiers into battle!! badass? for sure Warrior? For sure A little anticipation of romance? Aaaa yesss ( the tension i felt was THERE and i hope 🤞 i wasn’t imaging it and will see it later in the series) Action? Duh Originality? No question. Read it. Like for real. Don’t bother reading comments just go click buy.... you wont regret. (Although it does kinda start off slow and confusing, everything starts to make sense and add up as you keep going)

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Kindle Customer
April 15, 2021

I love a book where you know and care about more than just the main character. I loved each of the characters and the fact that I couldn't figure out the intrigue. Immediately going for Book Two. Paced just right. After years and years of reading you feel like everything has been done before. This was a great new world!

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whitepaint
April 7, 2021

It's been a while since I found books that took me by the neck and wouldn't let go. Complex characters, strong people all around. I'd love to have a drink with this lot if they were real people. It's the series I needed to read during these tough times. Thought provoking and brought me hope. I enjoyed these books so much I didn't mind the occasional miraculous rescue. 😉 Looking forward to reading more of this author's work.

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Ed A
April 6, 2021

A slow start IMHO, but it picked up. I couldn’t put the book down as the characters and world became more real. Looking forward to the sequel.

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Keroberus
April 2, 2021

I borrowed all four books with my Kindle Unlimited subscription and I was never so glad that I have that subscription when I picked up this gem. I circled back to write this review after finishing Book 4 because I know that most people will want to know if it's worth committing the time and/or money into four, decent sized books. It is. I am grateful that I picked these up when they were all published. I would have punched a wall (or at least a pillow) if I had to wait for a single one. After many lost hours of sleep reading these books into the wee hours of the morning (and suffering the next day at work) I came away with these main reasons why I couldn't put this story down (WILL TRY HARD NOT TO SPOIL BUT READ WITH CAUTION) STRONG HEROINE I genuinely liked the the heroine. I can't always say that with fantasy novels. Some them come across as being too teenage angsty, some of them are complete Mary Sues, some are so indecisive you just want to slap them, and some are just plain stupid with decisions (like you should Never hand them the keys to anything). The heroine is a combination of being OP and making questionable choices but she is flawed when we meet her. Probably would have really helped if she had some therapy before taking up this next assignment, but she puts on a face to hide the devastation in her soul from losing someone precious to her. Sure, she's a member of a very powerful family and technically a princess, but being part of a court is nothing she really wanted. She is the combination of a spy and a warrior and she is VERY good at her job. I like her sarcastic wit and her sassy comments and I also appreciate the rawness of her inner pain, fearing she can't ever be whole again because she's too damaged to be the warrior she was born to be. AWESOME CAST OF CHARACTERS From the ragtag bunch of misfits the heroine whips into the most deadly force Mithranar has seen (think The Dirty Dozen) the heroine inspires hearts and loyalty in the country she finds herself in on assignment. Through all the people she meets, she gains something back, a lesson she learns so she can put herself back together again and dare to live. The side characters grow on you. A lot. Be prepared for the possibility that maybe not all of them come out of this adventure unscathed. I recommend a tissue box. CLEVER VILLAINS Halfway through this book I realized who the 2-3 Big Bads were, but I wanted to see what they had planned and that spurred me on to finish the book. Sometimes the challenges were so immense you wondered how the hero and the heroine would get out of it, but obviously, they would not perish though it is touch and go sometimes. The internal faith and strength the hero and heroine both have to rally themselves is pretty inspiring. RICH WORLD I really want to sit at Pietro's cafe and sip khavi while watching a Mithranan sunset. Mithranar is a beautiful, mysterious world of magic and winged folk where winged lords rule over the oppressed human populace. Humans are second citizens in this rather racist country and the porosity of the nobles is thick and ingrained. Their minds would blow if they realize that humans carry magic too. They are closed minded isolationists who rely on marriage alliances to keep them safe. The Queen has three sons, unheard of in their history, and she fears a bloody fight for the crown is imminent when her health begins to fade. Slavery exists in the powerful country to the west, and Mithranar must keep the precarious balance to hold them at bay. So it's a puzzle when a country in the south, the Twin Thrones ruled by the powerful Dumnorix family (the heroine's family), sends a human kingshield warrior to train a group to protect the queen's youngest son. It's amid this political intrigue with assassins and mages and warriors plotting and counter-plotting against one another that the heroine and hero find each other and make unlikely allies. CRITIQUE The romance is predictable and a little rushed, kind of bland and not really steamy at all, but it wasn't really the point of the story. The heorine is not romantic and is very no nonsense, though the hero very much is a dreamer. It's a case of opposites attract and romantic interactions are not this author's forte, or perhaps she didn't want to muddle the story with unnecessary romance. Despite this I wanted to keep reading because there was still a lot of drama and intrigue and bloody fight scenes reminiscent of ninjas and House of Flying Daggers but with magic, so it was right up my alley. Every book ends with a little twist or plot hanging, but not to the extent that it's annoying. Each book ends rather naturally and there are no time skips. The pace is good. The book is well written. My only complaint is that the page (on Kindle version) doesn't separate the message that's written on a note the hero or heroine is reading. It just blends into the rest of the page which makes it confusing when the pronouns suddenly switch. A little editing will help that. I could have lived with the author putting the hero down a little less, saying he's not as clever or confident as the heroine, and even he believes that. His heart however is always in the right place and he never changes that no matter how difficult it becomes. And maybe taking the heroine down a notch on her awesomeness would have helped. She thinks she's a brilliant tactician and the author actually states how great she is several times, but is she really? What's obvious to the reader sometimes slips right past her. The heroine puts so much stock in her instincts but she makes some really reckless, terrible choices. Her OP-ness that almost always saves her is what took my rating down a notch. And when you think she's down for the count, she somehow, miraculously pulls a level-up. There is not much in character growth until she meets the hero and truly understands who and what he is (in book 2) and he changes her perspective on the world and what she wants for herself (that happens more in 3). But in the end they both make the right choices to be better for each other. If you liked the first book, you will naturally want to read the second book. Then you will be committed to finish. The first book is centered around the heroine, the second around the hero, the third about them coming together, and the fourth is them fixing the world. The ending was good: not too neatly tied up, but all your questions will be answered. It's a very modern take on gender roles, identity and romance. In my view the heroine could take over the world if she wanted to but no, she doesn't want it. That's fine too.

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bookfan2004
March 31, 2021

I am delighted to have discovered Lisa Cassidy's A Tale of Stars and Shadows Series. Rich, complex and flawed characters, a sweeping multi continent saga and story telling so sharp and unexpected, she had me from book one and I couldn't stop reading until the last page of book four. I don't think I've ever sobbed while reading fantasy fiction before. But I cheered out loud and wept with this series. Lisa is a brilliant story teller. Highly recommend.

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Amazon Customer
March 22, 2021

I cannot begin to explain what a must read this series is. Cassidy is an absolutely amazing author. This story pulled me in so many directions. I laughed hard and cried harder. As sad as I was that it was over, I was even more content with the ending. There was love, war, mystery, betrayal. It had everything... I’m so glad I found this series and this author. I will be re-reading this many times to come.

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Michael J Sheehan
March 11, 2021

A lot of the fantasy available now is dreadful, so I am always delighted when a genuinely excellent book is available. This works well as a stand alone novel, but is also the first of a four part series, with each book being as good as the others. The world-building is skilfully done and the characterisation is excellent. You really care about the characters and the author handles complex emotional and moral issues really well. The world comes to life because the peoples and the characters that represent them are so convincing and attractive. Equally the baddies are believably unpleasant representatives of unjust societies. I haven't read the authors other series, but this one is certainly first class. I invariably bought each sequel while only half way through the previous one.

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Mo McIlree
March 5, 2021

The summary here is quite honestly very lackluster and I read it several times and passed while browsing on KU. Finally desperate for something new to read, I read it. Hoooly heck, what a ride. You know a book has me in its clutches when I finish it and continue to dwell on it. This is one of those books. Great start to a series. Extremely slow burn, which I love, so if you're looking for strong romantic attraction in the first book, move along.

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Kindle Customer
February 17, 2021

I loved the main characters in this book,but especially the strong female lead that was not just a two-dimensional portrayal of a strong female hero. Loved the world building,political elements, and the more realistic behaviors people would have in certain situations. Finally, a fantasy book I couldn't put down or want to skim.

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P Johnson
February 3, 2021

Lisa Cassidy knows how to fill out her characters gradually so that the reader keeps learning what makes everyone tick as the story evolves. Action, loyalty and intrigue are a constant in5is coming of age story that has nothing to do with age...maybe coming of self is a better term. I love what the author is accomplishing.

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Valeriya Lloyd
February 1, 2021

I enjoyed the whole series very much, a great well - written story! If you are looking for a classic epic fantasy reading, A Tale of Stars and Shadow will never disappoint you. I think that this series should receive more attention from high fantasy lovers

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Megalynn
January 29, 2021

This series is absolutely binge worthy! I read the first book and couldn’t stop! I think I read all four books in a week. The story line pulls you in from the first moment. Cuinn frustrated me a little towards the end of the series because I thought he was toughening up, becoming more realistic and practical rather than the weak idealist he had been and was disappointed when he went back to that, but the way the story ended needed that to end the way it did. (That may sound vague but I don’t want to spoil anything!) Either way the journey was highly entertaining and I would definitely recommend this book.

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Laura
January 25, 2021

I've never read so many books in one month! It's all because of @Icasswrites and her series: a Tale of Stars and Shadow!! Her first book began slow but all to the benefit of the world building and character development. There amazing and after that book I couldn't stop thinking about Talyn and her wolf's. Book 2 will make it clear that there is so more to the story and book 3 and 4 are just killing! There fast paced, packed with action and you just can't stop reading!! This series is for you if you love enemies to lovers, epic battles, fierce woman en men, spies, political intrigues, mistery, magic and fantasy! If you loved the cruel prince series, game of thrones, from blood and ash, the bridge kingdom and a curse so dark and lonely then go and read this series!

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Brandyn
January 22, 2021

I really enjoy your writing. You are smart and you build your characters slowly. Although, this book was slow moving into the real exciting action(left for the other 3 in the series) I would take this kind over the rushed, predictable books. Very good read. Please keep writing. Excellent series

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avid reader
January 18, 2021

I am immediately. Immediately. Reading the next book in this series. Strong kick-ass heroine? Check. Unique world building? Check. Now if I don’t get a little romance soon I may have some complaints, but I’m all for a slow build that actually makes sense to the characters.

A broken warrior.

A shadowy criminal.

A whole new adventure awaits…

…’Burn bright and true’…

Dumnorix princess and born warrior, Talyn Dynan was the finest fighter of her generation. With her Callanan partner at her side, she was invincible, reckless, a death-knell to their enemies. But after her partner is torn away from her, Talyn is left broken, wracked with guilt and unable to regain the confidence she once had. Could an unexpected mission to the mysterious country of Mithranar, home of the magical winged folk, be the thing that saves her? Or will the danger and secrets she finds there finally break her completely?

The Shadowhawk lives a life in the shadows. Constantly hunted for his criminal exploits, yet desperate to help the human folk of Mithranar who are oppressed by their winged folk rulers, he haunts the streets of Dock City. The arrival of a foreign warrior threatens to upset the carefully balanced life he leads, but when she begins to offer a hope for the humans he’s only ever dreamed of, can he risk trusting her?
And unbeknownst to both, a mysterious foe stalks the dark corners of Dock City. One that answers to a single purpose…

Vengeance.