I received a copy of the second book in this series, Stones of Time, from a contest at Goodreads. I hadn't had a chance to start reading it yet when I received this book, the first of the Damewood trilogy, in the mail the following week. I wasn't expecting it, so it was a pleasant surprise, especially because I'm the type of person that likes to read an entire series, in order, when possible. As I read the premise of the book, though, I wasn't sure it was something that I would enjoy, but I decided to give it try.
Princess Nadia is used to court life, castles, princes, the whole bit plus the occasional foray out of the castle to practice her demon fighting skills. Her life is turned upside down when there is a siege on her castle and she (disguised as a knight), along with her horse/best friend, a Kelpie named Vestro, hit the road and join with a crew heading to Ferrington Pass to try to restore order to their quickly crumbling society. Sounds kind of like a typical quest story, right?
Wrong! This story takes place four hundred years after the world has become so technologically advanced that a third world war had erupted and caused it to return to an earlier style of feudal living. Princess Nadia grabs things, during her escape, from the castle Wizard's "lab", unusual things she has never seen before. She has no idea what a lab actually is or what the item is called that has a push down lever with a small wheel that, when activated, emits a flame (that's right, folks, a lighter.)
As I began reading this story, the first thing I noticed was the bad job of proofing that had been done throughout the book. (I'm sorry, I'm a nitpick about grammar and spelling mistakes, that's just the way it is.) I gave myself a pep-talk about how this was the author's first book and moved on (I still mentally edited as I read - it's a compulsion.)
I enjoyed the character development; the two men that are vying for Nadia's attention and her struggles to sort out her own feelings. There were definitely some surprises in the story and, I will give it to Erin Durante, the ending shocked me.
For a first book, I think the story was well planned and fun. There are struggles and fights but also bad pick up lines and a new way to look at things we take for granted in today's society. I'm actually anxious to get into the second book to see where the storyline is headed.
For more information on Erin Durante and the Damewood Trilogy, check out her website here: Enter Damewood