by Jeffrey Overstreet
From the back cover
When a murderous Beastman discovers the art of Auralia's colors, something awakens within him. When a widowed heiress risks everything to help him, their lives--and the lives of a kingdom--hang in the balance.
Jordam is one of four ferocious brothers from the clan of cursed Beastmen. But he is unique: The glory of Auralia's colors has enchanted him, awakening a noble conscience that clashes with his vicious appetites.
Cyndere, heiress to a great ruling house, and her husband, Deuneroi, share a dream of helping the Beastmen. But when Deuneroi is killed by the very people he sought to help, Cyndere risks her life and reputation to reach out to Jordam.
This is such a beautiful novel. Jeffery Overstreet tells a riveting tale woven with themes of healing, forgiveness, and friendship. And yet he does not take the easy route of plainly preaching his message or smothering it in obvious, cheesy scenes. He has built a complex world full of mystery and depth, where friendship begins with guarded trust and follows a narrow, winding path that sometimes doubles back upon itself.
There are some violent scenes, but I believe they were necessary to show from all angles what it means to truly love your enemy--and I do not lightly validate violence. It's not a violence for violence's sake, but a documenting of events. Excuse my cliché, but all roses have thorns. This fantasy is more realistic than many novels I've read written in our own world.
My favorite character from Auralia's Colors--the ale boy--makes many appearances in this second book, as do several other familiar faces. He remains one of my favorites in this series, and while still not revealing his given name, receives yet another title in the course of this story. I look forward to the book that will tell his tale.