Alena Athscar is a young woman of sixteen who lost her family in one night eight years before which was filled with blood, fire and snow, all because she has a gift people are searching for, but she is rescued by her Uncle and she is taken to live with him and grew up training to be a part of the Guild of thieves, assassins, saviours and slayers which he is the Guild master, now she is in the midst of her trial and is walking through a torrential downpour towards a tavern at a crossroads, it is warm and inviting and the bar keep is friendly, it looks like there isn’t going to be much information she can use, that is until a man comes running in speaking of a terrifying incident which has destroyed his caravan and possibly those he was travelling with in a nearby forest, that is all she needs to know and she heads off in that direction. When she gets there, she immediately senses something isn’t right and her suspicions are confirmed when she sees a trio of bandits she crossed paths with earlier attack each other in such a way that she knows they are not quite themselves, when she looks closer and is then confronted by the cause of the disquiet, she ends up fighting for her life and triumphs in the end, as she returns to the inn, she observes another confrontation, this time between the man and someone in his party, this leads to her getting paid.
When she returns to the Guildhall to receive confirmation of the her apprenticeship and completion of her trial, she is given the brand of the Guild and the designation of Slayer, closely followed by designation of her first contracted job, she has to retrieve a missing person for the Sacred, a group of sorcerers who either recruit or destroy those with arcane abilities, the need for discretion and speed in insisted upon and after receiving all the information she can, she takes her payment and goes to visit some vendors to stock up on what she will need for the job. Her first stop is the Healer to treat her wounds and give an offering to the Gods, she visits the Fence to sell the things she didn’t give to the Guild, next is the Scholar to gather some information about where she will be going and the current situation there, including a map with the way clearly marked, a trip to the Alchemist for healing potions and something to help slay any obstacles in front of her and finally to the Armourer to replace her short sword, chainmail armour and gathering a few more weapons to add to her arsenal.
After she is packed and ready to go, she goes to a local inn to recruit a party tot travel with her and support her with the job, there isn’t much uptake to begin with, they disbelieve that she, a mere girl is worthy of them, but eventually people step up to the plate and they finally set off onto their journey, but it isn’t smooth sailing on the way, never mind when they reach their destination, however what they find there is nothing short of terrifying, but will the group be able to destroy what needs to be destroyed and stay alive in the process, or will the beasts and demons prevail over the Slayer and her group of individuals? This is a thrilling fantasy adventure which keeps you on a rollercoaster of emotions as you journey along a perilous path with this group of misfits.
Reviewed by @roxsannel