For hundreds of years, dark clouds covered the skies of Adamah, and an ageless king ruled. Those who emerged with one of six extraordinary Shay powers were forced into the king's army, an un matched force with inhuman Strength, Speed, Accuracy, Perception, Empathy, and Healing. With the army at his side, the king—a man who wields all six abilities—was invincible and unquestioned in his rule.
To most, serving the king was an honor. And for some, it was a fate worse than death. When seventeen-year-old Nolan Trividar witnesses the transformation of his brother from kind to cruel after entering the king’s army, he vows never to follow the same path. So when his own power—the Shay of Accuracy—comes upon him at the Tournament of Awakening, Nolan conceals his emergence instead of joining the king’s ranks.
For years, he traitorously hides his power, pretending to be a gifted scribe. But when Nolan comes face -to-face with a deserter, the man discovers his secret. To evade detection and a death sentence, Nolan escapes with the deserter and flees into a night filled with dark creatures who steal both powers and souls.
Nolan joins a resistance, a village hidden deep in the forest, filled with others who secretly wield a Shay. But his peace is short lived when they discover that the dark clouds, the undead creatures, their own decreasing powers, and even the king, are all connected.
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I’m not usually a huge fantasy reader so I wasn’t sure how much I’d like this book, but I absolutely loved it! The Shay powers were just cool and I (being a history buff) really loved the medieval setting. The characters are what make this book truly fantastic. Nolan, the main character, decides to hide his Shay power of Accuracy so he can avoid having to serve in the evil king’s army. The journey he takes from someone who hides who and what he is to being a main force behind the rebellion against the king kept me glued to the pages. The other characters in the book are well fleshed out and an integral part of the story, not just there as filler. Alec, Megan and Emery in particular I absolutely loved. Between the magical elements, the rebellion against a psychotically evil king, the group of rebels who band together to become a family of sorts who fight and sacrifice for each other, amazing fighting scenes, truly creepy zombie-like creatures who add even more danger to the game, and even a bit of romance, this definitely goes on my “must read” list – I highly recommend!