Abby is haunted by dreams of an ivory castle, blood-thirsty monsters, and a striking stranger. Working as a babysitter for a family of mythology lovers in wealthy Newcastle Beach, California, she struggles to define herself among the elite class while trying to make sense of her strange visions. Upon meeting David, the doppelgänger of the mysterious young man in her dreams, Abby’s life is changed forever.
Encountering the queen of Cai Terenmare, a magical kingdom in a parallel world, Abby learns of an evil lord hell-bent on usurping the throne, the murder of Cai Terenmare’s king, the Solas Beir, and the kidnapping of the Solas Beir’s infant son.
As the kingdom struggles to endure, the queen shows Abby the full extent of her destiny. She must convince her mysterious crush, David, that he is the lost heir. While braving attacks from the dark lord’s sadistic minions, David must realize his true identity and return to Cai Terenmare to claim his throne before time runs out, lest the evil that was temporarily locked away be unleashed, threatening to destroy both the kingdom and all of humanity.
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Abby has strange dreams about a boy and evil creatures that threaten them. Both are real. David is the unknowing heir to the throne of a different land and his enemies will do anything to stop him getting there through the portal to claim his crown. Abby must convince him of his real identity and help fix the portal before both worlds are consumed by evil.
My first thought on seeing this book was how beautiful the cover was. It has that spooky supernatural look and with the raven and cat, it fits the book perfectly. The majority of the book takes place in our reality with crossovers to David's real world to set the story and a lovely flash of Greek, Scottish and other mythology thrown in for good measure! I'm not usually a fan of these Courts in a different universe type of book but I really enjoyed this one and I'm glad that I took the chance on it.
Abby is a great character that you instantly warm to and like. Her interactions with Jon, and Cassandra's family develop her character perfectly. For me it is vital that I like my main characters and in this book, I did. David is the type of guy you wish you had been at school with because you know you would have loved him! Jon is funny but you do want to slap him for his performance after the dance! I loved Cassandra and Riordan, especially his interest in my country Scotland! His world mythology talks and Cassandra's logical theories were beautifully woven into the story when Abby first meets the demons for real. The other characters were wonderfully written as well-brave Cael, adorable Fergal, regal Eulalia, sweet Nysa and loyal Brarn. You just loved all of them, except nasty Moira of course! If you didn't guess her secret, you must have been asleep!
The plot just keeps you interested the whole time. It switches effortlessly between the kidnap sequence to Abby's life to Cael's quest to David's awakening, without becoming ragged or losing the flow of the story. Each sequence seems to fit perfectly where it is, and each injection of mythology is just the right amount, which takes a lot of skill by the author. She builds the tension in the book with the demon creatures, and especially in the portal scene, beautifully. I lost it at one point and started yelling aloud at everyone to just GET THROUGH THE PORTAL!!! There is just the right amount of desciptive work and dialogue, no incomprehensible info dumps and just that sprinkling of mythology to inform the reader and Abby of what is really going on. The storytelling and world building were excellent on both sides of the portal.
I don't have any negatives about the book and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the trilogy. There are a few characters that I hope to see more of, and plot has taken an interesting turn. Guess I'll just have to be patient for book 2! This book has no sexual content or swearing and is suitable for YA, NA and adult fans of paranormal and fantasy. Very much recommended!