Kidnapped by slavers, Lizzie Petrule was dragged in chains across the Great Sea to the corrupt empire of Meridal. There beneath a floating citadel and an ocean of golden sand, lies a pleasure den for gladiators-and a prison for the maidens forced to slake their carnal thirst.
Despite impossible odds, against imponderable magic, three men have vowed Lizzie’s return: Justin, her suitor; Leon, her father; and Ril, the shape-shifting but war-weary battler. Together, this broken band can save her, but only with a word that must remain unsaid, a foe that is a friend, and a betrayal that is, at heart, an act of love.
Picking up six years after Solie created Sylph Valley, The Shattered Sylph took place almost everywhere except Sylph Valley. It wasn’t a world-building story, though, as it mainly focused around Lizzie, Leon and Ril. Leon and Ril were still dealing with the shift in their relationship, going from master/slave to partners; and Lizzie and Ril had to come to terms with what exactly their relationship was.
Like I said before, Ril was by far my favorite sylph because he was so complicated. He loathed Leon for enslaving him yet he respected Leon because he knew that Leon was innately evil. Being completely in love with Lizzie also kept Ril sane, though no one knew of his feelings.
Lizzie wasn’t the strongest heroine ever, but she did have a backbone that continually got stronger and more prominent throughout The Shattered Sylph. When she was first abducted, she meekly accepted her fate, wishing she could be stronger like her father or Ril. Slowly though she began to realize her own strength and actually used it to help in the fight for their freedom.
The plot wasn’t by any means dull or boring. There was a lot less action compared to The Battle Sylph, but I still devoured the pages. Leon, Ril and Justin were split up shortly after reaching Meridal; Justin and Ril getting caught and turned into a slave and gladiator, respectively. All three of them saw very different parts of this new world. Yet all of that wasn’t enough to detract from the emotional turmoil or the ever-growing rescue mission.
I’m not sure if I liked The Shattered Sylph more than The Battle Sylph, since the two books were so different, but I can say that L. J. McDonald is one seriously talented author and I’m eagerly anticipating any book she writes.
The Battle Sylph
The Shattered Sylph
Queen of the Sylphs