Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
In On the Edge of Death, we meet Battle Priestess Ellaeva as she is in the middle of a decades-old search for her missing family. What she finds instead turns out to be a bigger mystery that puts her on the path she needed to be on all along. Ellaeva needs the one thing every good warrior needs as they head into the darkness of battle; a trusted person by their side. Lyran Aharris, the favored son of Ahlleyn, is that person for Ellaeva. Together they can traverse the darkness and undo the horrors they find on their journey, but that’s only if things in the past don’t threaten their efforts. Ciara Ballintyne goes deep into the world she’s created to paint a vivid, if sometimes frightening, image of what these two must endure to do the right thing.
As dark as On the Edge of Death was, it was also completely captivating. From the first chapter when we, along with Ellaeva, find the beaten and bloodied bodies of her priestesses, I was sucked right in. Why wasn’t the goddess answering her and, more importantly, who was doing this to her fellow priestesses? The more answers I got, the more questions I had as the mystery unraveled at a steady clip. From the formal way the characters spoke, which transports the reader to another time and another place, to the odd names that suck you right in, there is no pretending you’re not in an alternate world to our current one. Ciara Ballintyne fantastically creates this other world in every word, pulls you in and leaves you panting for more by the time you reach the final page. A truly satisfying read that will leave you ready for the next adventure.