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Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite
The Vow That Twisted Fate by Katherine D. Graham sees Queen Arlena don the angel pendant that had belonged to her ancestor Queen Valera. Soon after this, the phantom of Valera passes her a dwarven dagger. Despite being urged against carrying the dagger, Valera invokes the oath associated with the dagger. This summons Maevric Stormbender and his band of select warriors to her side. Can they help Arlena defend her kingdom from an evil that arises after a gap of 500 years? What is the mysterious connection between Valera, Arlena, and the evil Maedra? The kingdom must be made safe for her sister Elzie.
The Vow That Twisted Fate by Katherine D. Graham is a work of high fantasy. I thought Arlena was brave and gave a lot of herself for the peace and safety of her people. Her relationship with Talon was particularly complex and compelling. The torture scenes were genuinely distressing and I felt strong empathy toward Arlena. There was an overwhelming sense of grief and loss when she returned to find the kingdom had moved on without her. I liked the fact that her generous spirit and willingness to see the best in all creatures were pivotal to the plot. The perspectives of long-lived, short-lived, and mid-lived beings were beautifully delineated and contributed to world-building. I was surprised and intrigued to learn that long-lived races could be the most heedless instead of the wisest but found the logic convincing. The Vow That Twisted Fate by Katherine D. Graham provides a unique perspective and creates a dark and persuasive fairy story.