Nov 15 2011 3:00pm

Fresh Meat: Nalini Singh’s Lord of the Abyss (Nov. 22, 2011)

Lord of the Abyss by Nalini SinghNalini Singh
Lord of the Abyss (Royal House of Shadows–Book #4)
Harlequin Nocturne, $5.50, Nov. 22, 2011

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…

As the dark Lord who condemns souls to damnation in the Abyss, Micah is nothing but a feared monster wrapped in impenetrable black armor. He has no idea he is the last heir of Elden, its last hope. Only one woman knows—the daughter of his enemy.

Liliana is nothing like her father, the Blood Sorcerer who’d cursed Micah. She sees past Micah’s armor to the prince inside. A prince whose sinful touch she craves. But first she has to brave his dark, dangerous lair and help him remember. Because they only have till midnight to save Elden.

This is the fourth and final book in Nalini Singh’s Royal House of Shadows series. Each book features one of the four children of the King and Queen of Elden, who were murdered by the Blood Sorcerer and had their kingdom stolen. Time is now running out for the heirs of Elden as well.

This book is the story of the youngest Prince, Micah, who was only five at the time his parents were murdered. Here is when we finally learn that when the Queen sent her children to safety, the Blood Sorcerer twisted her spell; although the children were sent from the castle, they did not necessarily end up somewhere safe.

Micah has become the Guardian of the Abyss, the Lord of the Black Castle. He remembers nothing of a life before he was the Guardian. All fear him except for one woman—Liliana. She looks him in the eye and challenges him.

Liliana is the daughter of the Blood Sorcerer, but he has never been able to bend her to his evil ways. She is a blood sorceress in her own right, and she has seen the future. If the youngest prince, Micah, is not there with his brothers and sister to lay siege to the castle, the royal children of Elden will fail. Liliana travels to the Black Castle to help Micah remember who he is before time runs out and Elden is lost forever.

Now we are all used to the hottie alpha male who is featured in nearly every paranormal romance (are there examples of any other kind of PNR hero?), and Micah is no exception.

“I’m the Lord of the Black Castle. I can do whatever I want.”

Since Micah couldn’t step in as the Guardian of the Abyss at age five, he rested in a state of limbo until he was old enough to take the position of Guardian. Either the impact had wiped his memories—or perhaps he hadn’t even had a childhood.

Other than the traditional hottie alpha hero, however, Nalini Singh brings something quite different to the character of Micah: Micah doesn’t remember anything but being the Lord of the Black Castle. As the Guardian, he can’t be killed while in the realm of the Abyss. His magic is very powerful and everyone fears him, except Liliana. She intrigues him, and the more time they spend together, the more playful Micah becomes with her.

No, not a spoiled princeling at all. More akin to an adolescent boy pulling the pigtails of a girl to annoy her.

It should be a ridiculous thought when faced with the black-armored Guardian, his hands tipped with bladed points, but this man had grown up in a cage of sorcery that had turned into a solid wall of armor. As she had never had a chance to be a child, he had never had a chance to be a boy, never had a chance to do mischief. The fact that he might be doing so now, with her—it created the beginnings of a terrible weakness inside of her, one she knew she should fight but couldn’t.

You can’t help but be charmed right along with Liliana when this big, hulking, armor-clad Alpha male is teasing her and playing a childish game of keep away with the soap while Liliana is trying to have a bath.

“Where’s the soap?”

He held up a hand, brought the square bar to his nose. “Smells pretty.”

She was being taunted again. “Give it to me.”


Frustrated beyond bearing, she splashed water at him, remembering too late that he was a man of power, of strength that could hurt. He drew back in startlement, but when the water hit him, there was no anger. Instead, he wiped the droplets of his face and…smiled.

Her mind simply stopped.

Although each of the four stories were enjoyable, this very captivating view behind the armor of the Guardian of the Abyss is what makes this fourth story of Micah and Liliana my favorite of the series.


Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog http://ebookobsessed.com.  Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession.  When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.

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1 comment
rachel sternberg
1. rae70
Sounds like a fun book! I like her Archangel Series, so I might just have to check this one out! Don't care for the cover though...
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