By Emily H. Bates
All his life Rustav has been the victim of his uncle's abuse, but no more. Rustav is determined to leave the abuse, the hate, and the beatings behind forever. He's running and he is willing to enter the Forest and face the demons that live within to escape.
But his escape is halted at the very edge of the forest when he succumbs to the injuries his uncle inflicted. But there is something about the mountain village of Gebir that holds him, so that he delays his plans to escape while his injuries heal. As he heals he makes friends with Dantzel and her mother Anna, young Cabel, and Anton. And yet the forest calls to him - he hears the whispers - and the call is strong.
When Rustav's past finds him in Gebir, he must again flee the Guard who have tracked him. As he makes his escape, he takes the time to warn those who have come to mean the most to him. And to his surprise Dantzel escapes with him into the forest.
But the forest hides a powerful secret, a secret that could cost Rustav and Dantzel their present, as well as, their pasts and their futures. Can they escape the forest before it is too late and Courei falls to the demons and those who would see the nation fall? And will Rustav discover the truth of who he truly is?
Demon's Heart is a thoroughly engaging book that you won't want to put down. The only draw back is that book two has not yet come out. This is one book that you'll want to read multiple times, looking for hints and clues you might have missed the first time through. And there are various factions at work and one is left wondering (like Rustav) who can be trusted in this fight for control of Courei and her people!
Debut author Emily H. Bates has created a world you'll want to revisit which in my opinion is the highest praise one can give.
I was provided an advanced review copy of this book by Cedar Fort in exchange for my honest review and tour participation.
About the book:
Young ruffian Rustav is determined to escape his abusive uncle and hated homeland, even if it means braving the demon-infested forest. His escape is halted, however, when a race of legendary beings reveal him to be the country’s fabled heir. As the people rally around him, Rustav teeters precariously between raising his people from the dust—or destroying them from the inside.
About the author:
Emily H. Bates grew up in Northern California, where she spent much of her young life happily closeted away with a book. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in German Linguistics, married a dashing young man from her study abroad in Germany, and now writes novels in English. She currently resides in Washington with her husband and her very busy daughter.