I haven’t read an epic dark fantasy in a long while, so it was great to pick this one up. When this story starts, Artemis is cursed, starving, and hunted. She is destined to become a monster, and she doesn’t know when she will turn. That’s if she doesn’t starve to death first. Then she is rescued by Rylion, who shows her kindness for the first time in forever. But Artemis is wary and suspicious of everyone and queries every act of compassion shown by Rylion and his family/hunting crew. Despite her reluctance to trust anyone, Rylion takes her along as they go hunting the Forsaken—humans who have been turned into vicious monsters by the god-king’s curse. Though no one knows why Artemis was cursed right from birth. And that is what the story tries to answer. Why is she cursed? Therefore, this is a journey of self-discovery for Artemis. Along the way are monsters and magic and some romance. This is beautifully written and an enjoyable epic dark fantasy. I look forward to reading more about these characters.
The Final Decree
by Shami Stovall
Publication date: October 12th 2021
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
The Kingdom of Luka is controlled by the decrees of God-King Eliezer. Break one and become a twisted monster or serve forever, loyal to the crown. From the author of Frith Chronicles and Star Marque Rising, comes a new fantasy epic.
When God-King Eliezer utters a decree, it’s the law of the land, no matter how subtle or outrageous. Those who break the decrees suffer the god-king’s curse—their bodies twist into nightmarish monsters of devastation and hunger, forever a blight upon humanity.
The magic knows when a decree is violated, the moment it happens.
There are no exceptions. No loopholes. No escape.
Artemisia, a mysterious girl on the run from God-King Eliezer’s Holy Guard, is cursed and doesn’t know why. Fortunately, she has yet to change into a fell beast, but that isn’t a comfort. She could transform at any moment, and the resulting monster would destroy everything she cares for.
Desperate and fearful, Artemisia finds herself captured by a group of monster hunters led by Rylion Nasos, a man of superhuman strength and skill. When Artemisia displays magic of her own—magic that threatens God-King Eliezer’s rule—an agreement is made to confront the crown, despite the horrors it could unleash.
Cursed be the man who disobeys the god-king’s direct command.