A good story has tragedy and happiness tangled in each other, and this one has it. I struggled a bit in the beginning trying to figure the terminology in this setting. But then, Ms. Lane swept me off into the new awful world that our MCs lived in. There were monsters portraying as human; which as in other fairy tale met their dooms in the hand of the hero. There were casualties, martyrs, hero in monster cloth, and sacrifices. And of course, there were hatred, friendship, suspicion, love and lust.
Dorjan of Kyon’s Keep and his best-friend, the brilliant scientist Areau, were young idealistic soldiers of Biemansland, marching to nearby province to destroy weapon stockpile. What followed changed and scarred them for life. For Taern, the encounter with Dorjan before the Armageddon befalling his keep left bitter impression that soon changed when the grapevine and street-talk clued him on what happened. Their next encounter marked another change that soon evolved most of their lives and culminated to the ultimate sacrifices.