The world of Lakesedge is magically gothic in all the best ways possible while also being a light enough read that readers looking for just a bit of darkness will surely enjoy it. Everything from the tortured hero to the blighted land to the desperate heroine work in making this a darkly emotional tale that pulls you in and holds you in thrall.
Leta's life of pain and sacrifice for her brother takes an unexpected turn when the lord of the land, Rowan, sees young Erian's dark magic and decides to take him to his appropriately rundown estate. Leta, of course, will not let her brother go alone with what everyone knows is the monster of Lakesedge and tags along. Thus begins to unravel a story of loss and pain that connects Leta and Rowan far deeper than they could have possibly imagined.
The story is full of magic and sacrifice and dark terrors that threaten the world, but it also has little shining moments of connection that keep it from being a total downer.
My one complaint is that it ends on what could seriously be considered a cliffhanger, which I hate, but I knew coming in that it's a duology so that's all on me.