I loved the ending. The entire second half of the book was pretty darn fantastic for that matter. The first half moves a bit slowly, but it is giving you all the history and information to support the later parts and especially the ending. I have to say also that I love the titles to this book and the series. Something Dark and Holy rings true in the story. A holy war has been raging between the two countries of Tranavia and Kalyazin for over a century and it is a dark time for both countries.
It all started when the people of Tranavia rejected the Gods of the pantheon and began gaining power through blood magic. The Kalyazin citizens see as blasphemous.The Tranavians got tired of relying on the Gods to help in their times of need or when they preyed for things. Only religious Clerics can hear the Gods and they can ask the Gods for magical help. The Tranavians wanted to take their destiny into their own hands and out of the hands of arbitrary Gods.
The writing was terrific, the story was original and the romance was an emotional roller coaster. Nadezhda (Nadya) Lapteva is a special cleric that grew up in a monastery, everyone at the monastery is charged with protecting her if the war comes close. With the powerful blood mage High Prince Serafin Meleski leading the troops, the monastery is in danger.
Nadya and a priest named Anna meet up with some travelers, two are from another country that is not involved in the war, but the third named Malachiasz Chechowicz is a blood mage from Tranavia. Despite the fact that Nadya sees him as the enemy, the three tell her that they are working to stop the war. So Nadya travels with them.
There is a whole lot going on and some great twists in the book and I was kept guessing the entire time. I thought it might be one of those travel adventure fantasy novels, where the main characters become friends as they travel to a distant location and overcome different obstacles along the way. However it wasn’t. They travel quickly and the setting is in the capital city of Tranavia.
I genuinely liked almost all of the characters, except the villains, and I was pulling for Nadya, Malachiasz and Serefin throughout the book. As well as their bunch of sidekicks who were awesome characters in their own right. the second half of the book went fast and the ending was truly epic, one of the best ever. That’s all I can say about that!