Synopsis: She’s just the girl-next-door, that long-legged pretty thing with the flowing auburn hair. Nothing special, just ordinary Amber Brigantia, a sixteen-year–old with boyfriends on her mind; nothing more.
But you’re wrong. Beneath that enigmatic smile lie dark secrets hiding an elemental power, and when those secrets come out, everyone wants her. Everyone wants a piece of Amber.
They murder her father and lock her mother in an asylum. Then they come after her, led by the charismatic Dr. Pitt who wants that power for himself. And he doesn’t care how he gets it, smiling and smiling as he twists the knife. But Pitt has a rival, the sadistic Mrs Fedorowicz. She wants Amber too and she is an expert at making people dance to her tune - a tune that can really hurt.
Even those who love Amber cannot help her. Khiza, the African boy, is the lost other half of Amber’s soul, yet when she encounters the damaged and demonic Meshak she is torn in two and cannot decide what to feel any more.
Then the demon Azmodeus suckers onto Meshak and time itself rocks in chaos, for the demon is after Amber as well - and what he wants is unspeakable.
So let the power-games begin. And let that long-legged pretty thing be the prize.
Thoughts: So, the synopsis gives a great breakdown of what the story is about but I see it also as an ancient love triangle that seems to keep going wrong. Now, the part where it says she is torn in two over Meshack and Khiza, well that's crazy. It's understandable that Meshack comes off as this jealous, angry boy towards anyone that looks at the girl he desires to claim as his own. However, he goes beyond these typical feelings this boy has so much damage and turmoil so deep set within him that it's festering. Meshack does many things to disturb me in this book and I just couldn't connect to the viciousness but maybe the wounded and brokenness of him and I think on some level Amber relates to that part of him. Khiza has his moments of jealousy but he is nowhere near to me as dark and dangerous as Meshack and I think I liked the interactions with him and Amber. I was able to feel their bond and it truly felt like they are one person. Now the plot is very complex as there are a lot of things going on that possibly went over my head and add in the fact that it took me a little longer to get into it. The slow pace made it difficult for me to stay adrift on what was going on as the story progresses. Overall, I think it's a good story with about an intriguing battle between good and evil.
Amber scrambled to her feet to face Meshak, but what she saw made her suddenly afraid. She backed away, expecting a blow. But he didn’t even need to raise his fists. His eyes caught hers and the blow struck anyway.
He didn’t speak but grabbed her wrist, pulling her towards the motor bike.
“Meshak,” she cried desperately, “don’t!”
It was no use. Meshak was like some huge engine running through a program of its own. He wasn’t listening. He wasn’t seeing. He was not Meshak.
He pushed her onto the bike and into the handcuffs clipped to the handlebars. Then he sat behind her, leaning over with his great weight and pressing her head into the tank until she was spread-eagled on it. He gunned the engine and the great beast roared.
She closed her eyes; it had all gone wrong. She shouldn’t have cried out for Khiza. If only she’d kept her temper, if only she’d thought before accusing him. She’d hurt him and now the evil had surfaced and it was all her fault. But where was he taking her?
She thought she knew, though when the engine eventually slowed, it wasn’t the grounds of Charnwood she saw in the headlight. Amber could hardly believe it: they were back in Aberford. A minute later she knew which house he was heading for. The iron gates stood open and they turned into the driveway. Meshak steered the bike around the back where a door stood ajar throwing out a blaze of light as if waiting for them. He cut the engine.
“Meshak,” she tried again as silence descended, “what are you going to do with me?” But he wouldn’t speak. He unlocked the handcuffs from the bike and started to pull her inside the house.
“Meshak!” Amber was frantic. She sank to the ground and resisted him with all her strength. “Meshak, you promised. You promised you would never hurt me!”
He stopped and looked down at her with his blank stare.
“Yes,” he said gruffly, “I promised, and I never break a promise.” He began walking again, dragging her behind him easily. “But I never promised that no one else would hurt you, did I, Amber?”
About the Author:I’m an English Teacher, and all my working life I’ve been telling students: “Don’t put labels on yourself. They’re restricting.” I little realised that I was guilty of exactly that because I’d classed myself as analytical, not creative. And it was only when I was forced into some writing that I discovered I could create worlds, not just comment on other people’s creations.
So that’s what I do now and I have an increasing amount of time to do it in. My teaching career is winding down, my two children have grown up and left home, my husband of 40 years, also a writer, is busy creating worlds on his computer all day. To a casual observer ours is a very quiet, boring household. There aren’t even any pets making a racket since my two adorable, but elderly, ‘rescue’ cats died last year. But the inner life of our house is far from boring. Take a journey with Amber and her Salamander Stone and see what I mean. And remember not to put labels on yourself. If I can break free, anyone can.