4 out of 4 stars
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War is brewing in the Fringe, home to a race called Shifters. The conflict is between the Shifters and their long-time enemy the Vampires. After so many years of peace and a Contract to maintain it, things begin to fall apart and the only ones capable of preventing this seem only to make things worse. Especially after a group of Shifters, are lured to their death causing fangs and claws to clash.
Chiari Jhahn, Omega to the Huntress, and resident of the Fringe has a plan for change to stop a war from occurring. She feels that her sister, Huntress to the Shifters and ruler of all Clan leaders, is leading her people down a disastrous path. She feels that the only way to stop her sister Reyhani is to begin a Revolution and end the caste system they have used for so long.
Meanwhile, Prince Matthias Corva of the Shadow Lands is asked to accompany a young Prince, Anton Rey of the Solandian Empire, on an exploration into the nearby mountains bordering the Fringe. Focused on maintaining diplomatic alliances he accompanies this prince only to discover that the prince and his father have other plans for their small wealthy empire and the lands beyond the mountains. His only hope is seeking alliance from those within the Fringe, but he discovers that he has walked into another war in and of itself. Matthias finds that his peoples' troubles are just a small facet of the building firestorm that could tear the whole world apart. Can Matthias and Chiari use their intelligence and diplomatic skills to prevent these wars from happening?
A Shift Toward Prey (Chronicles of the Fringe Book 1) was an easy book to get lost in. The storyline is easy to follow and understand. The setting described by the author, Natalie Allison, was easy to visualize. The variety of glowing plants, moons, landscapes, and sun were beautiful. Even the description of the different architecture was fantastic, and it would be quite an adventure to live in this world.
The characters were even more impressive than the scenery. The author described a variety of Shifters, Vampires, and Humans with ease. Each Shifter, while in the animal form, depicted easily a larger version of some of the most common predators we know, but while in Human form, the author also carried over some of their animalistic features. Also, the main character seemed to grow and learn more as the story progressed. Chiari went from being a naïve youngster to an even more knowledgeable young lady. Matthias went from being a shy prince who hovered in the background to fully understanding his need to step up and protect his people. Not only did the two main characters grow, but so did many of the supporting characters, allowing new friendships and bonds to form.
I give this novel an easy 4 out of 4 stars. My favorite things about this book were the characters, the scenery, and the storyline. I had trouble finding something I did not like about this novel. I did observe occasional grammatical errors throughout the book, but they were very few and far between and did not detract from the story. My favorite characters were easily Chiari and Matthias. They seemed to balance each other out easily without developing romance.
This novel would be perfect for anyone interested in Shifters, Vampires, and Fantasy. There were occasional scenes of violence with blood and guts but nothing too extreme. There is also a minor use and mention of magic during the story other than the fact that one of the primary races are Shifters.
A Shift Toward Prey (Chronicles of the Fringe Book 1)
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