Renegade (The Protectors Series #1) by Nancy Northcott
RENEGADE (The Protector Series #1) by Nancy Northcott
RENEGADE is the first storyline in Nancy Northcott’s (November 2012 release) Protector series. Renegade focuses on 27year old mage protector Valeria Banning and rogue mage Griffin Dare. As the shire reeve (sheriff) for the southeastern United States Valeria is responsible for a team of soldiers and is duty bound to kill Griffin Dare. Considered a rogue mage and a murderer, Griffin has been on the run for 6 years following the death of his former girlfriend and a fellow mage. Implicated in the deaths, Griffin has been handed a death sentence should anyone bring him home. But there is more to the deaths than the Collegium of Mages are willing to hear. Griffin’s claims of self-defense have never been heard and he is about to meet the woman who will steal his heart and possibly set him free.
Mages are a gifted species of people who source their power from the elements. But there is an enemy against their kind, who suck the power and life essence from the mage, known as ghouls. Similar to vampires, the ghouls take down their prey, both mundane and mage, to feed from their blood. Leaving behind a trail of venomous poison in their victim’s blood, those who survive will eventually become ghoul. Griffin has made it his mission to protect the mundane from attack, secretly hiding many at his house, but an attack against Griffin, will find that he is harboring a secret that could end his life sooner than later.
Griffin and Valeria meet when she is set up while on assignment. Finding herself face to face with a wanted man, Valeria is unsure whether to trust Griffin, but she will soon discover that much of what she has been told about the man has been fabricated by the Collegium of Mages.
As the storyline develops, Griffin will reveal the truth behind the charges against him, and it will be Valeria who willing places herself in danger to aid the man with whom she is falling in love. But along the way, they will discover that not all is it should be, when mundanes and human are found to be demon possessed by dark magic and have targeted Valeria and Griffin for extermination. And it will be a decidedly different Griffin who will reveal to Valeria the people he believes are behind the accusations and attempted murders of he and his friends. With both enemies and friends on the Collegium Council, Valeria soon realizes that she can no longer trust those she once called family and friends, and Griffin is no longer willing to risk Valeria’s life with his own.
The relationship between Valeria and Griffin is sexually charged and as forbidden as sin. Knowing she will be labeled a traitor for her betrayal to the Collegium, Valeria and Griffin embark on a ‘courtship on the run’ as they try and stay one step ahead of both ghouls and the mage who have been ordered to kill the couple.
Nancy Northcott introduces a series of fellow mage who are both friend and foe in the Collegium. From Dr. Stefan Harper who is the Collegium’s chief physician and Griffin’s best friend to Griffin’s second in command-Will Davis. But it is Valeria’s former guardian and Collegium Council chief Gene Blake that will place Griffin and Valeria in the most danger.
From blood magic, Dark of the Moon rituals, demons to Satanists, chaos magic and compulsion spells the Mages have their hands full when trying to decipher the enemy’s next move. But the biggest threat will come from someone in the Collegium and Griffin will have to face the ultimate test in a dual where only one mage will be left standing.
Nancy Northcott’s RENEGADE is a fast paced and fascinating look at the paranormal. There is plenty of detailed information in the storyline as it is the first novel in a series. The character development reveals a depth that allows the reader to get inside the story, and the dramatic turn to the storyline may perhaps drag a tear or two from your eye. Renegade has an amazing and eclectic group of characters and builds upon an exciting premise with many stories still to be told. An ancient struggle for power between the mage and the ghoul will force the humans they encounter to reconsider who is a friend and who is the enemy. Congratulations to Nancy Northcott on an amazing introductory novel.
Copy supplied by Netgalley.
Reviewed by Sandy