Not long ago, my son gave me this book. Lately it seems like I don't have much time to crack a book, but once in a while, one comes along that simply demands to be read. This is one of those books. Sylphs are a race from another dimension. They are nothing like us, and unless I miss my guess, even their society is massively different from anything we might be familiar with, at least anything of a sentient nature. Man, or more closely, a priesthood of sorts, have learned to bridge the gap between the world of the sylph and this one. Using the lure of a girl, a love-starved battle sylph is enticed through the gate. To complete the rite, the girl is killed and the sylph is named; he is then enslaved to the man who named him, forced to do his bidding in any and all things. Like any sentient society, there are all kinds of sylphs who perform all sorts of functions, but only the battlers are drawn through in this manner.
The king's son needs a battler - he is the heir, and the protection of the kingdom will be up to him someday. A girl is scooped up off the road as she is in the process of running away from home to avoid a marriage to a much older man of her father's selection. Unknown by her captors, her aunt has had some influence on the girl, teaching her to defend herself, at least a little. Stripped and tied to the sacrificial alter, Solie's mind races. Her only defense is a hair-clip no one found in their haste. Desperate to save her life, she succeeds in getting it free and using it on the prince just as the battler comes through. For the very first time, a battler is bound to a woman and boy does this take the reader for an amazing ride.
There is a list of commands a sylph must obey from the very first moment they are bound, but Solie didn't know any of this. You really must read this book. Everyone reviews by awarding stars, so I'm giving this book four to four and a half stars. The only thing keeping this book from a full five-star award from me is that the girl, Solie, act far younger than her stated age, meaning that though we are told she is eighteen as I recall, she acts more like she is twelve, if not younger, most of the time. Nothing major really, just some things that struck me from time to time. I know that some girls can act rather childish at that age, but still, telling myself that didn't seem to help.
I do hope you like this book as much as I did.