Book Review: Hearts in Exile

17788233Title: Hearts in Exile
Author: Mysti Parker
Release Date: June 2013
Length: 274 pages
Series?: Tallenmere #3
Genre: Romance, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Format: e-book
Source: author

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In Tallenmere, fate has a way of catching up with you…

Somewhere, hidden in the waters of the Southern Sea, lies an island unlike any other. Within the amber glow of its pyrogem-laden cliffs, legend says the very heart of the dragon god Drae keeps the island, and its occupants, alive.

Loralee Munroviel, daughter of Leogard’s High Priestess Arianne, had no idea what she would face when she arrived by boat ten years ago and was left alone in exile. All she knew about Draekoria’s inhabitants was written in one tattered notebook. Now, her life revolves around keeping Drae’s descendants happy. Never in her life did she imagine being a Dragon Keeper.

Captain Igrorio Everlyn, known as Sir Robert to his unit of Holy Paladins, has faced his share of hell, battling the evils of Emperor Sarvonn’s tyranny and the dark god Tyr’s abominations. But none of that compares to the ten years of hell he’s been without Loralee, presumed dead.

One freak storm changes everything. Now the two of them must fight to reestablish the delicate balance of the island before the dragons take things into their own hands. Through it all, they discover the secrets that kept them, and their hearts, exiled for a decade.


This is the third book in the Tallenmere series, but the first two are not pre-requisites. The second and third books are like spin-offs, so you won’t miss out on anything you really need to know.  The novel starts in the present, and then goes back in time to the reason why Igrorio comes to the Temple. The novel follows this time until present time.

How do you thank someone who saves your life when you’re not sure if you want to live?

I adore this book. It is a wonderful story, and well written. I fell in love with Loralee and Igrorio. They are strong, creative, loving and resilient characters. The Plague has struck the land. Igrorio has lived through his own hell until meeting Loralee at the Temple. Her mother gives up on him, but Loralee refuses to follow suit. She has hope, and she nurses him back to health and is in charge of his recovery. They are young, and form a strong bond with one another. They go on a hunt for the long-extinct dragons to help pass the days.

I wasn’t sure how two young men who excelled in beating the shit out of each other showed potential. 

But Loralee is living with a very short fuse, that starts off the moment Igrorio arrives at the Temple. There is an unsettling dispute between her parents, her mother holds some imaginative power over the king to bend him to her will, and her sister is a hateful, deceitful, cruel person. This hate and deceit set in motion events that cannot be undone.


I found a kindred spirit in Loralee; I think she is a lot like me. She knows something will work, but is refused to be given the chance to prove it, so she does it in secrecy to have research to support her claims. She is removed from Igrorio’s day to day interactions, so she devises a way to still have a time with him. She is put on trial for saving Igrorio with her newly found Spark from Mother Inessa and must prove herself to her hard High Priestess mother. She is forced to follow in the footsteps of her mother, and punished for falling in love by betrothing her to Igrorio’s best friend. She has a sister that would just as soon stab her in the chest to get what she wants…and essentially, that happens in the novel. Ivy and Arianne Munroviel tell all that Loralee is dead – but they and King Leopold know differently.

Some mistakes go on to haunt us for the rest of our lives. 

Loralee’s ten years on the island of Drae tending to the dragons has changed her, in so many ways. She comes to the island with one more secret, and it is lost to the island. When Igrorio washes up, I am surprised at the changes in her – and the forgiveness she has granted to her sister and her mother for all she’s endured and lost. It would be a hard thing to do, but I had to remind myself that ten years have passed, and she is living to fulfill the purpose of the Keeper of the dragons. Indeed, I had my own issues with my mother, and anger and hatred that lasted a decade, and like Loralee, I got tired of being angry and hurting myself more. Being away at college helped ease our relationship, and Loralee explains this time and distance aspect to Igrorio.

What also engrossed me about this book was that it delves into the society and culture of the world in which Parker has created. There are delicate matters that could upset the balance of the kingdom, and one of those things is the betrothal of the next High Priestess. For his sake, Igrorio has done his best to be the model citizen to be chosen for Loralee. He has impressed her father to give his name for recommendation, but ultimately it is King Leopold’s and her mother’s choice. The novel also closely examines Loralee’s relationship with both of her sisters, and each of her parents, as well as Igrorio. These moments reveal so much about each character.

The novel also touches on Igrorio’s relationship with Sir Francis. In the second book, the pair are sent to work an assignment together and there is small insight into their relationship, in that it is clear that they know the intricacies of the other. Ironically, it does not start out so, and in the third book it goes through their very rough and troubled meeting.

I highly recommend this book.

No, silly, you can’t saddle a dragon.

About the Author

200025_103787076370825_4452630_nMysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger’s Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series, Serenya’s Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, has already received some great reviews. The Tallenmere series has been likened to Terry Goodkind’s ‘Sword of Truth’ series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey.

Mysti’s other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University’s six week free course, F2K.

Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder’s Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.

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