We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: m/m Paranormal
There aren’t enough superlatives in the English language to describe the wonder of this series, so I’m simply going to use outstanding and marvelous to start. And this particular story is the icing on the cake, the crème de la crème, so to speak and quite frankly exceeded my expectations.
The saga picks up where book two leaves off with Odhrán sailing the Chimera, his own ship, transporting the others back to their home base after the catastrophe aboard the Sea Witch. Bastian has been reborn and is first introduced as a young child who is unable to speak but seems attached to Odhrán and is unwilling to leave his side. As the story progresses, Bastian grows at an amazing rate and by the time his maturity is that of a thirteen-year-old, he knows he’s in love with Odhrán. But Odhrán, wary of love due to his betrayal at the hands of Luka centuries before, refuses Bastian’s overtures and Bastian settles in with Taren and Ian on the Phantom, Ian’s ship.
Taren and Ian are together throughout this whole story and form a solid and cohesive unit against any and all threats. Both acknowledge their rebirth from their former lives as Treande and Owyn, though Ian still struggles with trying to remember that life. With Taren now in possession of the rune stone, Ian fears for Taren, knowing the rune stone has the power of the goddess behind it and wary of what that power may bring.
Hoping to learn more of the history of the Ea, the merfolk, and to connect with others of their kind, they set out to find a lost colony in the Eastern Lands. Along the way, they discover that the traveler they befriended one night is Eiran, King of Astenya, and they are pleased to accept his help. Odhrán, who travels with them, is less trusting of the man who is descended from the powerful king who held him prisoner when he was a young man. Together, they discover the lost colony, but it has been abandoned, and it’s likely that it was abandoned centuries before.
Throughout the trip, Taren is visited by visions of the past and apparently of the future as well. He believes that what he’s discovered here is the key to the future of the Ea, and he accepts that his role will be as leader to his people to merge the two warring factions and bring all of the merfolk to live in this underwater colony.
Easy? No way. Difficult? An understatement. Using the stone to help relocate the Ea? Potentially lethal to Taren— and Ian knows it.
Taren and Ian need to fight not only the ruling council of the island’s merfolk, but their arch-enemy Seria as well. And while all of this is going on, Odhrán and Bastian are having their own struggles as Bastian wants to be closer to Odhrán, and Odhrán wants to stay rooted in his fear of romantic involvement.
I loved the subplot struggle of Odhrán and Bastian, and what happens when Bastian finally transforms to a full dragon— his beauty, his power, his determination to help save the Ea at all costs, and finally his determination to live so that he can get back to Odhrán and convince the foolish man that they belong together. (BTW, Shira Anthony— that romance would make a great “sister story” to this one. Just sayin’.)
And, of course, I loved the main plot, and this time I was able to follow the plot without getting lost. I know that’s because the author picked up all the loose threads she had left like breadcrumbs throughout the last two stories and wove them into this tale in a beautifully intricate pattern that formed the tapestry of this amazing saga.
Kudos again to Shira Anthony for giving us a “who’s who” directory at the beginning of the story— perfect for those of us who suffer from short-term memory loss.
I’ve never been a fan of fantasy, yet this fantasy series ranks high on my list of all-time favorite series, and I can’t recommend it highly enough to all lovers of M/M romance.