I really enjoy coming back to the Belador series. I think that has to do largely with the heroine, Evalle, and how easy she is to root for. Really, very little time has passed over the course of these six books, but Evie has been put through the wringer. She just takes one hit after another at such a breakneck pace, but somehow, her focus remains on taking care of the people she loves and those she has given her loyalty to. It’s nice to see, finally, some of that loyalty is coming back to her.
The story begins only a week or so after the events of the last book. Evalle’s solitary life isn’t quite so solitary anymore with Lanna, Storm and Feenix all living in her tiny apartment. It’s actually kind of crowded and Evie is second guessing whether she and her man will be able to make it work there. This is a surprisingly significant thread that runs throughout the story, but I’ll come back to that in a moment.
There’s a new threat in town, a very dangerous witch who is about to harness an ancient power called Witchlock and she’s using Adrianna’s sister to do it. Evalle teams up with the Sterling witch to mount a rescue and cut the villain’s legs out from under her. It’s no small task, especially with the Tribunal once again breathing down Evalle’s back. This time, she is being charged with a crime she didn’t commit, so the Medb can get her under their thumb. She has only a short time to prove her innocence, while still trying to save the world, and be in a relationship for the first time in her life.
I have been a fan of the Storm-Evalle pairing for as long as I can remember, and I am glad they are together. I even understand why Evalle is anxious and lacks confidence in her ability to have a successful relationship. But I found myself frustrated by what felt like forced conflict at times. Yes, these two are really busy, but their problems basically amount to the fact that they can’t find 5 minutes to clear the air. So what we get is Evalle pining over Storm wanting to move out, when he does not, in fact, want to move out. And she pines some more. And she pines some more. While I am griping, this miscommunication- induced drama is the only real friction between them. Otherwise, they are essentially too good to be true, making sure we understand they super-trust each other and wouldn’t dream of truly having doubts in each other’s love. I don’t want to be overly critical, but I know the series is better than this thread reflects.
That aside, I was interested in the conflict. Other than a big info dump or two, I felt like the pacing was good. I enjoyed the action and I liked getting in deeper with Adrianna. I still want to know more about Sen. And I am happy to report that we are seeing more from Quinn and Tzader. I was disappointed to get so little from them in the last book. But here, I definitely got enough to satisfy me. And, based on the blurb for the next book, it looks like Tzader may be the focus. If that’s the case, I am kind of excited about that.
There is not a lot of advancement on the larger story arc: the Medb/ Belador war, the gryphons, VIPER, etc. This book’s central conflict was pretty self contained. But despite my little complaining about Evie and Storm, I feel like this book finally gives us some real resolution with them –and even the Isak thread, so it does impact the big picture.
I enjoyed it. I read it all in one sitting. And I will be back for Rouge Belador when it comes out in the spring.
*ARC provided by author
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Dianna Love
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Silver Hawk Press