I feel like I have been waiting for Graydon’s book since the beginning of the series. He’s such a good guy, always there for Dragos and Pia, not only as a Sentinel, but as a friend. We’ve caught a glimpse of Gray with his heroine, Beluviel, during a big battle in Lord’s Fall, but there was no way to know how deep their feelings went. After all, she was the Lady of the Elven demesne, married to the High Lord for centuries. But here, Thea Harrison takes us back to their beginnings to see how they fell in love all those years ago and what drove them apart.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the Elder Races series, you may get lost in this book. It’s a culmination of several different story threads introduced in various novels and the novellas. I’m up to date on the books and didn’t have any trouble following along, and usually, if you’ve skipped the novellas, it’s no big deal. But they matter in this book. Characters we met in those stories, events that took place, are relevant. Harrison will fill in the gaps, but you’ll know you missed some stuff.
Anyway, the crux is that they are being kept apart by the pariah djinn Malphas. 200 years ago, Bel’s son racked up a debt he could not pay and lost part of his soul to the djinn. Gray noticed Bel’s distress at a masked ball and offered to help her. The two shared one night of passion on their journey to rescue Ferion, but Malphas was a vindictive enemy and forced them to stay apart as part of his deal to release her son. To save Ferion, not only did they have to separate, but they had to swear their silence about what happened.
Since then, Gray has been working to find evidence of Malphas’ other wrongdoing, so he could finally have cause to get him killed. Now is that time, but it’s a dangerous dance as he tries to keep his word to the djinn, while still lining up other powers against him. It will take the help of old friends and allies, who all have their own stake in getting Malphas eliminated.
In the meantime, there is a lot of mooning between Bel and Gray. Her husband is dead, which helps, but they still have that pesky deal with the djinn getting in the way of a reunion. Oh, and did I mention that Gray keeps having visions of his impending death? That puts a bit of a damper on things too.
I liked the arc that brings so many characters together to take down Malphas. You can see the threads that Harrison has been putting together to get us to this point. And for all the readers who were frustrated in having to wait so long for Gray’s story, we can see why other stories had to come first. They are relevant here. I liked seeing so many familiar faces, not just as cameos, but as vital parts of the story.
The romance, though, was just ok. These two have been suffering for 200 years over the loss of a great love that lasted less than 24 hours. That’s hard to digest, no matter how great those hours were. Their reunion had some good angst and tension, but it was more sad than passionate. And speaking of sad, the big climax broke my heart. I won’t spoil it, but get your tissues ready.
Overall, I thought it was a good book. An important book in the series arc. You don’t want to miss it, if for that reason alone. The romance was alright. But the ending is strong and it’s definitely worth reading… especially for fans of the series.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Thea Harrison
Release Date: December 1, 2015