Series: #3 Novel of the Stone Circles
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on April 5, 2015
The third leg of the series and things just got better. It might have taken it’s time with the story of the newly introduced characters and getting the other players into place, but that final big scene left me teary-eyed and breathless. Quite the set up for what feels like the grand finale coming up in the next book.
As may be surmised from my earlier remarks, this is not a series that can be read out of order or this book treated as a standalone.
The book opens with the introduction of Tolan the earthblood and Elethea the sunblood living quietly in a small village. He works the lord’s lands even as he hides the secrets passed down by forefathers time out of mind and she is a healer and midwife. Tolan seems to have the magic touch with growing things, but he is careful not to let them suspect he is anything more than a really good farmer. The lord of the lands is acting oddly and asking questions about magical stone circles which sets him on his guard. Tolan is a widower living with his beloved son, but he and the widowed Elethea have an arrangement. Tolan wants more, but Elethea was abused by her first husband and is determined to never be in a man’s power again. And then there is the fact that she is barren and knows that Tolan wants a family and more children. Thea has more than just Tolan’s growing attentions to worry about as she realizes that she can wield healing magic and seems to have a connection with the sun, itself. What is happening to her?
Approaching Tolan and Elethea’s quiet village are the Warriors of Destiny and their enemy, Lord Hugh. The third magical circle and the two newly emerging descendants of the gods is their destination. The Warriors seek to gain Tolan and Elethea’s help to seal off the circle from the evil imprisoned in the abyss and Hugh needs the pair to use the circle to free his beloved goddess.
Tolan and Elethea aren’t sure who to believe at first, but then any choice is removed and they must make a fateful decision.
This one started out a bit like the others even as it introduced a new pair and their abilities. Tolan has some knowledge that is handed down through his family, but for Thea, it is all new. Their love for each other is really never in question, but it is the past abuse and Thea’s barrenness that causes her to hold him at arm’s length.
The story took it’s time coming to the crucial point and bringing all parties together. I loved having all the Warriors together and working together. Aislynn is proving an interesting person as stuff that was just hinted in the last book starts to be more and more apparent.
Unlike many books and series, the villain in this one is engaging in his own way. Hugh gets narration time along with the main pair and the others. His motives and thoughts allow the reader to connect even as his connection with evil keep him situated firmly in the villain camp.
The past stories had something of a similar conflict and climax. This one was going that way, but then had quite the twist at the end. It notched up the conflict and tension by a hundred times. Just wow! This is how a set up book should end. I am in a fever for the next book.
In summary, this series built and got better with each book. Love the blend of slightly spicy and intensively active fantasy and historical romance. I can definitely recommend it.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #124 FR
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