Author: Alix Rickloff
Source: Received From Publisher
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 368 pgs
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Who is working the demon arts . . .
Was it her murdered father? Her fugitive brother? It has been seven years since Lady Sabrina Douglas cloistered herself with the Sisters of High Danu, but the questions remain. She is Other—a mixture of Fey and mortal—quietly using her powers to heal. That is, until she saves a half-drowned man, his soldier’s body a roadmap of scars, his fathomless eyes filled with heartbreaking loneliness. The inexplicable connection overwhelms her defenses, touching her heart, mind . . . and body.
. . . and to what end?
A man with no memory, Daigh MacLir seeks his past even as unknown threats fill him with monstrous rage and inhuman abilities. But as a desperate game of hunter and hunted is played out from ballrooms to bedrooms, what Daigh discovers is more chilling than anyone could possibly imagine. Defying death was only the first step in the task he has been given, and Sabrina is his last hope. But dare he risk involving her? Daigh has been summoned to find an ancient king, and even the powers of love may not be enough to win the battle against the powers of darkness.
This second novel in the Heirs of Kilronan Trilogy is a wonderful paranormal romance with a good story line that combines magic, fey/human halflings, the fey, an interesting twist on the zombie theme and the legend of High King Arthur.
It was also a terribly hard book for me to read. Why? First, Rickloff has created a world that has a lot of terminology that is not explained until later in the story — in many cases, not for 30 or 90+ pages later. A quick solution would have been to provide a glossary at the beginning of the story a la Kresley Cole with her Immortals After Dark series and many other authors. Perhaps had I read the first book in the series, I would have known the terms but since this book successfully reads as a stand alone, one would not necessarily know there was a prequel to this book.
Secondly, the author's writing style is a little different in that much of the book is full of descriptive sentence fragments. It makes for a somewhat choppy read. And there is a small scene on page 21 which I feel should have been placed on page 17 before the reader's introduction to the main villain instead of afterwards.
However, the sexual chemistry between the male and female lead characters nearly jumps off the page. Since the virgin has to seduce the male lead into taking the action they both long for, there aren't many actual sex scenes but lots of steamy near misses as he falls back on his conscience. There are a couple of scenes where one of the male villains attempts to sexually assault the male lead and forces kisses on him. There is also a scene where it is so vaguely implied that this same villain actually succeeds in the sexual assault while the male lead is unconscious but I'm not exactly sure if this is what the scene was about or not.
Rickloff does a very good job of making this a historical piece which highlights the slang, mode of dress and transportation as well as the treatment of females in 16th century Ireland without the history overshadowing the story and/or the characters.
So even though it took me about a quarter of the book, approximately 100 pages, to get into the story and I struggled a little with the writing style, I still thoroughly enjoyed the plot and the characters. I do recommend this to paranormal romance, historical romance and urban fantasy fans who aren't afraid of a reading challenge for the reward of a good story.
Warning Spoiler Alert!!!
It does have a HEA ending.