Author: Sylvia Mercedes
Pub. Date: December 10, 2020
Pub: Firewyrm Books
Genre: Fantasy Romance
A new light shines into the darkness of his heart . . .
After fifteen years of imprisonment and solitude, Soran Silveri’s life is rudely interrupted by the arrival of one brash, headstrong, flame-haired girl. He cannot refuse her appeals for sanctuary-but he can resist her pleas for him to teach her magic. If the suspicions he harbors about her prove true, tapping into her magic potential could spell disaster.
Nelle has survived the first hurdle of her mission on Roseward Isle: She convinced the disgraced mage to let her stay. Now, if she can only find his hidden spellbook, she could return home in time to save Papa. It should be simple enough.
But as the danger stalking Roseward Isle closes in, a situation that once seemed simple grows more complex by the day. Can Soran bear to send away the woman who has instilled his life with new meaning and purpose? Can Nelle betray the man who has opened her eyes to possibilities she never knew existed?
This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible and oh boy, did this have so much of what I love in fantasy books. I was hooked. You can check out my review for Thief the first book in this series, here.
This was a great second installment to this series. It had everything, engaging plot, sexual tension between characters, heartbreak, drama, secrets and surprises, badassery, betrayal and a little wyvern who makes everything better.
The stakes are higher than ever, the magic trapping the Thorn Maiden is growing weaker and it’s only a matter of time.
Soran is tested this book. Despite his reluctance, he can’t help but grow to like Nelle – he grows accustomed to her being around. Nelle is a spitfire and she never lets him forget it, but clearly there’s an attraction there.
Watching them try to navigate around and through their feelings for one another is so good. Especially that scene where Nelle is running towards him after [REDACTED]. Or when she’s at the house and shit goes sideways and he [REDACTED]. I swoon. For not wanting to keep her around, he spends a lot of time around her and I love it.
Nelle is amazing. I love her. She’s just so lively and honestly such a character. She plays Soran like a freaking violin and has her way before he even knows what’s happening. I love that in this book, she explores magic more.
I will say that I was a little bored with the whole “how the magic works” explanation. It felt really long winded and was a tad convoluted. It took quite a bit of focus to follow along, only to come to a really simple conclusion.
And then for Nelle to basically disregard it all, for * natural talent * – which I’m all for…but the amount of time spent thoroughly explaining how magic works (well, mage-kind magic), it seemed wasted.
But I loved how every time Nelle does any kind of magic, Soran is just *shocked*. And then his mind goes to “there’s no way” to “well, shit” to “she’s amazing”.
This was just a great next book. Where the first one was enjoyable, this one built upon all that, still kept the theme of BATB – with a dash of danger and rage. The introduction of the Dark Fae – oooo, I loved it. In the first book we get the whole explanation of how the human and the magical worlds coexist – in this one, we get to see some Fae and other creatures, we get to see another world.
I love that Nelle’s world is expanded even more – what she goes through is objectively terrible, but she’s a fighter and she doesn’t do things quietly. The whole scene on the Dark Isle was so good. From the moment Nelle wakes up to the end of the scene, it’s just non-stop. It showcases Nelle’s capability, Soran’s inability to deny his feelings, and their combined power. It also showcases the deadly monster Soran is desperately trying to keep at bay.
I cannot wait to see what happens next, I’m really curious. Things happen at the end of this book that make me worried – I’m not sure if Soran or Nelle are about to do really stupid things, or if they’re going to get their heads out of their asses and work together. I have a feeling it’s going to be the former, and I’m going to rage – but if it sticks to traditional BATB storytelling, then the ending is going to be hella interesting.
If you’re looking for a quick, engaging and unique take on BATB, then you should probably check out this series.