A creaking sound erupts behind me through the red-illuminated dark and someone’s poking my shoulder.
A door opens, sending in a candlelit glow over my shoulder to light up the heavily curtained room and the three elderly Luminescents all seated in a row. They’re so old it appears as if their skin is decaying. I cough, and it’s as if I’m inhaling that scent of dead bodies on ice again. I gag and shove off from the freezing chair I’ve been sitting on. I am done with this place.
Out of the dim, the dancing Cashlin guard’s hand reaches for me. I shift away before he can prick me again, but he just says, “If you behave, I won’t use it now that they’re finished.”
Is he jesting? I look from him to my interrogators. “You invaded my mind without my permission. You invaded my memories!”
“Memories you could not have given us if we’d simply asked,” they say in unison.
“You had no right.” I’m shaking now. And my hand is flexing. A lightning bolt streaks down and I barely stop it from slamming into the ceiling. I reach my hand out where I feel it itching beneath the skin – and sense the Inter’s Luminescent strength beating through their blood. For the slightest moment it calls to me. Take it.
“And you had no right to crash into our home,” their three voices ring. “We simply wanted to ensure you were who we thought and had no ulterior motives.”
I shove the subtle dark thirst aside and squeeze my fist until the sky rumbles and crashes, then breaks open into rain. Real rain. “You had no right.”
“We needed more about you. Specifically, what Draewulf’s designs are upon you.”
“It is as you believe. Just as the Creator gave power to the five original bloodlines, the beast will take those powers to rule all. Including you, who are Elisedd’s hope.” The three women look behind me as if one entity and tip their heads. “He will take you last as the final piece to secure his immortality.”
“He will take me?”
“You are now dismissed.”
The Cashlin male guard slips beside me and holds out a hand.
I glare at the Luminescents, then turn and stride for the door. To hulls with all of them.
“The realization hits: We’re not going to win. It’s why I couldn’t defeat Draewulf in Bron—because this power was never mine anyway. I drop my arms and let the energy die off. And turn around to face Eogan.”
After a fierce battle with Draewulf, Nym barely escaped with her life. Now, fleeing the scorched landscape of Tulla, her storm-summoning abilities are returning; only . . . the dark power is still inside her.
Broken and bloodied, Nym needs time to recover, but when the full scope of the shapeshifter’s horrific plot is revealed, the strong-willed Elemental must race across the Hidden Lands and warn the other kingdoms before Draewulf ’s final attack.
From the crystalline palaces of Cashlin to the legendary Valley of Origin, Nym scrambles to gather an army. But even if she can, will she be able to uncover the secret to defeating Draewulf that has eluded her people for generations? With a legion of monsters approaching, and the Hidden Lands standing on the brink of destruction, the stage is set for a battle that will decide the fate of the world.
This time, will the Siren’s Song have the power to save it?
Okay, just give me a minute here to catch my breath. Because that was intense. And that cheeky Kel, getting the last word! Although, I have to say it was the perfect diffuser for all that adrenaline that had built up.
*takes deep, calming breaths*
Alrighty. If you haven’t read the first two books in this series, you will want to do so before reading this one. You may even want to read them again to refresh your memory if it’s been a while since you read them, because this book does not spend a lot of time rehashing what has already happened (which tends to slow down the story anyway, IMHO).
The previous novel closes with Draewulf escaping with Princess Rasha as his hostage. This novel opens only hours later, with Nym, Eogan, and their retinue (including prisoners Miles and Isobel) headed to Cashlin to speak with Queen Laiha. Things don’t quite go to plan, naturally. They are attacked, and it becomes clear that Eogan is still dying as a result of Draewulf’s inhabitation of his body.
When Nym is eventually able to seek the Luminescent Queen Laiha for advice, Queen Laiha replies that the path before the Hidden Lands is not hers to decide; it will depend on Nym’s choices. And she has three choices before her: The first is to take Eogan to the Valley of Origin and hope that they arrive in time for him to be healed, then escape into Drust to hide. The second is, again, to take Eogan to the Valley but then go to Faelen to prepare for war. Whether or not Eogan survives, it is Nym’s responsibility to go to Faelen and call forth the other Uathúils – although how this is to be done Queen Laiha cannot say.
The third option is one that is demonstrated to Nym by Queen Laiha’s snake-swans. Sometimes, when presented with a threat, one person must sacrifice themselves for the sake of the flock. By Nym’s death, Draewulf would not be able to access the last of the five bloodlines and will therefore never be able to succeed in his quest for immortality. She gives one final, indecipherable piece of advice before Nym is forced to flee Draewulf’s approaching airships: Hold it all lightly.
Miles and Isobel are also on hand to throw some twists into the plot, and there is plenty that lies unsaid between Eogan and Nym to add to the building intensity, but really, I can’t tell you any more than that. You need to read the way it all unfolds for yourself. But be prepared for constant action, and a sinew-sapping climax!
As fascinating as the world and the plot was, I really loved the poetic intensity of Mary Weber’s writing. Even her ‘pocketful of thank-yous’ at the end is poetically intense!
Really, a fabulous read. Had me hook, line, and sinker.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.
Release date: 1 March 2016
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Author’s website: http://www.maryweber.com/