Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Ten years after the Unveiling, Finn Greyson knows all about mythical creatures. It has also made his life as a master thief a bit more difficult as security has increased with the new times. When his fence offers him a job of breaking into a master collector’s suite and stealing the Earth Shard, Finn is reluctant to take the job. New Shanghai has become a walled city with few if any escape routes. Finn is already a wanted man in the city anyway. Add in the fact that his fence only says that Finn would know the object when he sees it, the job seems almost impossible. Considering the amount of money that could come his way, Finn decides that this could be his last job and agrees to the mission.
Cameron Feilong has possession of the Earth Shard. It is one of five pieces of the Elemental Crystal, along with ones representing wood, water, metal, and fire. Each shard is protected by a guardian. If the five shards are reformed into one crystal, then dangerous things could happen. The last time the elven race got an evolutionary advance while others devolved into more basic creatures. Cameron is one of the five charged to make sure these objects are never together again.
Finn breaks into Cameron’s suite and is amazed at all the priceless objects that are stored on the multi-level apartment. Pushing away ideas of stealing a couple of the priceless art pieces that he sees, Finn searches out for his bounty. Strange things begin to happen to him after he passes a small dragon statue in one of the hallways. When he starts dancing an Irish sword dance and singing nonsensical rhymes, Finn realizes that he has wandered into a dragon’s lair and his horde. When confronted by Cameron in his dragon form, Finn tells Cameron the reason that he is there. Cameron is alarmed and immediately goes to where he stores the Shard. Noting that it is gone, Finn realizes that he has been set up. When the New Shanghai police arrive asking about a murder in Cam’s suite, Cam also realizes that he is being set up to take the fall for Finn’s murder. Together the pair must solve who is willing to kill both of them and prevent the mastermind from retrieving all five shards before it is too late. But in the end will Finn be able to steal something even more precious than the shards of the elemental crystal?
This is the first Lifting the Veil book that I have read from Susan Laine, but I have read several of her other books. As with the other books that I have read by hear, I totally enjoyed it. What I really liked was the different settings that she built within her mythical world. From the barren tundra home of the first lycan to the underwater world of the Undine, her descriptions gives the reader a sense of the worlds that these people live in. Each of the four settings where we find a new guardian is brought to life.
I also liked how Finn, while seemingly the weakest of those searching for the shards, might actually be the strongest. His persistent optimism might annoy Cam somewhat but it is what is needed to accomplish their mission. When he has to make a couple of decisions that test his moral system, you can feel the pain he goes through as he is weighing his options. Because of his actions, he lashes out at the guardians for not being there when he thought he needed them most. At the end, he realizes that he might have been a bit harsh and hopes it is not too late to make things right. I look forward to reading more in this series.
The cover art by Anne Cain is a pretty drawing of what I think is Cameron’s mountain retreat. While it is a gorgeous cover, I wish the cover had more to do with either the elemental shards or the characters themselves.
ebook, 240 pages
Expected publication: March 2nd 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Series: Lifting the Veil