Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
In the sixth novel in the Rainbow Award-nominated paranormal M/M SoulShares series, Fiachra Dubhdara is a Fae living a stolen life, in a body that isn’t his own. He’s also the most junior detective on the D.C. Vice squad, assigned the task of infiltrating and shutting down Tiernan Guaire’s Purgatory.
Peri Katsura is the newest and hottest masseur at Lochlann Doran’s Big Boy Massage, inexplicably drawn to the gorgeous cop assigned to bust him but needing to hide a dark secret of his own.
And the owner of Fiachra’s body has a plan to get it back – a plan that may cost Fiachra his SoulShare and close the doors of Purgatory forever. Unless the Marfach gets there first…
Mantled in the Mist by Rory Ni Coilean takes one of my favorite series and with this story made it even deeper and more fantastical. The author has added several new magical beings, ones we have never heard of before, to this tale of pain, loss and magic. We are now introduced to races that played major roles in the ancient war that sundered Earth from the other dimension the Fae now reside in. The price for one race? They became the subject of mockery, bullying, and deep outright cruelty by the purer fae on the other side for their racial bloodline and past history. The price paid by the others on Earth? Well, I’ll leave that for the story.
By overlaying such emotional elements, one you can interpret by modern standards so many ways, Ni Coileain has elevated this series to new heights. The overlays and similarities can be made for the aboriginal races around the world today and their treatment at the hands of the “superior” races that followed, or to the nature/earth religions who suffered at the developing cultures that encroached and exterminated them. There is a richness of interpretation here that makes the enjoyment of reading the story swell along with the tale of romance, suspense and yes, horror that follows.
Fiachra, dark skinned, dark haired, tormented, Fiachra thought it better to fade than continue his existence as it was. But fading did not go as planned and he ended up in another’s body. Tall, gorgeous, blonde, everything a pure fae looks like. I love the comparisons and problems this poses here when Fiachra meets his SoulShare and wants him to love the real Fiachra. The problem of getting his body back was a maze of pain and problem solving that I loved watching play out over the story. Actually one than one problem, something else I will leave for the story.
Peri Katsura is another one of those damaged souls that Rory Ni Coileain does so beautifully. Drag queen, masseur, Peri has many faces and a inability to trust, especially the big blond cop that threatens to bust him. The two of them together are so engaging in their painful pasts and colliding confusions of the heart. To help them/blockade them are all the other SoulShare couples from the previous stories still working together to stop the horrific Marfach from their planned assault on the Fae world, a task making the Fae ruthless on both sides.
The characterizations here are vivid, believable and have staying power. I can pick up these stories and remember exactly who is who. The terror engendered by the Marfach just grows with each story, something I had not thought possible given some of the past scenes of torture that are rendered somewhat graphically in previous books. Here it is more of the imagination because we know what it/they are capable of.
It ends, as they all do, far too quickly, setting us up for the next in the series. If I am reading the author right, it should be an entirely different take on the SoulShares element. Could be wrong, but I can’t see to see it play out.
Here is a series that has it all. Fantasy, romances, bdsm, horror, mythology, beautiful world building…and six books and growing. I highly recommend it to lovers of all of the above and more. But don’t read them out of order as they build on each other. New to the series? Start with the first, keeping up with me? Pick this one up and continue along.
Cover art is lovely, I like the celtic elements and its very different from the ones before.
Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published January 20th 2016 by Riverdale Avenue Books