Rating: 5 stars out of 5
When a man’s identity is built on lies, can he find the true self buried beneath? For Wil and Dallin, newfound love might not be enough. To heal themselves and their world, they must learn to see things as they truly are and break free of what they have been tricked into believing.
Wil and Dallin stand at the center of an approaching convergence they’re not sure they’re strong enough to face. The power of the land and the Mother waits for Wil in the bowels of Lind, but it comes at a price: he must defeat the soul-eater and save the Father, Her Beloved, and manage to keep his soul in the process. He can’t do it alone. But where can he turn for aid when friends are not necessarily friends, trusted mentors are not necessarily to be trusted, and good intentions are sometimes the most dangerous kind?
Dallin and Wil must accept their roles as the Guardian and the Aisling and stand together against a ruthless god in a cataclysmic battle of dreams and wills, the fates of both of their souls and those of all mortals hanging in the balance. Trust, if they can finally embrace it, holds both the promise of salvation and the risk of damnation.
With the final story, Beloved Son by Carole Cummings, the Aisling Trilogy is complete and it’s one of my top series of 2017. A truly masterful epic of fantasy storytelling, in this conclusion, Cummings expands her mythology of the gods, brings in even more political intrigue, and continues the almost unimaginable religious zealotry that both furthers and threatens every step that Dallin and Wil take towards bringing an end to the soul eater.
And with all that, Cummings still threads in the relatable, and needed relationship of two men trying to figure out if love and trust can work between them.
You can read and appreciate the Aisling Trilogy on so many levels. If you are a lover of world building and mythology, this one is for you as the gods here and the worlds will capture your imagination and let it run wild. So too all the various tribes of men and geographical areas she has created for Dallin and Will to walk through. She’s left nothing to chance. Plus she’s populated them all with peoples and cultures you absolutely believe in.
However, it’s that final battle that will have you grabbing, white knuckled, at your Kindle or tablet, the outcome uncertain. The power of her narrative and the emotions it pulls from you will threaten to knock you over. It’s a deadly combat worthy of all that’s come before.
And yes, I loved the ending.
Taken by itself (no it’s not a standalone) along with the other two of its companion stories, Beloved Son and the Aisling Trilogy is among my top series of 2017. I highly recommend it to all fantasy lovers.
Cover art by Anne Cain. I like the covers but that just doesn’t seem like Dallin to me.
ebook, 306 pagesExpected publication: December 19th 2017 by DSP Publications (first published December 14th 2011)
Original Title Beloved Son
Edition Language English