Rating: 5 stars out of 5
The saga of Whyborne and Griffin against the Fideles and the masters continues and Whyborne’s Endicott family members show up to enlist his help in taking back their ancestral manor from whoever has commandeered it. That may be the Fideles as there’s a mysterious barrier surrounding the island that houses Balefire and no one has been able to get through.
Of course, Christine and Iskander come along to help and Whyborne’s mother, Heliabel, accompanies the group as the emissary of the ketoi. The mission is more complex than simply getting through the barrier and all five of our favorite characters are needed for this one.
Without going into a great deal of detail, I definitely want to salute the author for taking the time to patiently explain and re-explain all the confusing relationships between the Fideles, the maelstrom, the masters, and more. I don’t know if all the info has been present all along, but this time I was able to highlight key points as I went through the story and discovered that it made much more sense to me than it had previously. Added to that, there’s new information as to plans the maelstrom may have initiated hundreds of years before, including the reason Whyborne and Persephone, his twin sister, were conceived in the first place.
As ever, Griffin guards his love. (I will never stop loving the fact that he calls Ival “my dear.”) Griffin uses his shadow sight to help the group get through the barrier to the heart of the estate. Iskander uses his knives and, of course, Christine uses her club and anything else she can get her hands on. The group is, by now, a well-honed machine when they are on a mission. Nevertheless, expect the unexpected. Jordan Hawke has an unlimited and uncanny imagination and takes us places that are definitely not foreseen.
As this story draws to a close, it appears Whyborne’s cousins, the Endicotts—at least those who still survive—will be coming to Widdershins and will be on hand when the series evolves to the final confrontation with the masters. In fact, there’s an underlying theme of family in this book as quite a few family threads are woven throughout the story, starting with Griffin’s brother working with him in his PI business, to Ival’s relationship with his mother and his father. There’s acknowledgement of Sanford’s actions before his death and time to bereave his loss, and there’s the fierce protectiveness for the Endicott family children who have been isolated at the manor. And then there’s the family of the heart that includes Christine and Iskander and their relationship with Whyborne and Griffin. Without giving away any spoilers, one of my favorite scenes is when Christine points something out to Whyborne that is personal and feminine and totally flummoxes the sweet, innocent man.
The author is laying the groundwork for the grand finale. Perhaps she’s been laying it all along and the family is the mortar to the bricks and blocks that have been laid in past books. Time will tell. On a minor note, the only thing I didn’t care for in this book was the slow start of the story—it didn’t have the early excitement of others in the series where the action adventure occurred almost from the start. Nevertheless, I very highly recommend this book. Note: at this point in the series, the book can’t be read as a standalone, so I very highly recommend readers begin immediately with Widdershins and don’t stop until caught up. We all need to be on board in time for the grand finale!
Cover by Lou Harper is outstanding and features Whyborne in the foreground with fire sizzling between his two hands. In the dark cloudy background is his husband Griffin. It’s very attention-getting and in keeping with others in the series.
Expected publication: July 13th 2018 by Jordan L. Hawk
SeriesWhyborne & Griffin #10