Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Yes, this series just keeps getting better, and this is my favorite story so far. These characters, and the world they live in, are all just so engaging, despite being lifted from various world mythologies. There may be some spoilers for Semper Fae in this review, but I will try to keep them minimal…
At the end of the last book, Diego had been banished from the human world for 3 years and 3 days, and he spent that time with the wild fae, picking up knowledge and wisdom wherever he could, but he was also trying to forgive himself for all the chaos and pain he unwittingly caused while he was spellbound. He wasn’t the one who cast the spell, so shouldn’t have tried to shoulder all the responsibility for the repercussions, but, well, that’s just who Diego was. He still hadn’t come to peace with his role in the violence when the 3 years were up and he had to return – and for Diego, there was never the option to just walk away. But he knew that he was too broken to resume leadership of the Fae Collective, thus leaving Zach, who had become the de facto interim Consul, to continue in that role. Diego was still an important political figure though, and he felt he could best contribute to the general good of the world by acting as a diplomatic liaison. In the 3 years of his banishment, tensions between the growing number of magic users and regular humans had escalated, and the Fae Collective had taken on the role of international mediator, and occasionally launched covert rescue operations when situations were especially dangerous.
When three Canadian students with magical ability were taken captive in the nation of Shere’alej (very reminiscent of Saudi Arabia, to me), Diego and Finn took a small contingent of guards to meet with the prince and negotiate their release. When the meeting turned into an ambush, Diego and Finn were taken, shackled in iron (for Finn) and lead (for Diego) to nullify their magical abilities, and imprisoned at a hidden, remote facility, and their guard sent back to Tearmann island. With their magic out of reach, Diego and Finn had only their wits to use to escape. Fortunately, one of their guard was Theo Aguilar, the vampire that had briefly served as Diego’s lieutenant while Diego was out of control – and Theo was determined to rescue them no matter what.
Theo was a conflicted soul who thought he had become basically evil after being changed to a vampire and rejected by his religious family. His soul, however, was moral, honorable, and kind, but he couldn’t seem to see past how others were frightened and suspicious of him because of his vampire nature. I think Ms. Martinez did an amazing job of describing his inner conflict and how it informed his choices. He had a constant need to prove himself – to others, but also to himself. The one person who truly saw through his prickly facade was the selkie Limpet. Limpet was an innocent, curious, at times almost childishly naive, but also brave and devoted. At first that devotion was focused on Diego and Finn, but he quickly transferred that dedication to Theo, despite Theo’s intense efforts to dissuade him. Limpet’s sincerity and affection ended up being the perfect antidote to Theo’s abhorrence of who he had become.
The story progressed in two concurrent arcs – Theo and Limpet developing first a friendship, and then a romance as they searched for Diego and Finn, as well as Diego and Finn’s efforts to break out of the prison and bring all the prisoners with them to safety. I found this book to be much easier to follow than Semper Fae, with a smaller cast of characters and a tighter scope and plot line, as well as a clear ending (although there is definitely room for further sequels!). In addition to an engaging narrative, with relatable characters and plenty of character development, the pacing of this book was so much better than the others in the series, and it was a great read. I am impressed with how the series is progressing, and looking forward to more…
Cover art by Emmy@studioenp remains consistent with the others in the series. To me, the model represents Theo, although I guess it could also be Limpet, and the hawk flying over the desert sand dunes was perfect for the plot line.
ebook, 281 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Pride Publishing (first published September 5th 2014)
Edition Language English
Series Endangered Fae #4