A Chaos Moondrawn Review: No Fae is an Island (Endangered Fae #4) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

This is book four and you need to read these in order as it starts three years after the previous book. It took me a while to warm up to this series, but by book three I was completely sucked in. As Diego and Finn return to the world after Diego’s exile, everyone is still dealing with the aftermath of what he did. Zack is acting Consul and will have to remain so as having Diego return to the job might not be in their best interests. Magic legislation is still very much as issue. Neither Diego nor Theo have forgiven themselves. It has become unsafe in certain parts of the world to be magical. Trying to be useful and help rescue three Canadian students arrested in a country that is anti-magic, Diego and Finn find themselves also taken prisoner. The social commentary is about bigotry and the corruption of power. How are we still here fighting issues we thought had been addressed and dealt with?

While Diego was in exile, he learned as much as he could from the dragons and studied the wild fae. A young selkie, Limpet, follows Diego across the veil when he comes home. His POV keeps this fresh as he is innocent, curious, and naive about the human world. The pairing of Limpet with Theo is unlikely, but seems to be because Theo needs that kind of outlook to help him move forward and enjoy life again. I have to admit I didn’t like that Theo tends to tune Limpet out and not really listen to what he is saying, or worse tells him to not talk. That’s fine when they are in danger or hiding and Limpet doesn’t know any better, not so fine the rest of the time. Being excited, talking a lot, and being curious (which means asking a lot of questions) is part of who Limpet is. While the sexual compatibility isn’t in question, for me, the communication left something to be desired.

While Diego and Finn are in captivity, Diego gets everyone to band together, reminding them that they are stronger as a community rather than individuals living in fear. Finn, who is not my favorite character, spends much of this book subdued by steel. He does get to be a hero here, and there is none of the melodrama of previous books. Maybe being with Diego during his banishment in the Otherworld calmed him a bit. The author establishes a djinn character called Nusair, and a half human/fae named Asif, both of whom I expect to see in the future. Nusair is by far the more intriguing of the two. It’s a shame that the The Silver Adepts coven is left simmering in the background, but this book is about Diego finding his footing again. It’s a necessary step to make the whole series more cohesive. I’m hoping now that Diego and Theo are sorted, the next book will go back to some of the previous characters on new adventures.

The cover art is by Emmy @studioenp. It features Diego, the desert, and Finn as the bird. It’s in keeping with the rest of the series and I really like the golden color.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 281 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Pride Publishing (first published September 5th 2014)
ISBN 139781786517029
Edition Language English
Series Endangered Fae #4

A Caryn Review: No Fae is an Island (Endangered Fae #4) by Angel Martinez

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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.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 281 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Pride Publishing (first published September 5th 2014)
ISBN 139781786517029
Edition Language English
Series Endangered Fae #4

A MelanieM Review: No Fae Is An Island (Endangered Fae #4) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

TNoFaeIsAnIsland_200hree years ago Diego Sandoval was banished from the human world as punishment for the crimes he committed while out of his mind.  With him went his Pookie lover, Finnochad.  Now the time of their banishment is up and Diego and Finn are returning to Tearmann Island, and to all the friends they left behind.  Living amongst the wild Fae has taught Diego many lessons he needed to learn and time to assuage the pain deep inside himself.  But has it been enough?

The human world and Tearmann Island has moved on in Diego’s absence.  Theo Aguilar, the rogue vampire, is now head of Prince Lugh’s security while Zack moved into Diego’s spot as Chief Liaison for the Fae Collective.  What will happen when Diego and Finn return?  It’s not just Diego who is uncertain about what happens next for them all.

To further complicate an already complicated situation, a number of Fae and gifted humans have been imprisoned by country who sees magic as dangerous and forbidden.  A  diplomatic mission mounted to save them turns deadly and its left to  Theo and a surprise stowaway to save the day.  And the stowaway?  Well, that would be a young curious selkie who followed Diego and Finn home from the wild Fae lands.  He wanted to see the world and got far more than he ever expected.  When the world goes crazy once more, its up to the inhabitants of Tearmann Island to find a way out of the precarious position Diego and Finn find themselves in and save them all.

No Fae  Is An Island, the fourth story in the Endangered Fae series by Angel Martinez, picks up three years after Danu’s banishment of Diego to the wild lands of the Fae.  Its been 3 years and 3 days and now its time for Diego and Finn to return home.  During that time Diego has listeneed and learned from many of the Fae in the Otherworld.  From the counsel of dragons to learning about the singular joys of laughter and living in the moment from a pod of selkies, Diego finds himself older, wiser, and finally more at peace with himself and the damage he caused while temporarily deranged.   From the darkness of Semper Fae emerges a quieter, more uncertain Diego and that change in character translates realistically and beautifully here in the opening chapter.

I have been eagerly awaiting this story since I finished Semper Fae, an outstanding novel at every aspect but one that was darker in scope than the previous stories.  Like the rest of the inhabitants of Tearmann Island, the Fae nation locale on the human world, I have waited to see what the banishment and time has done for Diego and his lover, Finn.  I was teary eyed as I “watched” them go, so I was overjoyed to find this story opens up on a sandy beach in the Otherworld with Diego watching Finn play with a pod of selkies in the ocean.  It’s joyful, peaceful, and the Diego found here is the one I was hoping to see.  He’s not yet fully healed but clearly on his way.  I love how believable Diego and his journey towards becoming the man/mage he is capable of being.  Each book has seen Diego become a more nuanced and layered being, complete with moments of depression, pride and arrogance vying with guilt and humility to arrive at a person who acknowledges he is still a work in progress.  I believe in Diego wholeheartedly, and with that, comes a belief in Finn, his Pookie lover who has also made some important transitions of his own.  They change, their relationship changes and deepens and so does their place in the world they have had a share in making.

Angel Martinez manages to temper her moments of seriousness and angst with those of laughter and joy.  Attaining that balance can be tricky but Martinez handles that beautifully here in the form of Limpet, a young selkie (150 years young) who is one of the most endearing characters of recent memory. Limpet is the levity and heart of innocence of this story.  It’s his pod that’s playing with Finn in the opening chapter but the pod’s life has gotten too small for Limpet who wishes to see the human world of Finn’s stories and tall tales.  Limpet is the balm to Theo’s pain and watching those two beings connect and establish a relationship is one of this story’s strengths and delights. He may come across as simple at first but nothing in this series is ever as simple as it appears.  The author does a tremendous job in providing layer upon layer to her story and characters, The characters change and grow as the plot twists and turns in a pattern as complex as a mandala.

To all the other mythic lore Martinez has introduced in the previous stories, in No Fae Is An Island adds yet another culture’s myths, this time those of the Middle East and Tales of the Arabian Nights.  Here it makes sense and brings a whole new cast of characters to fold into her universe and Fae collection.  And what a startling group it is.  Especially Nusair but I will let you discover him on your own.

The author’s on-going themes of identity, self awareness, and the journey towards a completeness of being continues in No Fae Is An Island and not just in the character of Diego.  Others are on that path too.  Its a tortuous journey but a believable one.  Is it tough to suspend our belief in our universe to take in all the mythical creatures Martinez brings to her world?  Not at all.  You slide into this world and universe building with an ease and pleasure that never lets up. I love this story and series.  And I can’t wait to see where it goes next, some place dark if any of the portents I read here are an indication. I will be waiting to see where these amazing characters and series go next.  It’s an astonishing trip, make sure you come with us every step of the way.

No Fae Is An Island is a story I can highly recommend as I do the entire Endangered Fae series.  Pick them all up today but make sure you read them in the order they were written, a must to understand the characters, their growth and relationships.  I will leave you an excerpt at the end of this review.  Succinct and charming…meet Limpet!

Cover art by Winterheart Designs.  Love that cover.  That is Theo and Limpet to perfection.

Sales links:   MLR Press        All Romance eBooks (ARe)       Amazon          No Fae Is An Island

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 255 pages
Published September 5th 2014 by MLR Press
ASINB00NBI2UP6
edition languageEnglish
seriesEndangered Fae #4

I have listed all the Endangered Fae stories in the order they were written and should be read to understand the events and character development. Put all on your must read list today!

Finn (Endangered Fae #1) (includes Finn’s Christmas)
Diego (Endangered Fae #2)
Semper Fae (Endangered Fae #3)
No Fae Is An Island (Endangered Fae #4)

No Fae Is An Island Excerpt

“You don’t need to come with me.” Theo fought clenched teeth. The selkie was a friend of Mr. Sandoval’s and Finn’s, too—Finn who had been so kind to him after accidentally squashing him in dragon form. No need to be rude.

“Quite all right. I’ve nothing better to do.”

“You can’t come with me,” Theo said in the chilliest, sternest tone he could muster.

“Oh, of course I can. I see quite well at night.”

Theo squeezed his eyes shut against the headache. It shouldn’t have been there. He’d fed that morning and napped the rest of the day in lethargic, sated bliss. Fine. He’ll get bored and leave soon. “All right. But you have to be quiet.”

“Yes, yes, of course. In case something bad is here. A pack of nixes maybe. Oh, they’re bad. Or a kraken tries to swim close and ambush you, yes? You’re a real warrior, then? Have you seen many battles? Do you have scars? I have scars, but only because I was very young—”

“Limpet.” Theo stopped and took the selkie’s chin in his hand, holding his head still. “Whispering is not being quiet.”

“Right you are. Sorry. You have beautiful eyes.”

Theo dropped his hand and walked away, shaking his head. It was going to be long night.