Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Review of The Mage

'CoverCover of The Mage (The Sons of Destiny, Book 8)

The Mage
Jean Johnson
[book 8: Sons of Destiny series]
ISBN: 978-0-425-22594-3

We've watched and waited patiently (or not so patiently as the case may be) for the right time to come along and set the 'Sons of Destiny' free. Now whether the stars have finally aligned, or the Fates have reached an accord, that time is now. The eight brothers of Nightfall, formerly of the county Corvis, are finally free of their curse. Though as we have come to recognize over the past months and years, the "Song of the Sons of Destiny" didn't turn out to be a curse so much as it was, and is, a blessing for the men and women it directly relates to.

The Eighth Son shall set them free:
Act in Hope and act in love
Draw down your powers from above
Set your Brothers to their call
When Mage has wed, you will be all.

In The Mage we see Hope's past struggle to become a person of Kelly's otherworld. [for more details on Kelly, see The Sword - book 1] We watch with delight and some trepidation as she returns to Nightfall and the truth of her origins come out. We observed Morganen's upset and confusion, his understanding and his strength. But most of all, we had a front row seat to witness their love grow and flourish into something that no thing, and no body, could ever break apart.

Jean Johnson has led us on a magical journey of prophesy, love and danger, and in this - the eighth and final book of the series - she finishes up all of the story lines and plot threads that were left hanging throughout the the other books. Nightfall was able to finally call for the 'Convocation of the Gods' and they were officially acknowledged as their own Nation, fully and legally responsible only unto themselves (and the Gods). Though through an ironic twist of fate, Nightfall became not only a Kingdom but an Empire, that now ruled over the brother's homeland of Katan, with Morganen as Katan's King.

Their problems with Mandare and Lord Kemblin Aragol (Earl of the West Marches) are forever solved by the plain fact that as the host-nation for the Convocation it is basically illegal for Mandare to attack them. The Nightfallers issues with water purification are corrected through the hard work of all the Nightfall people and the magical abilities of Danau and Koranen. [see The Flame - book 7 for more about this pair] Dominor and Serina [The Master - book 3] were blessed with the birth of their twins, and Kelly and Saber were finally able to get pregnant.

The Mage was a well written and fantastical conclusion to a series that has kept it's readers and fans (those rabid members of the 'Mob of Irate Torch Wielding Fans') entertained and on the edge of their seats with anticipation. But it has also brought about a sad circumstance - we have no more to wait for, to hope for, for the Son's of Destiny. So it is with a fond farewell that we must bid the Brothers and their now much larger family goodbye. Or at the very least "So long," since I am sure we will all make some return visits to the island and the people on it that we've all come to love.

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A Review of Lover Avenged

'CoverCover via Amazon

Lover Avenged
J.R. Ward
[book 7: Black Dagger Brotherhood series]
ISBN: 978-0-451-22585-6

In the last couple of years we've watched our favorite Brothers face many hard circumstances and just as many hard, hard choices. Wrath had to face his fears of inadequacy and claim the throne that was rightfully his, in order to claim Beth Randall (his Brother - Darius's - only surviving daughter) as his mate. [Dark Lover] Mary Luce had to accept that love and faith truly could save a life and that they could give you life if only you let them, when she chose eternal life and love of Rhage, and the Beast, in Lover Eternal.

We watched Bella and Zsadist together and realized that with the right inducement even the most shattered of souls could be pieced back together. [Lover Awakened] Lover Revealed showed us that you truly can't judge a book by it's cover and that love, when given freely and fully, can change us all. This fact is displayed even more in Lover Unbound when it is her love for Vishous that allows Jane to come back as a ghost, to be with him forever. And in Lover Enshrined, Phury comes to the realization that if he can't love himself, can't honor himself, he will never be able to honor his mate and give her the love and life that she deserves.

All Kings are blind -
The good ones see this and use more than their
eyes to lead.

Finally we come to Rehvenge. Though not truly a member of the Brotherhood, his is as close as an outsider can get. His origins are disgraceful and his action not entirely honorable in the world of vampires (or the human world for that matter) but despite this he is still a male of worth. Or he strives to be, as best he can. he has never been able to see the good in himself, for he's far too aware of his dark side, but all those around him, at least those whom he allows to get close, can see the bright soul lurking in his darkness.

Ehlena's life hasn't always been easy. At the moment she'd even go so far as to say it sucked, and for all her optimism she can't see how things could possibly get better. Of course she can't see how they could possibly get worse either. Then her - almost - boyfriend is killed by lessers, her father has another episode and she volunteers to deal with the one patient that no one else wants to deal with when he comes in to the clinic. Rehvenge.

Rehvenge has always liked Ehlena the most of all the nurses who work for Havers, the races doctor, but has always been careful to keep his distance. Then one night they both reach out, despite their desire not to, and a bond is formed between them. After that, the dice seem to be tossed and no matter how strongly they try to keep their distance, they can't.

Lies and truth disrupt their happiness and when the only course they can see is to remain apart, they both have to face their fears, their demons and their very real enemies, if they want any type of life. Any future. Together, or apart.
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