- Read my review of the first Seasons of the Lukoi novel, Winter of the Owl.
Every time I think I can’t possibly enjoy the world of this epic fantasy romance series more, the author(s) uncover another stunning layer. In the first book of this series, we’re introduced to the culture of the Lukoi, who are themselves separate from all the amazing worldbuilding I’ve already experienced as part of the initial Starian Cycle. Then, Foxglove expands even on what we’ve seen from this island culture to create the ideal blend of unexpected conflict and tension. The perfect dose of magic brings it all together in one addictive read. After unexpectedly getting my hands on an advanced copy, I stayed up way past my bedtime to binge-read this story, and I regret nothing.
The beginning of this book reads like a fairy tale—though one of the darker versions. The mystic quality is enhanced with the narrative language used when Zev is in his wolf form. The continuous reveals of his true form to Dragan, and then those closest to him, are simultaneously humorous and poignant. In this book, Foxglove once again effortlessly blends the external conflict with lovely character development. There’s nothing traditional about Dragan and Zev’s “meet-cute,” even for a fantasy setting. Still, the relationship that develops between them features a lovely push and pull between one character who has a lot to learn and accept about himself and another who isn’t quite as settled as he once may have thought. The way they come together is almost as inevitable as the story’s epic final confrontation, but plenty of surprises kept me on the edge of my seat.
The final chapter leads perfectly into the next book, which I’m already beyond excited about. I’m also thrilled that I correctly guessed the heroes of the last book in this amazing series, but I can’t help but hope that Foxglove already has plans for plenty more in this imaginative, unique world. If you’re a fantasy reader, come for the amazing worldbuilding and stay for the dynamic romances. If you’re a romance reader, come for the fantastical spin on power exchange relationships and stay for the unique and in-depth settings. None of you will regret spending the time here.
Disclaimer: I received an electronic ARC of this novel from the authors.
Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.