Because of how much I enjoyed each installment of The Horse Mistress, my first experience with the world of the Eburosi Chronicles, I went ahead and bought the full collection of the next adventure as one book. I have no regrets about that decision. This world gave me one of the most intense book hangovers of my life, and I now consider myself a solid fan of the author.
Kathrael, Favian, and Ithric’s story continues the saga of the city of Rhyth, with interesting tie-ins to events in previous tales. Each character experiences a complete character arc, against the backdrop of an epic quest. Magic, politics, and religion combine to create a fantastic female-driven epic fantasy that is not to be missed for fans of epic fantasy who are bored with the typical treatment of female characters.
Steffan does an amazing job balancing the world-building with the smaller moments between the characters. The sex, when it does occur, is quite steamy, but the focus always remains on the connections between the characters rather than erotica for erotica’s sake.
Though it’s possible to read this without reading The Horse Mistress first, I think you’d miss out on some great details because Carivel, Senovo, and Andoc make more than token appearances. Instead, be prepared for a deep dive into some fantastic epic fantasy that breaks all the molds.
Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.
Now that our three heroes are in a solid relationship, it was time to shake things up a bit. It would have been easy for the author to focus on a more character-driven story, but I love how they don’t let the readers forget that war is coming. Times are changing, and our heroes have to grow up and adapt along with them.
Family is a major theme in this installment, and Carival travels to her old home to face her mother. This reunion was equally painful and poignant. Steffan balances it wonderfully with the introduction to Andoc’s mother.
The handfasting ceremony in this book felt a little self-indulgent on the part of the author, but in retrospect, that’s an issue on my part and stems from what is traditionally “normalized” in fiction. Steffan does excellent work in breaking the mold, both in the world of the Eburosi Chronicles and our own.
The shapeshifter plotline culminates with the political plotline, and both are resolved to my great satisfaction. I’m completely in love with this world, and while I know Carival, Andoc, and Senovo’s story is over, I’m looking forward to exploring more Steffan has to offer. Continue reading
Often novellas either feel like a padded-out short story or a rushed novel. This was neither, giving all the background detail between each of the three main characters necessary to make the next step in their relationship feel natural and inevitable. Additionally, the supernatural element of the story blended seamlessly with the relationship arc between the characters. Continue reading
Disclaimer: I am friends with the author of this novel; however, I purchased the ebook for full price.
My metric for how I view a good romance novel has turned into whether the interpersonal relationships are occurring between mature adults. I don’t have time for whiny teenage angst produced by characters in their twenties, thirties, or beyond. This novel succeeds in this goal, and even the necessary miscommunication necessary for a romance plot was realistic rather than over(melo)dramatic. In short, I loved this book. Continue reading