New Release: REVIEW – Sapphire Water- The Witch Brothers Saga, Book#4 – Adam J. Ridley

Sapphire Water Book Cover Sapphire Water
The Witch Brothers Saga, Book#4
Adam J. Ridley
Gay Fantasy, Witchcraft, LGBTQ Fantasy Fiction
Blake Allwood Publishing
March 17, 2023

Setting the third brother free should have broken the curse for good, but the darkness still threatens everything. The curse cannot be truly broken until the fourth brother is found and he too finds true love.

David is bitter, having lost his entire family after his mother passed. Now, he clings to his love of the ocean. When that love brings him face to face with a mystical selkie man, will he accept his destiny or turn from it and the selkie who desperately needs him?

Muir is tasked with finding the male witch who can help save the last of the Selkie people. When he is attacked by the enemies of the Selkie and loses the seer stone everything feels lost, at least until he finds David, the sexy witch man who may help him rewrite all of the selkies’ destiny.

As David and Muir work through their emotional and physical attractions, the lives of the Selkie people hang precariously in the balance. Will these men be able to bridge the tide that flows against them, or will hope for the Selkie’s salvation be lost forever?

Review by Ulysses Dietz

Member of The Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Over the years, I’ve read quite a few books that deal with the “old magic” and how, with the rise of Christianity and what we call civilization, the world of the greenwood and uncharted waters began to fade away. This is the first variation on this theme that links the loss of the Old Magic with climate change, and the very idea that magical creatures depend on stable ecosystems.

Herein lies the poignant charm of this fourth of the Witch Brother Saga books. The unexpected finale of book 3 was the discovery that the Franklyn curse was not finished, because there was another brother, unknown and unknowing, living in the shadow of their father’s curse. That’s David Franklyn, loner from Tennessee, who has taken refuge in an isolated cottage on the Oregon coast where he can practice his skills as a marine biologist in peace.

He has no idea of who he really is, except for the persistent friendship of Marta, who pesters him about the magic she can see in him, futilely trying to get him to visit Chemeketa and explore his innate gifts.

Then David finds a mortally wounded Muir, slowly bleeding to death deep in a seaside cave. David is a loner, but he’s not a heartless monster; and that makes all the difference.

Ridley takes Muir and David’s adventure not only to Chemeketa, but back to the ancient Selkie stronghold on the Scottish coast. It is not just David’s role as part of the Franklyn family’s curse at play here, but his larger role in the world of Celtic Europe and the increasingly aggressive incursion of humans into old-magic territory.

David, who (like his brothers) has suffered from commitment-phobia all his adult life, has to become the kind of hero he doesn’t really believe in. For the first time in his life, he has to look outside himself, both to save himself and to preserve everything he loves.

I had no clue how Ridley was going to back everything he did into the relatively tight space of the latter part of a novel. Amazingly, he does it, and doesn’t lose the majesty of what is happening. It does get a little confusing, with several non-human worlds being called into play. It’s a lot to grapple with, but Ridley manages to keep the various story threads aligned.

Ridley is not a poetic writer, but there is poetry enough in the themes he works into his story to satisfy the romantic in each of us.

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