Reviewed By Aethena Drake
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
I am slowly becoming addicted to Elizabeth Schechter’s approach to storytelling. Historical romances and dual timelines don’t usually hold my attention, but this book reminded me why I follow authors regardless of their choice of genre or storytelling technique. Good storytelling is a beautiful thing to experience. Creating authentic historical settings and maintaining equal levels of suspense in a dual timeline are challenging tasks for any author, and Schechter has accomplished both.
The triad formed by Mystere, Margaret and Douglas in the 1800’s was constructed by events that unfolded in the 700’s. The events are unveiled as one timeline is used to explain what occurs in the other. Watching the relationship among the three characters develop and evolve is as engaging as the mystery surrounding the antagonist’s plans for the Swords of Charlemagne. Although Margaret is a main focus in the 1800’s timeline, I don’t have quite the same interest in her character as I do for Mystere and Douglas. The established dynamic between those two still feels a bit more comfortable than the dynamic between Douglas and Margaret.
Viewing the world through another perspective is one of the joys of reading. This book highlights how people perceive the world differently even when they have the same senses. Margaret, Douglas, and Mystere can all use magic, but they have different techniques and their experiences influence those techniques. Their different approaches to magic use will be important in their quest to find the remaining swords and survive their encounter with Caedda another master of magic with unpleasant intentions.
Both timelines have some surprises near the end, but this book wrapped up in a nice spot. The story isn’t over though. I find my self equal parts grateful that I had a chance to read it before the official release date and frustrated that I have to wait that much longer for the next book. This book can be read as a standalone, but the rich layers of the characters, plot, and settings are more enjoyable after reading the first book in the Swords of Charlemagne series.
If you enjoy a book with characters that become more interesting with each installment, well constructed dual timelines, steamy scenes that build an emotional connection, and masterfully balanced tension, this is a book worth reading, rereading, and rereading again when the series is completed.
LGBT/ROMANCE/FANTASY/FUTURISTIC/SCI-FI/URBAN FANTASY – SERIES