Review: Spellbinder

cover-spellbinderTitle: Spellbinder
Author: Thea Harrison
Series: Moonshadow #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel
Available: Now


From author Thea Harrison comes the latest story in the New York Times bestselling Moonshadow trilogy….

Kidnapped while on tour, musician Sidonie Martel is transported to the mystical land of Avalon. A human without magical ability, she is completely vulnerable to the deadly forces surrounding her.

When she defies her captors and refuses to share her music, an act of violent cruelty leaves her broken, her ability to play silenced, maybe forever. Her only hope is a whisper in the dark, gentle hands that offer healing, and a man who refuses to show her his face yet who offers advice she dare not ignore.

One of the most feared and powerful sorcerers in history, Morgan le Fae serves a Queen he despises, Isabeau of the Light Court. Once a famous bard and an advisor to kings, Morgan has been enslaved to Isabeau for hundreds of years, acting as enforcer and the commander of her deadly Hounds.

Sidonie’s music touches Morgan in places he had abandoned centuries ago, and her fiery spirit resurrects feelings he had believed long dead. For Sidonie, trapped in captivity, passion offers a comfort she cannot resist.

But Isabeau holds Morgan bound in magical chains that only Death can break. And in the court of a cruel, jealous Queen, the only thing that burns hotter than love is revenge…

Source: ARC provided by the author

Although I enjoyed the first book in this Elder Races spin-off series, I did have a few minor reservations about it and I wasn’t at all sure about a follow up featuring the main bad guy as a romantic hero. Which shows what I know, because I really enjoyed this tale of a stolen musician, an enslaved Arthurian hero and a wicked, spiteful queen.

Firstly, Morgan is surprisingly sympathetic as our tragic hero. All that power, but no freedom, and with all his history taken into account it didn’t take long before I was firmly on his side and ready to forgive him pretty much everything. After all, how could he be blamed for all even the most terrible things he’d done when he’s under a geas that leaves him utterly incapable of disobeying Queen Isabeau’s orders, no matter how petty, cruel or horrific? He’s one of the most powerful sorcerers in the Elder Races world, but the object Isabeau used to enslave him might have come from a God and even he can’t compete with that.

Hardly the kind of match for a non-magical human, you might think, but just because Sidonie doesn’t have any magic, doesn’t mean she’s ordinary. In fact her music is so beautiful it makes Morgan forget – not just his pain and sorrow but also his rage. And Sid herself is pretty extraordinary even without her music. Admittedly, it does take her a while to cotton on to what exactly is happening after she’s kidnapped, but she’s had no real contact with the magical world, so it’s understandable. And once she does get it, I loved how strong she remained, even against some pretty awful odds. She’s a character, with quite a temper, but despite some initial despair, she’s not the sort to simply lie down and give up. I really liked her.

Mostly I liked how she was with Morgan, and how that allowed Morgan to be with her. They’re adorable together, at first, then strong and quite a formidable team, especially considering their power difference. Her experiences are so very different to his that it allows them to come at problems from completely different angles and argue through lots of possibilities. She’s quick and smart, especially for someone with so little magical experience and is also never afraid to stand up to him, nor others when she’s in defence of him. I especially liked how she dealt with Robin.

Of course things are far from easy for the pair of them. Morgan has a geas to fight, Sid has captivity to escape, there’s an evil queen to beat and some vicious fae to deal with, not to mention the whole issue of Isabeau’s knife. People who are completely new to this world may get quite lost in all the details of the Elder Races world, but if you’re familiar with fae lore you can probably follow along easily enough.

I do feel like some of the urgency and drama was lost right at the end. I can see why some things had to go that way, especially to allow certain important mythical moments to happen (loved the sword). Morgan has a lot of stuff to clear up, after all, but on Sid’s side it felt a bit flat and the romantic conflict wrapped up a little too easily. However, this is a minor thing and didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying this.

In all this was a great addition to this series and the world as a whole. Morgan surprised me with how much I liked him and Sid was amazing. I really hope this won’t be the last we see of them as I’d love to see how their relationship progresses over time. Although with the way things ended, I’m pretty sure they’ll both be back again soon.

Spellbinder is Out Now.
Visit Thea Harrison for more details.


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