Tudor England, 1556
A religious war is brewing. The Catholic Church relies on the ruthless reputation of Lord Beltran Nemesto, who tirelessly hunts down those who don’t believe or who practice dark arts.
Half mortal, half Fae princess, Rhiannon le Fay is a healer trying to broker peace between the Faerie and mortal worlds. The Convergence is approaching, an occurrence every thousand years where the Veil that separates the two realms temporarily dissolves. Without her help, war between the two is inevitable.
After meeting Rhiannon, Beltran knows he must bring her to justice, but he’s instantly attracted to the ethereal beauty. She forces him to confront his beliefs and introduces him to the Faerie world, and in the process he discovers a haunting truth about himself.
As the Convergence nears, Rhiannon and Beltran must decide where their loyalties lie as they fight to prevent a war that could destroy both of their worlds forever.
Book one of The Magick Trilogy.
I have to start by saying I loved the premise of blending Tudor England, Inquisition insanity, Fallen Angels and Arthurian legends but I found myself a bit bogged down by the sheer amount of information provided. I enjoyed it but am writing it up as first book information overload and will want to watch out for more in the series.
Rhiannon is the half mortal/Fae daughter of Arthur and Queen Maeve who doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere but is now charged with a mission that could save both the mortal and Fae realms. She’s unfortunate when she not only runs in to people working for her sister, Morrigan le Fay, but also a Blade of the Catholic Church who is bent on uncovering heretics and witches in the name of his Faith. She’s rescued by him but also now a prisoner of his to be delivered to the hands of inquisitors who could end up sending her to burn as a witch. Even with all of this she manages to keep her wits about her but also fall in love with this man who isn’t completely what he seems. She does everything she can to show him exactly who she is and that she isn’t evil but a bringer of peace to two very tumultuous realms. I liked how strong she was in her beliefs and that even when things were bleakest that she still wanted to succeed in her mission to save both realms even if it meant sacrificing herself.
Beltran was interesting in that he starts the book as a massive asshole who won’t listen to anything but what his self-righteousness decides is correct. I think what was fun was that you saw even though he presented this attitude of being close-minded to the world he really is a man at war with himself. As you learn more about him and his past you start to see why this is such an incredibly hard war for him to fight and win. He’s very drawn to Rhiannon even as he believes her to be wrong and deserving of holy justice. I loved how he was able to finally open his eyes to the truth but getting to that point was extremely tough to read and I felt for both of the main pair as they work through the intrigues of the English court and the Catholic vs Protestant mess that has engulfed Mary’s court.
Overall this is a well written title but a bit information heavy so go in to it with that knowledge and like me you will still be wanting to see where she goes with this series. The premise is good and worth additional looks at future titles.
Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review. As always if you are interested in this as well as other Carina titles please use the link in my sidebar to head out and purchase.