Shinn (Dark Moon Defender, 2006, etc.) neatly and delightfully wraps up a four-volume romantic-fantasy series in which six comrades bearing exceptional magical and/or martial abilities fall in love with entirely unsuitable partners against the backdrop of a looming civil war.
As rebellious nobles and the devotees of a magic-hating religious cult prepare to topple King Baryn from the throne of Gillengaria, he and his advisors decide to secure the line of succession by marrying off his daughter, 19-year-old Princess Amalie. To confirm that Amalie’s suitors are truly well-intentioned, the king enlists the help of Cammon, an extraordinarily powerful reader of thoughts and emotions. The more time Cammon spends with Amalie, the more he’s convinced that Amalie is a magically gifted mystic herself, a danger in a land where mystics are at best mistrusted and at worst brutally slaughtered. But Cammon’s concern for Amalie is more than merely patriotic—the common-born young man is falling in love with Amalie, and she with him. Although the novel’s entirely appropriate resolution seems foreordained, there are plenty of great twists, thrilling action sequences and long-awaited comeuppances along the way.
A chocolate truffle of a novel: richly indulgent, darkly sweet and utterly satisfying.