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Stone and Blood*
Book Two with New Twists, and a Spotlight on Caliban
The first book of the series was actually one of the first books that I read as a new Booksprout member earlier this year. So I was glad when the author put all of the books back on the service, as I hadn’t yet read the other three in the series. To warm up before this second book, I reread the first, and I was reminded how much I enjoyed this complex world that the author has created. I love Maeve as a character. In the first book, I loved how she was dogged in her pursuit of knowledge, trying to unlock her magic. In a lot of the books I read (regency romance), women with intellectual pursuits are often looked down upon by other characters. But the dragons in that first book did not look down upon her for this. Of course, I loved the dragons in the previous book, both their dragon forms and their only under-a-full-moon human form.
But enough about book one. Book two picks up where book one leaves off. With Maeve having access now to her magical power, she is able to unwind, but not wholly remove, the curse from the dragon men. They have been cursed to be dragons for so long that the curse is bound up with their life force, and to wholly remove it could be deadly. But Maeve is able to make it so they can choose when to be dragons. It is actually quite fascinating to watch her work with her magic because, unlike other books, it is not inherent within her. Rather, she sees it as something separate with which she works to attain a goal. The only one for whom the curse separation didn’t work well was Caliban. He struggles mightily with who he is and makes it difficult for himself.
After the ceremony, the team splits up. Caliban and Maeve go to the fae realm, Septimus stays at the tower, and Trystan and Gwayne go to Caledonia to try to figure out if the new queen, Fergus’s wife, is the same queen who cursed them centuries ago. Enough of this summary. If you want to find out more, you will have to read the book. It does have some surprising twists and turns and ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. This book is definitely steamier than book one. Caliban is an interesting character to follow because he truly is at war with himself, and like Maeve, you will want to help him heal and appreciate himself.
If you enjoyed book one, book two ramps up the action on several fronts. If you haven’t yet read book one, definitely read it first so you can understand the full context of this book. The author does provide a little prologue that sums up book one, but book one is so well done, that you won’t want to miss it. Looking forward to books three and four!