Monday, August 08, 2011

Review - The Lady of the Storm

The Lady Of The Storm
Kathryne Kennedy
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
August 2011

Cecily Sutton, the half breed daughter of the Elven Lord Dewhame, has secretly loved Giles Beaumont, the village blacksmith, for most of her life. But Giles doesn't know she's alive...or so she thinks until her village is attacked by Lord Dewhame's soldiers. Suddenly Giles is there, swinging an enchanted sword, and claiming to have been her protector all along. According to him, the village was protected by a warding spell cast by her step-father, a spell that's now been broken.

Cecily doesn't know what to think. All she knows is that her previously peaceful village is at war with invaders and that Giles wants to take her away as soon as possible. She doesn't want to leave her mother or her sweet little cottage near the sea or the life she's planned with one of the village boys. But suddenly she finds her mother dead, her cottage half burned and the magic that's always laid dormant in her veins rising furiously to her call.

Giles, brought to the village by Cecily's step-father, has been secretly protecting her for years. He knows she has far more magic than he does and he knows she's referred to as the Rebellion's best hope to defeat the Elven Lords. He's watched her secretly as she's swam naked in the sea and watched her grow from a gangly girl into a beautiful woman with the faceted eyes of the Elven Lords. He knows that her step-father is right – Cecily isn't meant for a man like him.  She's meant for someone much higher up than a simple spy for the Rebellion who has posed as a blacksmith. It's his duty to protect her and deliver her to someone who can decide what her role, and his, will be now that the village is no longer safe.

Thus begins their travel to London. Once they get there, Cecily refuses to be a tool for the Rebellion. She wants to find her step-father who has been missing so long. Giles, at first eager to be freed of his responsibility as Cecily's protector, insists on accompanying her when she's given that dangerous assignment. Cecily can't understand why he stays with her when he could be haring off after more adventure and dangerous assignments for the Rebellion. Neither can Giles. He tells himself it's just habit but the thought of never seeing her again is hard to accept. And he wants to help her find her step-father.

As they travel, their love grows until neither can deny it. Their relationship is sweet and passionate as they learn to trust, then love, each other. It's a tale where both Cecily and Giles come to understand who they are and what's important to each of them. Will they be able to stay together? Or will the evil Elven Lords and the Rebellion keep them apart?

While this is a second book in the series, it's important to know that it will stand alone quite nicely...although you'll probably want to get the first book, The Firelord's Lover (another fantastic book).

Kathryne Kennedy has done an excellent job of describing the setting and creating a villainous group of beings that are simply malicious or insane or both. She has a deft hand combining fantasy with historical story and romance so seamlessly that the reader is never jarred out of the special world she's created. For those who love fantasy romance, Kathryne Kennedy is a MUST read.

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