Gregori - has been a presence in the first 3 books... he is powerful, almost as old as Michael... a student of their past, a healer, a vampire hunter.Gregori - has been a presence in the first 3 books... he is powerful, almost as old as Michael... a student of their past, a healer, a vampire hunter... and more powerful than any... and soooo close to turning.
Savannah, Michael and _____ 's daughter. and she is now 25. Gregori attempted to claim her on her 18th birthday, but she was afraid. He can wait no longer.
Gregori - he doesn't understand how Michael & Aiden allow their lifemates so much freedom... he feels guilty for using his power and healing knowledged to ensure Savannah will belong to her - melding with her mind when she needed healing in the womb, and becoming a wolf companion to her when she was growing up.
Savannah - her human mother's daughter, optomistic, 25, friendly, a wanting to keep her freedom, fearful of Gregori.
Gregori claims her... and feels for the first time in hundreds of years, and sees colors, but is still dark - still needs to close down as he kills enemies to his people.
He takes Savannah very roughly their first time - and at the end she gentles him. She comes to understand how much power she has over him, how much he needs her, how guilty he feels, how fearful he is that she is not his true, true lifemate - only his manipulation. And as she is his lifemate, she helps him to understand and accept it fully, and finds ways to help him with his hunting and defense duties - in spite of his repeating over & over that she cannot, as he must protect her.
and Julian savage will be next (he is talked alot about, but not met) - Aiden's brother and close to turning.
introduced a human character - Gary - a scientist, of good heart, who concocted a tranquiler to work on vampires, but stands against the heinous choices of the vampire controlled bad guys, and with Gregori....more
**spoiler alert** Read a second time - enjoyed it a second time - fascinating how they are working so hard to bond and yet protect one another... and**spoiler alert** Read a second time - enjoyed it a second time - fascinating how they are working so hard to bond and yet protect one another... and how Anna's instincts are so often correct...
Anna & Charles (and their wolves) are a month married, and coninue to grow in themselves and in their relationship...
Charles is struggling with the emotions of his wolf... and being open to Anna - who feels their bond, and it hurts her when his wolf or self tries to protect her by restricting it... he is working at communicationg with her... their wolves communicate fine, and she can hear and sometimes talk with his wolf, but he struggles to communicate himself, but out of love, he keeps trying... and when he throws out a few words, Anna is great at understanding him...
And Anna is learning to put the past behind her... and to respond in strength, and to understand what being an Omega is...
Bran has decided to have the wolves 'come out' (as the fae did)... where he has control (can choose which 'hero' wolves will tell their story)... but he has resistence from the European wolves... so they have come for a conference to discuss it..
And Charles (in the way of his Indian magic) just feels that his father should not go, that there is danger... Bran disagrees... Charles is unhappy... and Anna confronts Bran in just the right way, with a few thoughtful observations so that Bran rethinks his position, and agrees to send Charles & Anna...
They go to Angus' pack home (in Massachusetts?) ... Mara (Arthur's Lady of the Lake) is a fae that agrees to moderate and keep control... Arthur (who's loving, but aging wife), alpha of the English pack (and believes himself to be the reincarnation of Arthur, as he has Excalibur); the French alpha is FR_____ ?, and is cruel, old, and terrorizes the other packs - and has a taste for human flesh, that he curtailed 200 hundred years ago (at least to keep it hidden) because of Bran's threat; The Germans & Italians fear the French... and are at odds because of an omega - one Changed by a German (in compassion - he was a snow rescuer who knew & found injured Italian omega) and the Omega chose to join the Italian pack...
Charles gets through the conference, representing his father and thier ideas on how they will support & help the European packs make this transition... He does struggle to be the new man he is with Anna (it is apparent to all that he loves her), and yet maintain his dominance... he always keeps his distance from others, because too often he is the enforcer who must kill to maintain pack order & law, but it is harder with Anna...
Anna goes to the 1st day of the meeting, but by lunch, all of the dominant wolves are upset... she is shaking in fear because being in a room with dominant wolves reminds her of the mistreatment she had ... and the wolves want to protect her, but can't perceive her enemy... she goes shopping with Angus' second (Tom) and his blind, witch, mate... She has a great time with them... but when they return to the hotel, they are attacked by 6 vampires whose smell was disguised... she kills one and starts to help Tom (4 are attacking him and he's killed one) when she hears his witch wife calling out, what are they? When she tells her they are vampires, she uses her magic to flash a light, that sends them scrambling... but Tom has been hurt badly, but again Anna handles herself, draws on Charles' power, carries him to safety... calls for help, etc...
Anna spends time with the other pack Omega - who has only been a wolf for 6 months... it's cute when they both empathetically respond to the other's heartaches, extending the peace that they usually reserve for their packs... and as Anna explains what she has learned about being an Omega - both by Asil's lessons and her own experiences, she solidifies her own power in her own mind (she has a few epiphanies)... that an Omega has power, has Alpha power, but not the agressive side... and they will do (as the Alpha does) what ever is necessary to protect the pack.
It ends up that Arthur had plans... he planned to kill Bran (stopped by the fact that Charles showed up)... planned to kill the French alpha... so that he could take over all of the European and American packs, as the true Arthur... but when he meets Anna, he decides to replace his beloved wife (who would have been an omega if she had been Changed) who fears aging (he sends the vampires to kill her), to kidnap Anna and ship her to England, and to kill Charles & the Italian... he engages the assistance of Mara - the one who had hidden Excalibur, and she wants it back...
so, while Anna is recovering from the vampire kidnapping attempt (yes, Charles rescued her, though she was puttingup a pretty good fight), Charles figures out that Arthur is te one who hired the vampires... Arthur stabs Charles in the belly... Mara shows up for the sword... Charles draws on pack power & heals quickly, and sword fights with Arthur, and kills him ... when he gives Mara the sword - planning to leave her disassembly to his father, she spells him in a death curse, because she believes he is the only one who knows she did not keep her word...
Anna & Angus & Tom finally break into the room, find Charles... and Tom's witch wife does what she can to counter the spell, but says that Mara must end the spell or die.
Anna goes to the room with Arthur's dead wife... and her body is animated, and she is sent by the other Fae Grey Lord to execute Mara as she broke her word, and the give her a dagger (another of Arthur's tools), and radar to locate Mara.
She confronts Mara... she is hesitant, and Mara relaxes, believing that Anna is not a threat... and Anna approaches her, and asks her to break the spell - when Mara refuses, Anna slides the daggar from her sleeve and expertly kills Mara - telling her, "wrong answer".
and then they are all okay... and return home... I can't wait for the next book... I really like Anna & Charles... ...more
I'm not sure where I saw this author... in another book, from a tv show... but she wrote in the 70s & 80s... I'll try this first book and see whatI'm not sure where I saw this author... in another book, from a tv show... but she wrote in the 70s & 80s... I'll try this first book and see what I think....more
victorian england, a lonely widow who joins a widow auction for a night of sex (to experience more than her loving, bu4 diverse stories of fantasy...
victorian england, a lonely widow who joins a widow auction for a night of sex (to experience more than her loving, but inhibited husband would give her)... purchased by a lord who is her nemesis on the charity board they serve together... he recognized her behind her mask, she knows who he is but believes she is anonymous... and as he tries to teach her a lesson, gets to know her, and gives her a night, and subsequently a life of deep love...
a were-leopard woman, who has never changed, goes into the jungle and meets her mate just as she goes into heat - and discovers a sexuality she didn't know she had, and meets a man who can fully love and care for her...
a seminar to teach seduction in 24 hours to willing men... and two reporters who go to reveal the truth - one a woman who is disguised as a man... and after a night of personal revelations, and another night of passion, the man rolls the world (a world painted ball) to her feet - offering the world to her - and she takes him up on it...
an interesting twist on vampirism... a young woman vampire goes to Tibet to the monks to try to learn the discipline needed to deny the need for blood - and she meets a young, virgin monk (who remembers his many previous lives), who through sex can connect her to the earth energy that will feed her instead... hmmmm........more
This story introduces many of the formulas and the problems that the Shannara world of many years and many books later - explaining their beginnings.This story introduces many of the formulas and the problems that the Shannara world of many years and many books later - explaining their beginnings.
Panterra Qu takes up the black staff, and via his instincts learns to wield it without quite understanding how... he must face down the demon (one left of the world that was destroyed and that Hawk led the remnant to safety from 500 years earlier) - a demon whose purpose was to destroy the Word/black staff... he tracks and captures Arik Siq, returns him to his home village, and as he is going to set out to rescue Prue, Prue shows up... they promise to never part... they part when they are searching for the freed Phryne who disappeared under the elf arch & then Pan also disappears under the arch - taken to an elven underworld... he assists Phryne in gaining the Elfstones, with the sacrifice of her grandmother - and the Elfstones leads them out - and they end up on the other side of their mountain - using the Elfstones to find their way home... their first night together, they have sex - but as much out of fear and loss as of love and respect - and Phyrne puts some emotional distance between them an she rediscovers her committment to the elves... and Panterra struggles successfully, for the most part, to respect her choice and support her, hoping for a better time... they separate, he returns home - but at the pass, the demon in the body of Skeal Eile has led most of his village people to the pass, to the Drouj - and many are dead, at the 'hands' of each other and finally of the demon. The demon expects this will call Panterra to him - where with an added sacrifice from Prue he defeats the demon (though it was touch and go for a while)... and he joins the Orullians to fulfill his role of going out to explore the outer world, and to find new places to settle.
Prue Liss, after the old warriors sacrifice, is hidden but struggling to get home past the Drouj - and the Ragpicker/demon smells her magic, and begins in the chase to capture her - figuring she will lead him to the bearer of the staff - running through the tunnels, and almost captured... and the King of the Silver River snags her... and in his beautiful garden world, she accepts his gift of strengthening her magic (sense of danger) for the price of her sight - first in seeing only in shades of grey, then entirely. He tells her that her power will help Pan defeat the demon.. and will lead her to him... and that Pan will lead the people of the valley into the world again... The deep brother/sisterly feelings of these two are heartwarming. Thought they vow to stay together, the magic takes Pan away (and to Phryne)... and Prue follows her scarlet sparrow (the only color she can see, and a part of her magic) to Pan... and when it looks like the demon will defeat Pan, the sparrow sacrifices herself by diving into the demon, allowing Panterra a window to strike him and kill him. and here Prue's eyesight is entirely gone. Aislinne had been helping her, and continues to do so.
Skeal Eile, in his attempts to wrest conrol of their world as - when is seduced by the power the demon offers him he tries to get the elven queen to send converts to his world of the year to lead the people of Glensk Woods - he imprisons Aislinne when the ragpicker/demon sets her up for orchestrating the escape of Arik Siq - and ultimately the demon takes his former aphic -to lead the people of Glensk Woods to their death at the pass against the Drouj to draw out Panterra & the staff.
Phryne Amarantyne - imprisoned by the stepmother, accused of her father's death, no one to talk to her about what is going on, visited by her stepmother and the prime minister - who want her to say she did it, but that she was out of her mind - and when her stepmother (Isoeld) pulls the minister from killing Phryne, she tells them they need Phryne alive to locate the Elfstones... and with the help of Xak Wen (will he have a bigger part in the next book?), she escapes - follows her grandmother's clue to the Elf cemetary, disappears under the arch, visits with her grandmother's shade = she died in her escape from Isoeld, and with Panterra's arrival distracts the older shades, receives the stones from her grandmother and makes their escape - to the other side of their known world... they use the elfstones to find their way home, they have sex - but .... and when a dragon approaches them, entranced by the elfstone's magic, she 'knows' she can control the dragon, and mounts it to save her people from the Drouj - and though she succeeds, it is at the sacrifice of her own life... her cousins Tasha & Tenerife Orullian (sure to be in the next book) confront Isoeld, killing her so that her evilness will not rule the elves... they head out with Pan to discover new lands.
Xac Wen, young, eager, is in the thick of things with the elves - he gets Phryne to safety, he watches the fight with the Drouj & the dragon's victory, he spreads the word of Phryne's return to claim her kingdom, knowing she's dead but wanting to trap Isoeld - and he witnesses Tasha & Tenerife's plan executed.
so what do we see? the worlds of Shannara are represented - the spiders, the lizards, the evil and the good wizards, the elves & their politics & their vacillating over the use of magic, the humans who don't join forces against a common threat but a few heros who step up as they need to, ...more
Themes - deception, reconciliation, love, maturity, traditions (good and bad)
Background - The valley settled a century plus ago by 3 Italian families - the DiLucas, the Bianchins, and the mafiosa-like Marinos. They competed. During prohibition & the depression, the DiLucas split their property to develop a resort as the continued to grow grapes; the Bianchins put in orchards, and the Marinos running hooch. Massimo, a well known vitner, honored families with the gift of one of his wines to a newborn, to be drunk at his wedding, his 21st birthday, or some celebration. During prohibition, police raided and destroyed most of his work. He had only one bottle left with the Brianchins & the DiLucas both had a son on the same day... and though he liked the Brianchin's better, the DiLuca baby was 1st, so he gifted the wine to them. 20+ years later, when the sons were grown and loved the same woman, Sarah Marino married the DiLuca son (and was disowned by her family)... and at the end of the celebration the Brianchin's showed up and broke all of the wine, and The wine had not been brought out yet, so it was safe. the DiLuca son was shot, and made infertile - though Sarah was already pregnant. The wine was safely hidden.
side characters: Ebrillwen Jones - Danish born, militiristic head maid at the resort. Madelyn - ran away from an abusive husband withher daughter, changed her name. Marino brothers and cousin - Sephano, Greg, and Primo - rough and ready, ready to fight with the DiLuca's while expressing sorrow and concern over Sarah mid fight. Zachary Adams - exconvict, head groundskeeper Jenna Campbell - went to high school with the rest, head cheerleader, smart at math & computers. Sherriff DuPey - went to h.s. with the rest - his father was sherriff, and was a cruel, bigoted sheriff. Seems kinda slow at first, but steps up and handles the investigations well. Darren - Rafe's 17-year old hacker/computer expert.
DiLucas- Sarah - married the DiLuca son, they had one son, who grew up to be a self centered, egotistical, immoral, wellknown actor. He had 3 sons from 3 marriages, and was apoor father to them all. Eli - the oldest - the award winning wine maker of the family. When young, kidnapped by angry mother, returned to grandmother - he never spoke of the years he was separated from them. Rafe - middle - mother was an Italian actor - and he lived in the volatile household. at age 10 starred in movie about a dragon and became famous... after a few years, he decided fame was not for him, acting was not for him, that its all lies, so he insisted to be allowed to live with the grandparents at Bella. Wants to make a difference, plans to enter the armed forces. Noah - businessman, runs the resort and their various investments.
Brooke Petersson - parents both army officers, moved a lot, parents fought. at age of 12, parents divorced, father admitted to having another family in Japan, she never saw her father again, mother took her to settle in Bella Valley. she and Rafe became friends... friends that held through high school until they became lovers in their senior year. they split (one connection her last year in college), and with her degree, she is now the head conceirge at the resort
Plots: Joseph Brianchin, inhis 70s, wants the Massimo wine, what he feels is his birth right. he sends thugs to ket it, no resmorse and get a deduction.
2nd thug,, while in Sarah's home's wine cellar comes behind Sarah when it is obvious she knows something is wrong, and hits her with a tire iron, breaking her wrist, and hitting her head knocking her unconscious. She wakes up 30 minute. later, calls for help Brooke is there first as an older gardener tells her that Sarah is hurt, and is acting guilty. Rafe leaves a rescue of a helicopter pilot in Kassisbaczan to his grandmother. and he decidely determines he will need Brooke to help him solve this mystery. Their time together is bitter sweet - they both fight memories, they fight current attractions, they try to keep their emotions cold... but fail. When younger, he didn't talk... and she was taken by surprise by his hero / army plan, and left him as she knew she could not live that life again. In college, he returns home after being a prisoner, and finds healing and trust in Brooke's arms, telling her everything. But a week later, mom catches them in bed together, and privately tells him not to destroy her and leave - and he does so, again not talking to Brooke, and gets the psych help he needs, opens his own world wide security firm - hero on his terms. When Brooke is vulnerable after stepping into the decaying body of the gardner dumped in the dumpster - he takes her home, washes her body, and makes love to her when she asks him to help her to forget.
Finally grandma tells them about Joseph's desire for the wine bottle, and Brooke and Rafe work different angles to catch the bad guy. Rafe and Noah set up a trap, catch the garnder that Brooke has been watching, as he steals the bottle that they pretended was the one being hunted, filming him... he tries to use Brooke as a shield, but she fights back & gets free allowing Rafe to snag him. With Brooke safely in the hospital, Rafe debriefs his team who succesfully rescued the pilot finally, returns the next day to find an angry Brooke who thought he left again without talking toher. But before he gets to her (and her plans to move to Norway and start anew), the brains, who manipulated the cameras and bugged thephones, Jenna (who was angry Rafe didn't take up with her now or in high school) and who had gambling debts is going to kill Brooke - but Brooke fights her off, with Rafe bursting in right at the end of the fight.
And Rafe comes back after she has slept, after she has eaten, and brings chocolate cake and strawberries, and seduces her, and agrees to go to Norway with her (he has a office there), and hopes she is pregnatn, and asks her to marry him... ahhhh\
and Eli, in a wine conference in San Francisco, is approached by real Italian mafioso who wants his agreement to court and marry his independent minded, American granddaughter in exchange for biling out his vineyard (i'm not sure why the vineyard is in trouble, but Eli is hiding it from his brothers and is worried). hmmmm...more