Formats available: ebook
Genre: paranormal romance, fantasy romance
Series: Covenant of Thorns #3
Length: 280 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Date Released: September 8, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance
Pregnant, possessed, and in love with a man I don’t dare to trust—those are the consequences of the risks I took to save my life. But Faerie, the land of blood and magic, is filled with bitter ironies, and the bargains I made now threaten me and my unborn child.
The darkly sensual fae noble Rogue still tempts me to danger and desire. As we await the birth of our child, I’ve been forced to question whether our offspring is part of a bargain Rogue once made to save himself. He can’t tell me the truth due to a spell the vicious Queen Titania has him under. Would he betray our family against his will? Could I ever forgive him if he does?
Rogue insists on an eternal commitment from me, even as Titania’s forces close in on us. I don’t know if Rogue and I can withstand her onslaught, or that of the beast within me. But I will not stop looking for answers—even if it brings the walls of Faerie crashing down.
The fae world in the Covenant of Thorns is built on the concept that powerful mages need to be careful what they wish for, because they might get it.
In other words, if someone says “don’t make me call my flying monkeys” you can bet that they really have flying monkeys on call. (This happens and it’s awesome).
But magic is the power to essentially wish things into being. Including “True Love”, because that seems to be the only power on Earth or in Faerie capable of stopping the Queen Bitch Titania. Who also happens to be mad as a hatter, along with being nearly all powerful.
But not quite. The sorcerer Rogue has the idea that the one thing she can’t win against is two equally powerful mages who willingly share power equally. And the only thing that would make that possible is complete trust. In other words, true love on both sides.
There’s two problems. Rogue wished for a woman who might be capable of being that equally powerful sorceress and might be able to love him. What he got was a woman from our non-magical world with great potential, and he spends a good chunk of Rogue’s Pawn (see review) manipulating her and the situation so that she can come to control her power.
Manipulation does not make for a good path to trust and eventual love, so Rogue makes as many problems for himself as he does solutions. Neither he nor any of the fae know much about love, if anything. His learning curve on that subject is incredibly high, and the cost is one that is paid not only by himself, but also by that woman he brought to faerie, Gwynn.
While the story in Rogue’s Possession (see review) may seem by the title that Gwynn is “owned” by Rogue, it isn’t strictly true. It also isn’t strictly not, as she spends much of the series having her agency taken away, and then fighting to get it back. Rogue is trying to seduce her rather than own her, but his ability to understand her true nature comes in fits and starts. Two steps forward, one step back.
Meanwhile, Gwynn has promised, because she had no other choice at the time, to give Rogue her first-born child. She did not stipulate a time, but Titania drugged them both and made sure Gwynn got pregnant. Titania wants to steal the child for her own really disgusting purposes. She needs to be stopped.
Rogue finally finds the way to Gwynn’s heart. Or, in the face of the overwhelming threat, Gwynn decides that since she’s already pregnant, she might as well reap all the benefits of her status. The worst has already happened, so giving in to Rogue’s seduction seems like a reward in comparison.
Together, they have the power to beat Titania back from her campaign to control both Faerie and Earth. But in order to do that, Gwynn has to trust Rogue utterly. Which is something that he has not exactly earned. But still desperately needs.
His wish for “True Love” has bitten him, too. And it’s the best thing that ever happened to him and to Faerie. But only if they all survive.
Escape Rating A-: This entire story, from the beginning in Rogue’s Pawn, works because of Gwynn’s voice. The entire story is in her first-person perspective, so we see this entire strange new world through the eyes of someone who has our sensibilities. As she tries to make sense of things to herself, she also makes sense of them for us.
There’s a thread through the entire series about Gwynn’s agency or lack thereof. At the very beginning, she loses control of her immediate future because someone has to train her in using her incredibly powerful magic. Otherwise, her every thought transforms the world around her beyond bearing.
But that training is both emotionally and physically painful; everything she learns leaves her with a bad case of PTSD and an unwillingness to trust anyone who has been responsible for anything that’s happened to her.
She learns painfully that every thing in Faerie is limited by promises and vows; no words are casual. It is only in this final installment that she knows enough about what is happening around her to understand why Rogue has done the things that he has, and how much he is bound by events that occurred before he wished her into Faerie.
The revelations about the true nature of the Fae, and the true insanity of Titania, make Gwynn (and the reader) understand how high the stakes have been from the very beginning.
The world, as a great writer once said, is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. That may be true, but Gwynn’s world is marvelous strange, and there are fantastic and wonderful stories told there.