Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: DSP Publications
Rating: 5 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck sidhe lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the sidhe lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads.
When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai.
Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way.
Review: I’ve been not so patiently waiting for this book. I’m obsessed with Kai and Ryder and their adventures. This series has a post apocalyptic feel. The fusion of the human world and the Fae world created means anything is possible here. These books are action packed fantasy first but there is a slow burning love story. Throughout this series we have slowly learned about Kai’s past and how his experiences have made him the man his now. In this book we learn a little more. His history isn’t all bad. He has made some friends along the way. Friends he cares about.
An old friend emerges asking for Kai’s help. Of course Kai says yes and Ryder offers to come along on the mission. Ryder’s cousin appears challenging Ryder’s authority over the Southern Court. Including Kai in that claiming. Ryder says he understands the challenge but it irritates Kai more than he likes to admit. It’s not just that he belongs to no man or Fae. Kai has been adamant about not wanting to be tied to Ryder but the emergence of Kerrick brings out the protective streak in Kai. Kai has to admit to himself that Ryder is a good guy and he doesn’t want him to go anywhere. Basically he has to face his feelings for Ryder. There’s always been an attraction but now there are feelings and trust there which deepens their connection. Their mission sends them deep into the dangerous Dusk Court’s territory to save children. They find all the trouble they knew they would and a little more for later.
Fae politics become a little more complex in this book and promise a struggle in future books as new plot points open up. More questions about just what the union of Kai and Ryder might bring upon the Southern Court. Having Kai as an ally has always meant something to Ryder but something is changing among the Fae and it seems the more are seeing Kai as an asset. New and old characters make appearances that made this book all the more compelling. I loved every page. As always it’s action packed with a mix of Kai’s special kind of humor and a little romance. Just writing this is making me want to reread. I can’t wait for the next book.