Sam of Wilds faced the Dark wizard Myrin and lived to tell the tale. Granted, the battle left him scarred, but things could be a hell of a lot worse.
It’s not until he reunites with Morgan of Shadows and Randall that he realizes just how much worse things could be.
Because the scars have meaning and hint at Myrin’s true plans for Sam and the Kingdom of Verania.
With time running out, Sam and his band of merry misfits—the unicorn Gary, the half-giant Tiggy, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, and the dragon known as Kevin—must travel to the snowy mountains in the North and the heart of the Dark Woods to convince the remaining dragons to stand against Myrin. Along the way, Sam learns secrets of the past that will forever change the course of the future.
A reckoning is coming for Sam of Wilds, and there is nothing he can do to stop it.
Okay, let's just get the elephant in the room out in the open, shall we?
In the last book, David's dragon laid a huge prophecy out to gnaw on our brains.
A warning. All of you will not survive until the end. There will be loss, Sam. And it will burn like nothing has ever burned before. You must remember to keep in the light, even when the dark begins to curl around your feet.Then Sam spent the rest of that book pondering on the fact that, unless something truly miraculous happens, someday Ryan will die and he will be left alone. And he outright refused to let that happen, EVER.
So in this book, there was this gigantic, ominous shadow clouding the story. Sam knew that the star dragon had guaranteed that at least one of them would die and that Ryan, the love of his life and cornerstone, would be his greatest loss.
And doesn't that shit just bring a story right on down, folks?
Yet, for the majority of this story, when I wasn't worrying about who might die, the story felt pretty upbeat, with tons of humor and snark, which I loved. It was almost like revisiting "The Lightning-Struck Heart" again. At least for me.
I particularly loved the prologue of the book, which retold the story of Morgan rescuing Sam from the slums, but in significantly more detail than we were given before. I adored that entire section of the book and seeing "Nox" in the periphery there, Lord, all the feels.
In the first 85% (or so), the story stresses the camaraderie and love between all of the people in Sam's life and it was truly epic. It actually made me forget about most of the foreboding shit that could hit at any given moment.
We saw that Gary and Kevin were still fighting, but beginning to get over themselves, Justin was starting to soften a bit and had even begun repairing his friendship with Ryan, much to Sam's big ole' jealous chagrin. Plus, we were starting to see a different side of Randall, other than him being cantankerous 24/7/365.
And the Lady Tina DeSilva was still a raging twatwaffle of the highest degree.
TJ also gave us a full-blown (slight pun intended) sex scene, and let me tell you, the man does NOTHING by half measure. He's normally all chaste and semi-virginal on-page, but sweet Jesus, of course he's going to take it over the top and write a *double-penetration* scene, the one time that he actually goes there.
And TJ, you rocked that shit, bitch! ;- )
We then found out more details as to how Morgan and Randall had imprisoned Myrin in the shadow realm and about a betrayal that led to his escape and subsequent rise in power.
Myrin himself only made the briefest of appearances on-page in this book; however, the impact while he was there, just... GOD. Talk about a game changer. : (
Yes, the events of the last 15% of the story TRULY SUCKED DONKEY BALLS. Big time. It was painful and awful and not to be repeated, but probably necessary to cement the seriousness of the threat that he represented to the lives of *everyone* in Verania.
The epilogue made me want to buy a ticket to Virginia to hunt TJ down, but the "Sam?" at the very end of the book made me pull up short on that thought.
Overall, this was an amazingly entertaining and very touching story of friendship, love and loss, which I loved so hard, you wouldn't believe.
So I'd rate it at a solid 4.5 stars, only hesitating from giving it a full 5 stars due to the "I WANT TO FUCKING KILL TJ" factor.
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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