Genre: fantasy romance
Cover: nice, but I cannot picture him as Dominor.
Eight brothers, born in four sets of twins, two years apart to the day – they fulfill the Curse of Eight Prophecy. To avoid tempting Destiny, the brothers are exiled to Nightfall Isle, where women are forbidden. But when the third-born brother is taken by a powerful and beautiful mage, he wonders if she is the Prophesied Disaster, his foretold wife-to-be…
Kidnapped and taken captive by slavers, Dominor is sold to a lovely mage, who promises him freedom. But Lady Serina has plans for Dominor – to re-enact a Tantric mating ritual in order to reverse a spell cast centuries ago. Dominor agrees to help, but doesn’t suspect the secret she hides: there is more to this magical mating than she has revealed.
Once the ritual is complete, he will be returned to Nightfall. But when Serina’s secret finally shatters, exposing the truth behind the misunderstandings now separating them, Dominor is determined to retake possession of the woman who is his Destiny…
At the end of the first book, Dominor is kidnapped by the Mandarites. They need a strong male mage like him to fight their enemies, the women of Natallia. In Natallia, it are the women who are the ones with magic, treating the men like second rank citizens. The Mandarites have escaped the country to found their own, where they keep women as slaves, with no powers at all. And they try to breed magical sons on them, for which Dominor would be perfect. But Dominor has grown up respecting women, and has no intention whatsoever to join those Mandarites willingly. But for now he is their captive, drugged and bound with magic negating shackles in the hull of the ship.
After a major storm has blown the ship of course, they are captured by the Natallian navy, and all the people on board are sold as war prize slaves. Including Dominor. The Natallian’s don’t care that he was kidnapped; he is now a slave and will bring a nice price. Lucky for Dominor, the Lady Serina is looking for an outlander male mage, and she buys him, saving him from a life used as a stud by the Royal family.
Serina is the Guardian of a magical Fountain, up in the mountains. 800 years ago, a couple made love in the Fountain itself, accidentally using the magic for a Curse, that causes the male babies born with magic, be stripped of that magic and given it to the nearest female newborn. Serina wants to fix that imbalance, and she needs to retrace their actions as close as possible, and then use the magic to put things to rights. And for that, she needs an outlander mage. Serina is an arithmancy mage, and she can calculate anything.
When Serina is escorting the nuns of Koral Tai to the village for trading, she happens to see Dominor in the slave market, and she buys him. Dominor longs for a bath and new clothes, as he really smells like an outhouse and is still dressed in the rags his captors dressed him in. To get on his good side, Serina does buy fabrics for new clothes at his suggestion, and some new shoes and boots, on their way to the Inn. When Dominor is finally clean again, and dressed in his new clothes Serina made for him, using her magic, she tells him of her plans for him. If he swears a mage oath that he will help her with her project, she will set him free and return him to Nightfall Isle in a year. Dominor has little choice but to agree to the bargain, but he also likes to be a part of such an important magical working. And if his brother Wolfer has met his Bride by now, Serina might be his own Destined Bride. He sure doesn’t mind practicing lovemaking to this beautiful mage after his years of celibacy!
Dominor soon starts taking care of Serina, when she is lost in her calculations, shielding her from the nuns and their foolish questions, making sure she eats and sleeps on time, and he really enjoys being useful and needed. Back at the retreat, he meets Muriel and her son Mikor, Serina’s best friend, and the widow of the previous Guardian and a Seer. Muriel is the local Healer, and the one who took care of Serina before Dominor, but she is glad to give those duties over to Dominor.
Dominor never knew about Fountains, or Fonts, but he is a strong enough mage to be able to withstand the magic within. And he is astonished when he finds out that his sixth born brother Rydan, is the Guardian of a Fountain as well! Why did Rydan never tell him and their other brothers?
I enjoyed this third book. Dominor is very competitive and kind of arrogant, even though he is not the strongest mage of the 8 brothers. He is a generalist, good in many things, but Serina is totally brilliant in her field, a genius, and he admires her very much for that. He likes taking care of her, of being needed, because in daily things, she is kind of a shatterbrain. She does listen to his suggestions, and their lovemaking leads to falling in love soon. Now how can he convince her to marry him without spooking her?
Serina is a very strong woman, very smart, and dedicated to her work. But she is kind of a wanderer and does not intend to stay at Koral Tai for the rest of her life. The life of a nun is not for her. She enjoys men too much for that, and now she has to do some Tantric magic to right an old wrong. Dominor surprises her, with how he acts and takes care of her without any complaints. Sure, he is bossy, but Serina knows she needs it, or she would never eat anything after breakfast and just keep working on her calculations.
I liked that she buys cheap vases in bulk, just to be able to trash them when in a temper as her work does not progress as it should. It makes her more likable and human.
Mariel and Mikor make great secondary characters, and of course I already know they will feature in the fourth book, as the fourth brother Evanor is desperately needing a Healer with Mariel’s skills …
The Third of Sons shall meet his match
Strong of will and strong of mind
You seek she who is your kind
Set your trap and be your fate
When Lady is the Master’s mate
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian