Genre: fantasy romance
Eight brothers, born in four sets of twins, two years apart to the day – they fulfil the Curse of Eight Prophecy. To avoid tempting their destiny, the brothers are exiled to Nightfall Isle, where women are forbidden. This presents a challenge for the brother whose magic has been destroyed …
Evanor, fourthborn of the Sons of Destiny, lost his voice – and with it, his powers – in the violent battle that freed his family from their greatest enemy. Thankfully, with the safe return of his twin, Evanor now knows precisely who can bring his songs back to life.
She is the enchanting widow Mariel, a Healer brought to Nightfall to help the brothers in their hour of need. For Mariel and her young son, that means leaving their beloved homeland for the unfamiliar island of Nightfall and its still-forbidden shores … and with it, risking the passion she stirs in her intriguing patient’s heart.
But a new danger looms when the Council of Katan learns there might be women on the Isle …
In the battle at the end of the second book, Evanor lost his voice, and with it, his power as a mage. Evanor is desperate, as none of the Katan Healermages is willing to come to the island and Heal him. Without his magic, he is nothing, having to use the Artifacts his brothers make for him to do simple things like shaving and laundry. His brother Dominor finally has some good news though. His wife Serina’s best friend Mariel is a Healer, and she is willing to come to Nightfall Isle with them, and her young son Mikor. She has not done major Healing in years now, and although she knows how to perform the magic, she wants to practice first. Queen Kelly graciously offers her the vicious citizen chickens to practice upon, and when Mariel meets them, she has no longer qualms to do so. Of course, she will make sure they don’t feel a thing, and are properly Healed in a few days time as well.
But after the “operation” to regrow his voicebox, Evanor will not be able to talk or communicate with his family for at least 3 whole weeks. Not even the whispers he can talk with now. She will even remove the desire to communicate, to make sure he doesn’t strain those delicate throat muscles. Having heard his voice in the music box he gifted Kelly upon her wedding, she wants to make sure he gets it back just as beautiful as it was before.
When they were still talking through the mirror, with Evanor on Nightfall Island, and Mariel in Natallia, they were already attracted to each other. Evanor was happy that she was not as slender as her friend Serina, he liked a more mature and filled woman. And so, even before the surgery, their courting begins. Mariel’s son Mikor really wants to have a new father, living amongst a bunch of nuns was not an ideal situation, as he needs a male influence in his life. At first he is disappointed that Evanor is not as good with a sword as Dominor, or Saber, but he comes to like Evanor soon enough. And Evanor knows that Mariel comes as a package deal, and he does want to take care of her and her son.
Evanor used to be the point of communication between his brothers and sisters in law, they only had to sing his name to get his attention, and he could relay all their messages to the others. So now, they have to come up with another means of communication. I have to admit, I got pretty soon tired of all the talk about cell phones from our world (where Queen Kelly is from, see book 1), and how they can reproduce it here with magic. It sure took a lot of time out of Evanor and Muriel’s story, no matter how handy the things are.
Kelly has proclaimed herself Queen of Nightfall Isle, and Nightfall independent from Katan, but now the Katan government has gotten suspicious about the strange shipments delivered to the Corvis brothers lately. Are there really women on the island? That is punishable by death! And so the King of Katan and almost half his council set sail to Nightfall Island, to see for themselves. And when Challenged, Kelly “rings the bell” to proclaim themselves an independent country, which means they have one whole year and a day to find a Patron Deity to worship, and who will protect them, and Katan will have to leave them in peace until then. More fighting ensues, and Saber kills Alys’ last cousin when he tries to kill Kelly, finally freeing Alys from all the spells laid upon her (see book 2, the Wolf). Of course Katan will not give up without a struggle, they had a very nice income from the free salt and algae blocks the Desalination plant produced for the past centuries. And to give in to those exiles? Never! But for now, they will have to leave, and Morganen sure sets them on its way.
Kelly really does not like the idea of a new god or goddess for Nightfall, that all the current and future inhabitants of the Isle will have to worship. She is American, and she is used to the freedom of belief. She wants to same for Nightfall Isle, but how to reach that ideal stage, is not easy. Still, she is stubborn, she will find a way. After all, they are determined to make Nightfall Isle prosper again, and repopulate it. For that, they will have to build houses for the new immigrants, and a city and everything that is necessary.
I enjoyed Evanor’s story for the most part. He is the quiet brother, content with running the household, and organizing the chores and provisions. He is a natural father to Mikor, and stern when needed with the energetic boy. Losing his voice is a total disaster, as he has lost his magic and his self worth with it. He fell for Mariel so hard, even though they tried to keep a bit of a distance at first, as they are Healer and patient, but that certainly did not work out. They became lovers pretty quick.
Mariel is a brave woman to start her life over again, and moving to Nightfall Island. I admired her for that. She is a nice person, a very good Healer, and a good mother. After losing her husband a few years ago, she is finally ready for a new man in her life, something more than the one night stands she sometimes arranged when on a trading mission with the nuns. Her Healing is also done with Songmagic, so she and Evanor really complement each other. Both quiet and really caring about others.
The ongoing story arc really makes me want to read all the books back to back, remembering more and more details the more I read. Jean Johnson has created a wonderful fantasy world, filled with magic and good and evil people. They are going to plan to build a new city, houses, a harbor, and make sure the new people are willing to contribute to the community. This series just has everything I love in a book, a great world building (although too much detail sometimes), great characters, magic, believable love stories, and hot love scenes aplenty. And all the brothers and their new wives keep working together to revive Nightfall Island. Jean Johnson has a wonderful writing voice, and I keep wanting more of her books. So far is has pretty much been that the brother falls in love with the first woman he sees, who is his Destined bride, after his brother-before-him gets hitched, but I know that will change.
The fourth of Sons shall find his catch
The purest note shall turn to sour
And weep in silence for the hour
But listen to the lonely Heart
And Song shall bind the two apart
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian