Genre: fantasy romance
Cover: I just love strong half naked men holding swords on my bookcovers.
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, they’re exiled to Nightfall Isle, where females are forbidden. But when the youngest of the mage-brothers rescues a woman from another universe, their world is altered forever.
Kelly Doyle wasn’t just having a bad day, she was having a bad decade. Threatened, attacked and accused of witchcraft, Kelly is fed up with her narrow-minded small-town neighbours. And now she’s landed in another dimension – the only woman in a magical realm inhabited by eight men who are desperately in need of a woman’s touch.
With Kelly in their midst, Saber, the eldest of the eight, is forced to confront the Curse that plagues them – if he falls in love, disaster is imminent. But in the aftermath of an attack, and despite the threatening prophecy, Saber and Kelly’s passion only grows stronger. If only the fates didn’t take such things so seriously.
It has been a few years since I read this series, but re-reading is just as enjoyable. The books are about four sets of male twins, all mages, all with their own specific powers. A thousand years ago, the most powerful Seeer of them all, predicted their birth, and if they ever find their mates, a big disaster will befall Katan. So their fellow mages from the mage council have exiled them to Nightfall Isle. There is an enormous castle on the island, and an ancient water purifying plant, running on magic, so there is enough clean water for them. They do grow some of their own food, and hunt animals, but they also get provisions twice a month, in exchange for the magical objects they produce themselves. Of course, it is forbidden for any woman to go to Nightfall Island. Each brother has his own book, but the overall story arc continues, which is why I would recommend reading this series in order.
The first book is about Saber, the Sword, the oldest brother. He is the leader and protector of his younger brothers. But it is the youngest brother, Morganen, who is also the most powerful amongst them, who got the job of matchmaker. Otherwise, his brothers would be content to live their lives in exile without any women around them, as they don’t want to be responsible of the Disaster that will follow. Imagine a realm where most things technical we know, is done by magic. Mage specific magic, and also objects someone without any magic can use.
Morganen has been searching for a suitable wife for Saber, and he has found 5 potential women in all the worlds. But when he spots Kelly Doyle on the brink of being burned to death by bigoted Midwestern men, he rescues her by yanking her through the mirror Portal to his workroom. Badly burned and unconscious, the seventh brother, Koranen, heals her. Fire is his specific power.
Kelly has had a miserable decade. After her parents died, she was alone in the world, and almost penniless. Then she got a great job offer, and had to leave her friends behind to move to the Midwest. When the company that hired her, went bankrupt, she had to find some other way to support herself, and at first it went fine. She has always loved sewing and embroidery and lace making, and likes to join the Medieval Society, re-enacting history. But some bigots in town think she is a witch, and they have been harassing her, driving away her customers. So she is on the brink of starvation, and the harassment is just getting worse and worse, and the sheriff will do nothing about it.
And just when she thinks she will die in her own bedroom, when her house is set on fire with her inside of it, she is yanked out of it, and to this strange magical dimension. Filled with 8 gorgeous men. But she will not be treated as inferior, or a prisoner, she demands civility and a clean castle. Nor will she be a free loader, she will work for her food and lodgings, and so she starts repairing their clothes. Saber is very much against her presence on Nightfall Island, but when Morganen tells him it will take him 5 months before he can put Kelly safely back on her own planet, he just has to get used to her presence. And as he insists on being the one to take care of her, to prevent his brothers to fall in love with her, they are often together. And of course one thing leads to another.
There is also the danger of regular invasions of deadly animals in the castle. The brothers have an unknown enemy who wants to kill them all, but so far they managed to stay alive and kill all the beasts. Still, Kelly has no magic to defend herself with, and one day both she and Saber get poisoned by water snakes, and need to spend a lot of hours immersed in a bath tub. And that means they have a lot of time to talk about themselves and get to know each other and their customs. Saber is fighting his falling in love with Kelly, but when she points out another explanation to his verse in the prophecy, it might not be all that bad …
I liked Kelly, she is strong and capable, and thanks to her love for history and all things fabric related, she knows how to survive in something medieval, but with magic. Still, she comes across as very feministic, wanting to be the equal to the brothers, even taking the position of Queen of Nightfall, claiming their independence of Katan. I did enjoy how she made them clean the castle (by magic mostly), as it was really filthy, but men just don’t care much for cleaning. She was technically a virgin, but certainly not an innocent. And she wanted to act on her attraction to Saber.
Saber was not pleased with a woman in his castle, and he wanted her gone as soon as possible. But he is also a gentleman enough to want to take care of her, make her eat more, and give her whatever she wants. His yelling and roaring was fun, as Kelly just outsmarted him by talking logically when necessary. She had a fresh look on things, and that was needed on Nightfall Island. The romance between them is believable and steamy.
I also liked Morganen a lot, the youngest brother, called The Mage, as he is the strongest one. He is a meddler, and he knows and sees much more than he tells the others. The other brothers are also great secondary characters, all so very different from each other.
I did enjoy all the kinds of magic and magical objects in this book, the characters you can easily fall for, well, except for Dominor perhaps, the third brother. There is humor and action, some danger and scary beasties, but also some hot love scenes.
The Eldest Son shall bear this weight:
If ever true love he should feel
Disaster shall come at her heel
And Katan will fail to aid
When Sword in sheath is claimed by Maid
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian