Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Rowankind #2
Jacey Bedford

Daw Books
January 3, 2017/ ISBN 9780756411916

Reviewed by Jan Fields


In 1801, wild magic has returning, freeing the Rowankind, who are distinguished from “normal” people by their faint woodgrain patterns in their skin, from bondage and returning their magic. This has shaken society enough for good conflict, but the problem goes still deeper. The wild magic is bringing terrifying creatures of legend into conflict with humans, to the determent of both. And dark forces are at work to end the conflict, but the endings planned mean suffering and death. A summoner witch and a wolf shapeshifter would like nothing better than to hide out in a quiet pocket of calm, but they quickly lose that option. Corwen, the silver wolf, must return to his family, the last place he wants to go. This book combines two things I tend to shy away from: historical fiction and romance, since even with a dash of fantasy, I often find them too predictable and prone to becoming enmeshed in slow moving detail. This book is nothing like that. The story is strong and the characters are wonderfully realistic. Both Corwen and Ross are multifaceted people with strong personalities who are well able to exist separately, but prefer to be together. They complement each other well. And the fantasy elements never feel tacked on as the wild magic slips smoothly into this fascinating world. I love how the Rowankind are used to look closely at the English class system of the time, and it's hard not to love a good nefarious secret society. Every character is given real thought and development, making it easy to slip into this world and care for its inhabitants. And as a huge fan of strong female characters, I couldn't help but admire Ross. Though I didn't read the first book in this series, after this one, it's likely I'll read the next -- it won me over.

Reviewed 2017