*I received a free ARC of this book. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: A powerful witch, a centuries-old vampire, and a dangerous new enemy…
To paraphrase a familiar saying: you don’t have to read the first book in this series to enjoy the second, but it helps!
What I particularly enjoy about this series is the way the author blends the fantasy plotline with the romantic developments, but keeps the balance equal between the two elements, so that they meld seamlessly together.
The relationship between Alaric and Naomi is developing naturally, with both internal and external conflicts which feel unforced and reasonable, and resolutions that include calming down and talking things through like adults who care about each other – WIN! There is even some personal growth for each of them as they learn to compromise their previously held traits in order to make things work together with give and take on both sides. I love that Alaric can be protective but not controlling, and Naomi can be independent but still soft – authentic character building.
Likewise, the ‘Descendant’ plot of supernatural war looming between the Alliance and the Order develops further in this arc, with Naomi pushing her powers further, learning to work as part of a team, and uncovering more about her mysterious family past. There is plenty of action and intrigue (with the mole subplot particularly) to keep the pace fast and tense, so once I’d got started I found I freewheeled my way easily to the end of the book in one read.
The finale is big, satisfying and implies that the next book may be focused around a different main character entirely! I think this is a good move because, whilst I have enjoyed following Alaric and Naomi, this book brings them to a good resting point and it is hard to see where the author could take them next without repeating some of what has come before. Whereas a fresh perspective would be an ideal way to carry on the same story, but with a twist. I look forward to finding out where the Alliance is heading next…
“W-what happened?” she asked, startled.
Zahara approached her, fury tightening her expression.
“Why would you say those things?” she demanded. “Why?!”
“I-I spoke the words of the Binding spell,” Naomi said, blinking at her in confusion.
“No,” Madalena said, stepping forward, her expression infused with worry. “At first you were. And then they changed.”
“To what? What did I say?”
There was a long silence. It was Alaric who broke it. He stepped forward, his tone grim. “You said, ‘Death to all inferiors, humans and Blood Beasts. Witches will have their rightful place.'”
– L. D. Goffigan, Marked Descendant
Check here for my review of Book 1 in this series, Shadow Descendant.