Empire of Shadows ~ The House of Crimson and Clover #5

  • EoSAuthor: Sarah M Cradit
  • Kindle Edition
  • Category: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, Saga
  • five-stars

Two dynasties clash for power. Only one empire can emerge. In a time now legend, a sacred vow united the Farværdig and the Tuatha Dé Danann. One race born of fire, the other risen from nature. Together, they enjoyed centuries of peace and prosperity, under the protective blanket of this hallowed oath. But when war came to the doorstep of the Tuatha, the Farværdig turned their backs. Expelled from their lands, those Tuatha who were not extinguished went into hiding, later re-emerging in secret as the Quinlans. The broken vow took its toll on the Farværdig, dividing the race into two factions: those willing to fall to heel of new restrictive laws, and rebels determined to restore the peaceful values of their kind. In the midst of years of strife that follows, a Prophecy emerged, promising hope. Unite the races once more, and right the ancient wrong. As the shadows of age and myth are exposed, the Deschanels find themselves deeply enmeshed in this war. Their bloodline and futures closely intertwined with both races, each member of the family must uncover their own vital role in fulfilling the Prophecy or risk decimation. 

Empire of Shadows opens with Anasofiya, Finn and Aidrik’s search for Finn’s grandfather’s house in the Scottish highlands. They are desperate to find shelter in time for Ana to give birth. Finn’s strong connection with nature is growing rapidly, thanks to Aidrik and finally, with some assistance, they find the house in a clearing in the forest. Limited by the fact Empyrean blood causes babies to grow rapidly and, as in a few weeks the child’s appearance will be that of a young man, this was their only option.

They stay for nearly three months as Ana recovers and the now adolescent Aleksandr continues developing.

“I wish we could stay forever.” Aleksandr sighed, as they eased down next to him. Their son, now a man. It happened before Aidrik could process the way his soft head felt in his hands, or ingrain the sound of baby giggles to memory. he knew this sensation must be worse for Anasofiya, although she said nothing to him on the matter.

The narrative alternates between several groups ~ Nicolas and those family members at Ophélie ~ Finn, Ana and Aidrik with Agripin and the Empyrean Senetat ~ and Amelia and Jacob in Ireland.

As Ophélie is being readied to house and educate as many Empyrean children as possible, Nicolas is feeling inhibited by events. Knowing he will follow through with his commitment doesn’t make things any easier, being responsible for others is completely out of his comfort zone and he struggles with unfamiliar emotions. The Deschanels, and Oz, are all involved in the project and have their individual tasks. The uncertainty of what is to come and the unpredictability of how long much longer Ophélie will stay under the Empyreans’ radar is affecting them all.

The threat of the Eldre Senetat hangs over Aidrik, Finn, Ana and Aleksandr. As Aidrik appeals to Agripin, the son of the Empyrean emperor, for help, Amelia and Jacob begin to learn about their destiny and past connections. Shocking events in Ireland take them to the edge and beyond. All the family members need to use their enhanced resources like never before. Lives are on the line.

Empire of Shadows weaves together storylines, past and present, and a lot of questions are answered, even as more arise, in a turbulent and highly charged narrative. The situations the characters find themselves in are dangerous and challenging in the extreme and the parallel storylines keep the fast paced narrative flying along, tragic and terrible as it unfolds.

The relationships and characters, and there are lots both new and old, are detailed and defined and considerably more developed. The writing and plot line are incredibly imaginative and involved. The continuation of the druid storyline and Amelia and Jacob’s story is one of my favourites and the mythology aspect is an added bonus. A fascinating continuation of the saga.

My thanks to Sarah Cradit for sending an ARC in return for an honest review.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

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