"Book 3 of The Immortal Saga takes us to Scotland for more romance, suspense and a little humor"
THE AWAKENING is the third book in the multi-author
Immortals series. Each author has laid their own personal
stamp on this series. Unlike book 2 where Tain and the demon
constantly interrupted Darius and Lexi's attempts to get
together, Christine and Kalen's romance gels as soon as they
meet and though the demon is wreaking havoc throughout their
story, Tain doesn't make a significant appearance until the
book has nearly ended. Once again however, it seems to work.
Each installment just makes you want to read the next. THE
AWAKENING is no exception.
A balance of life and death magic must be maintained, for if
one became more powerful than the other, the world would be
unmade. The Immortals, five sons each born of an aspect of
the Mother Goddess and a mortal man, were charged with
maintaining that balance at a time when human kind was new
and struggling to take their hold on the world. The fragile
creatures had been given the words to call the Immortals
forth in times when that balance was disturbed. Over the
years however, mankind had grown more self sufficient and
the words to the Calling had been lost.
But now in the modern world death magic was growing stronger
thanks to a demonic "Old One" and its captive, the youngest
Immortal Tain, who had gone rogue after seven centuries of
the demon's sadistic brand of torture. Tain wanted to end
his pain, to die and to take the world with him. The demon
had promised it would be so.
Amber Silverthorne is a hereditary witch whose sister had
been killed by the demon starting a chain of events that had
brought Tain's eldest brother Adrian to her side. Amber and
Adrian alone could not defeat the demon or rescue Tain. But
there was hope if only they could somehow recover the words
of the ancient Calling before Beltane and bring all the
Immortals together. Amber had put out a call to the world
wide Coven of Light.
In Rome a solitary water witch and artist, Christine
Lachlan, had finally found what was necessary. The Calling
had taken place on that night of power, but the demon was
strong and the summoning had been disrupted before Adrian's
brothers could answer the Call.
The following night a sky-clad Christine implores the
Etruscan Mother Goddess Uni to help her find her son, the
immortal Kalen. The scrying shows her Kalen who is currently
making love to his beautiful half-Sidhe muse Leanna. For
just a moment Christine finds herself in his lover's place
giving her such bliss that she becomes even more determined
to find him. The clues from the vision send her packing to
Scotland. She must convince Kalen to join with the others in
Seattle to defeat the demon.
Meanwhile over in Inverness: Kalen wasn't Leanna's only
lover. A leannan-sidhe muse, she inspired many a human
musician, absorbing their life essence in return for her
gifts. Kalen however was Immortal and couldn't die in this
manner. Leanna, was a child of infidelity, denied by her
royal mother (Queen of the Sidhe) and forbidden to enter her
realm of Annwyn. She envied Kalen's immortality and wanted
it for herself. The "Old One" had shown her the way, if only
she could convince Kalen to allow her to bear his child.
Christine has reached the UK but she is not exactly sure
where to find Kalen. Fortunately, she runs into Mac a young
demigod (legitimate son of the Sidhe Queen and the Celtic
Sea God, Lir) who points her in the right direction. (Mac as
we learn later is practically Kalen's ward). When she
reaches Inverness she finds that the local Coven of Light
members there had all been killed by a "paranormal
disturbance". She knows what this means.
Leanna makes a living conducting sex tours and has convinced
Kalen to participate and during the revelry to give her his
child. Christine had seen her flyer and had recognized her
as Kalen's lover. Hoping to learn something of Kalen she
buys a ticket for the tour. Imagine her shock when Kalen is
there and is about to participate in what she recognizes
from experience as a fertility ritual. She recognizes
something else too, an act of betrayal exactly like the one
committed by the man she herself had loved. Leanna was a
demon-whore! In an effort to save Kalen, Christine disrupts
Kalen recognizes Christine from the dream he'd shared with
her. She relates her tale and is shocked when he refuses to
go to Seattle and join the cause. He tells her that he had
never been subject to the Calling. Instead Uni had charged
him with protecting his own Etruscan people. But one by one
they had died off until only one had remained. What he
doesn't tell her is his shameful secret, that he'd tried to
manipulate the man and he in turn had betrayed Kalen. In his
rage Kalen had destroyed the last remnant of his people. In
her fury Uni had sentenced her son to a hundred years of
sensory deprivation. It had nearly driven him mad. He'd been
freed on the condition that he learn from his mistake and
was forbidden to kill a living being for the next thousand
years or he would return to that state for eternity. His
sentence had not yet passed and he was helpless to assist
Christine even had he been so inclined.
However he finds Christine so very beautiful and somehow the
two cannot resist each other. When they make love it is even
more splendid than in their waking dream. It is then that
Adrian discovers that Christine is also a muse, and unlike
Leanna she inspires him to greatness. But this is another
secret he chooses to keep from her. Leanna is soon
forgotten, but like they say hell has no fury like that of a
woman scorned, especially one controlled by a demon!
Mac is a definite bonus. With him comes all kind of new
complications. There is much humor as he contends with his
overprotective mother who has doomed him to appear
perpetually sixteen due to her vanity and who calls him
day and night on his cell phone to check up on him.
Naturally this drives him crazy but he has also seen what
her neglect has done to his half sister Leanna. He pities
Leanna and will try to divert her from her path if he can.
But if he cannot he will do what his has to do. His role
aside from helping Christine find Kalen and creating
beautiful music is to gather all the Celtic magical
creatures and shepherd them into Annwyn before all the life
magic is sucked out of the world. Of course he isn't about
to follow them, much to his mother's dismay. And yes, he
does get his own story in Book 6: THE CROSSING. Meanwhile
enjoy Kalen's adventure. The resolution of his romance is
sure to warm the reader's hearts.
As with the other books there is a good bit of angst. The
world is going to hell in a hand basket. There is the
relational obstacle. Christine is now on the evil being's
radar and they will stop at nothing to destroy her. Will
Kalen break his pact with Uni for the woman he loves? And of
course the big question, will the Immortals finally assemble
and can Tain be saved? All will be revealed in Book 4, aptly
named THE GATHERING. It is also Hunter and Leda's story.
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted August 19, 2008