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Genres: Urban Fantasy
Seventeenth in the Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon urban fantasy/romance series and revolving around the D’Artigo sisters. This story uses a first-person point-of-view with Delilah as the first person.
I remember when I first started reading this series and Galenorn came up with the nine seals — only six have been found so far. I had thought this was the underlying conflict that would tie the overall series together and that the series would end after nine or so books. As you can see, I was so wrong.
It’s a combination of impressed and exasperated that it’s seventeen books later…and still going strong. It’s frustrating because I can see Galenorn going on until the world comes to an end. Our world, not the D’Artigo world since they can presumably live forever. Or close enough. And as long as the story is running, we’ll never find all the seals, we’ll never defeat Storm Wing?? The underlying conflict will never come to a close?
The impressed part of me enjoys the ongoing saga. I like the characters, for the most part — except when they are being stupid. And Galenorn does a good job of making the never-ending series of calamities that befall the sisters seem realistic for their lives. I gotta say, Galenorn is good with the show. I can never get through a story without feeling wet, cold, or hungry, lol, as well as feeling the warmth of their extended family’s love and support. I do have to qualify this with a reminder that Galenorn is an uneven writer. Some are great, some are so lame that I’m tempted to seek a cure for my OCD-ness about reading a series straight through.
I am surprised that “the collar of the Autumn Lord [is] encrusted with rhinestones”. I would have thought diamonds would be more in line with an elemental lord. Another quibble is about Henry Jeffries. I thought he had started working for Camille at the Indigo Crescent, not that he was just a customer?
Whoa. The mystery of why Arial’s existence had never been mentioned is finally revealed. Talk about Fate, predestination, destiny…
Roz’s and Fraale’s curse comes up when she appears. I don’t really understand why Galenorn tossed this in. It doesn’t appear to add anything to the story except extra pages and a lot of melodrama. Seems Mennolly’s marriage is also in trouble. Then there’s the hot and heavy affair going on that has Delilah all a’twitter. And I have no idea why it upsets her so.
A nice, relaxing (and easy) vacation is “a good movie now and then, a bowl of popcorn…some cookies…a hug from our loved ones. Simple joys…[that] can make a world of difference”.
It’s not a complex story — the reactions and dialog are fairly simple, but one with lots of action from lightweight to intense — necromancers, ghosthunting, wild and windy storms, possession, curses, home invasions — and the up-and-down emotions of love, maternal urgings, and too many losses.
God forbid, Galenorn miss a topic. Now she’s brought in global warming with the Fae campaigning about environmental damage. This should be a future source of fun with the fae getting involved with courts, protests, and habitat protection.
That scene where the house goes wild is not so much scary as crazy. More crazy is how overboard Galenorn goes with all the drama about Daniel’s current and past professions as well. The sword also comes in for its share of overdone-ness. The sex, which is always a part of Galenorn’s stories varying only in how graphic she gets from story to story, does seem to get into more detail than most.
For all the drama throughout the story, that final ending was rather tame.
It’s the grand reopening of the Wayfarer after events in Autumn Whispers, 14, and the festivities are well under way until Daniel rushes in, waving a sword before he gets thrown across the bar by a Viking.
It’s a sword that interests too many people: necromancers, ghosts, and the sword’s guardians.
The three D’Artigo sisters are…
…half-human and half-Fae and in charge of the Otherworld Intelligence Agency (OIA)-Earthside (in Otherworld, their surname is te Maria). Sephreh ob Tanu is their full-blooded Fae father who is believed to have died two months ago in Autumn Whispers.
Delilah is a busy girl supernatural-wise: a werepanther, werekitty (Tabby), and a living Death Maiden destined to bear the Autumn Lord’s child through his proxy, Shade, half-shadow dragon and half-Stradolan (a shadow walker) (they’ve been together one-and-a-half years). She operates a private investigation agency (when, I don’t know), Cat’s Eye Investigations. Lysanthra is her sentient dagger. Lash is Shade’s sister. His father is on the Jury of the Damned which decides the fates of restless spirits. Misha is a mouse who had helped Delilah. Hi’ran is the Autumn Lord, an Elemental Lord also known as the Harvestman. Haseofon is his temple where the Death Maidens dwell. Greta is Delilah’s trainer and the head of the Death Maidens. Other Death Maidens include Eloise, Mizuki, and Fiona. Deliah’s dead twin, Arial who shifts into a leopard, also lives there.
Mennolly is short and quite athletic — she was a jian-tu acrobat before she was captured, tortured, and turned into a vampire. She’s also the official consort to Roman, the son of Blood Wyne, the vampire queen and Queen of the Crimson Veil. Erin is a vampire Mennolly turned and is considered her “daughter”. Mennolly is now married to Nerissa, a werepuma who works with Chase.
Camille is the oldest and a witch and Priestess to the Moon Mother; she’s destined to become the first Earthside High Priestess to the Moon Mother. She owns a bookstore, the Indigo Crescent and the Coffee Nook, but Giselle, a demon, runs it. Trillian is Svartan fae, Morois a death-magic-using Youkai-kitsune (Japanese fox demon) and Grandmother Coyote’s grandson, and Smoky is a white dragon, a.k.a., Lord Iampaatar, and they are Camille’s three husbands. Misty is Camille’s spirit cat.
The rest of the D’Artigo household includes…
…Vanzir, who is a dream-chaser demon. Roz is an incubus, and their quarters are in the studio. Fraale is Roz’s wife and a succubus. Hanna is their housekeeper (see Hexed: Ice Shards, 9.5). Maggie is their baby gargoyle.
Chase and his baby girl, Astrid, live with Iris, a Finnish house sprite, and her husband, Professor Bruce O’Shea, a leprechaun who is the head of Irish Studies at the University of Washington. They have a baby as well, twins actually: Maria and Ukkonen. The Duchess is Bruce’s mother and one of the leprechaun nobility. She’s actually quite helpful.
Prince Feddrah-Dahns, a unicorn, and Mistletoe, a pixie, are also considered part of the family, even though they visit infrequently.
Daniel Fredericks is their Earthside FBH cousin who is also an international thief and a former member of the International Security Agency (ISA), an agency specializing in black ops. His sister is Hester Lou. Leif Engberg is the wealthy playboy of a client who owns the sword. Karl was the father who impressed Leif with the need to have his own son so that the sword may always be guarded. Davis Jones wrote the article that initiated the drama.
The Wayfarer Bar & Grill is…
…Mennolly’s baby, which has just reopened after a disastrous fire in Autumn Whispers. The kitchen is fab too, and they’ve skipped the idea of a B&B. Jenny is the head waitress — and she’s thrilled to be out of her stepmother’s store (see Priestess Dreaming, 16)! Derrick Means is a werebadger and one of the bartenders. Digger, a vampire, is an assistant bartender. Peder, a giant, is the dayshift bouncer. Lucias, Tavah, and Frith are some of the portal guards.
Friends outside the household include…
…Marion Vespa, a Koyanni (coyote shifter) and her husband who own the Supe-Urban Café. Jonas is a werebear. Frank Willows, a werewolf, is the leader of the Supe Militia. Siobhan Morgan is a selkie and married to Mitch, a carpenter. Siobhan has to take over the leadership of the Isle of Man Selkie Pod. Marion is their recently born daughter. Tim Winthrop is a computer programmer and cross-dresser. He’s married to Jason Binds who teaches martial arts and is the D’Artigos’ mechanic. Wilbur is a necromancer and neighbor who has partnered up with the girls from time to time; Ivana calls him Mad Man. Martin is his dead brother whom he raised as a ghoul. Rhonda and Sandro Lopez are squeaking by with their fruit stand, and that crisis opens another can of possibilities. Carter is a half-demon, half-Titan, a demigod, who has devoted his life to the Demonica Vacana Society. He’s fascinated by information. His father was the Titan Hyperion.
Faerie-Human Crime Scene Investigation (FH-CSI) is…
…is the police department that investigates supernatural crimes. Chase Johnson is the now-immortal FBH detective who heads it up. Mallen is the elfin medic, who has suffered his own losses. Aswala is the medic who replaced Sharah, Chase’s lover and the current queen of Elqaneve (Autumn Whispers, 14). Yugi is a Swedish empath.
The Earthside Fae Queen Courts are…
…located at Talamh Lonrach Oll, a.k.a., the Land of Shining Apples. Aeval, the former Queen of Night, is now the Queen of Shadow and Night. Titania was the Summer Queen and is now the Queen of Light and Morning. Morgaine is the third Fae queen, the Queen of Dusk and Twilight. She’s also a distant cousin of the D’Artigo girls. Myrddin, the Lord Merlin, was rescued in Priestess Dreaming, 16 and now wields some authority in the Earthside courts. Mordred was Morgaine’s son who ran off in Priestess Dreaming.
Ivana, the Maiden of Karsk, is a very scary and powerful Elder Fae who likes “bright” meat, children. She has also helped the girls at various times. A spiritual sadist, she cultivates ghosts in her garden. Feras Dannan is an autumn nymph on the Supe Community Action council who is having trouble with her landlords.
The very wealthy Jay Miles is a necromancer with too great an interest in all the wrong things. He is also a a member of the Loyal Order of Thunderbirds, a group that includes Van and Jaycee (we met them in Harvest Hunting, 8). Unfortunately, he is also a benefactor and a friend to many high society types. The Greenbelt Asylum burned down years ago, but its victims, I mean patients, still haunt the place.
Einar den Blodige, a.k.a., Einar the Bloody, was a cruel, vicious Viking warrior king who was betrayed and yearns to return to ravage the world. Kendell is a local thief on a number or wanted lists who is working with his even more dangerous brother, Aslo Veir.
Iyonah is a nasty witch we first met in Priestess Dreaming. Rataam, a toadsquatter (a mutant version of a goblin), is an unwelcome supernatural as it stinks to high heaven. We won’t even talk about the other reasons.
Shadow Wing is the big bad who has been present but unseen from day one. He’s a demon lord of the Subterranean Realms who plans to conquer Otherworld and Earthside. Telazhar is his general currently tearing a path through Otherworld.
An FBH is a full-blooded human. The Ionyc Sea is an alternate plane that allows Smoky and Shade to move instantly from one place to another. A devil-wraith eats magic and power and can only be gated Earthside by a powerful ghost controlled by an even more powerful necromancer. Oblition is the total destruction of the soul.
The Cover and Title
The cover is green with a grayed-out green background of a tree-lined path, the rain slanting down with Delilah in her short blonde haircut, brown leather bomber jacket, and blue jeans. She’s headed away from us down the path and looking over her shoulder, her dagger, Lysanthra, awash in a lime green glow, reflecting so much light that it highlights her jacket. The author’s name and the title use the same white Renaissance-looking font in all-caps at the top and bottom respectively. I do appreciate the series name at the bottom.
The title is about Delilah, for she is a Panther Prowling throughout this story.