I’m a big fan of paranormal books, especially werewolves, so I was practically jumping up and down when I came across this novel revolving around wolf and bear shifters. The basic set up of this world sees power coursing through magic current lines, ley lines, throughout the world that culminates in crystals in New York. Whatever species possesses the most land and crystals here transfers increased strength to the rest of their species all over the world.
The main character, Arianna, is one of four heirs to the wolf shifter crown. When her Queen is murdered, the competition for the crown begins. Yet that is not all that troubles Arianna. She must hunt down the murderer, defend against a new enemy all while preventing a war with the bear shifters.
I don’t want to spoil too much since there is an interesting twist early on (more than one actually). Arianna meets Kade, a powerful bear shifter, who despite all her better judgement, she develops feelings for. But she’s determined not to let him distract her from her duty. Their friendship is interesting; it shows how despite their differences and the opinions of their people, they are friends and can see the benefits for their people. They’re more than friends, though. Something pulls them towards one another, partly due to the similar roles they play within their people which allows them to understand each other and partly due to an immense physical attraction. Talk about your body betraying you!
Witnessing the twenty-year-old managing the responsibilities of not just a city but the fate of her entire race. Though raised her entire life knowing what her role will be, it’s still impressive to watch her handle every challenge being thrown at her. She’s had practice leading through her role as an Alpha, giving her a confidence rarely seen in people so young. Not only does she have to deal with the rest of that, but Arianna must also put up with a Council telling her what she’s supposed to do. Typical of many Councils it’s made up of judgemental, entitled elders with beyond conservative rules. With the support of her advisor, Arianna is able to shoulder everything with the grace befitting a Queen.
Violet is an intriguing character, not only is she an albino but she can use magic. On occasion, a shifter will be born albino with magic, known as a magic-born. They are extremely powerful and, though treasured by their people, many find them unnerving. The monarchs of each shifter race can channel the power of the crystals and lay lines, and Arianna has a stronger connection than most. All these shifter abilities made the book unique among the rest of the werewolf genre.
I loved this book; the enemy, the allies, the magic and the relationships. I give it 5/5 and am eager for the next instalment.