Rating: 4.5 stars
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Soul Magic is the third book in Poppy Dennison’s Triad series and wraps up the story of mage Simon, his alpha mate Gray, and the members and extended family of the High Moon Pack. The three books are closely connected so they should be read in order and this review may have some slight spoilers from previous books.
At the start of Soul Magic, everyone is recovering from the attack on the pack at the end of Body Magic. Although physically pretty much everyone is back to normal, emotionally they are all still drained from the knowledge that danger was so close and even their tightened defenses could not protect them. It is especially terrifying as they realize the attack came from a creature that shouldn’t exist, one with all three types of magic: mind, body, and soul. Although they have seen people like Simon, and Gray’s son Garon, who possess two forms of magic, three is totally unheard of and the potential abuse of power is huge.
Cormac is one that still is suffering lasting physical effects from the attack. After nearly dying that night, his magic has been off kilter. Suddenly he is having dark moods and a craving for blood he hasn’t experienced since he was first turned into a vampire long ago. Although he knows Simon is worried about him, Cormac is afraid to come near the pack for fear of hurting someone. He is surprised to find support from an unexpected place in the form of Liam, pack beta. Liam is determined to help Cormac, to stop him from losing control, and help protect him from harm. The two connect unexpectedly and their relationship grows throughout the story. He we get a chance to really see Cormac in a new way, not just as the slightly formal head of Simon’s family line, but also his sexy, warm side as well. It was fun to see Cormac all sexed up in his tight jeans and t-shirts at the club, and he and Liam are both hot as well as incredibly sweet together.
The main focus of the story, however, continues to be Simon and Gray and the threats to the High Moon Pack. Everyone is desperate to figure out who this creature is that attacked and how to stop him. The combinations of the three types of power make him seemingly invincible, and repeated small attacks make it clear he can easily pass through their defenses and no one knows quite how to prevent it. At the same time, the Were Council is still involved, continuing to question Simon and Gray’s relationship. They are not happy about a mage playing such a large part in the pack life, and even more so as they see how powerful Simon is and the way he can combine both his own mind magic and some of the wolf powers of mental telepathy through his link with his mate.
Until recently, the idea of a being with more than one type of magic was bascially unheard of. The different types of magical beings were kept a strict separation. It was really Simon’s interference to save the cubs in Mind Magic that was the first real public mingling of one magical being into the life of another. Although there were whispers of other matings, Grey and Simon were the first ones to have such a public partnership. And now it becomes clear that there a more mixed mates and more beings with multiple powers, and that the lines between them are blurring. And for some reason, this Triad is targeting those with multiple forms of magic the most in its attacks. Things are getting desperate and the attacks are getting more severe, and in order to protect the lives of those they love, Gray, Simon, and Cormac may have to risk their own.
I think Dennison has done a wonderful job with this series and this was a great ending to the trilogy. She has managed to create a magical world that is really unique and creative. I love the idea of the different types of magic and how these creatures are all connected in ways that you don’t see in many other paranormal worlds. This last book explores that idea even more, as we learn more about those with multiple types of magic, the fears of the Councils, and the dangers of the Triad. The whole world is just so cleverly built, developing over the course of the three books and really tying things together.
I also enjoy the way the series is structured, with Gray and Simon maintaining a key role in all the books and each adding a new couple as well. It is an interesting balance, and one that I don’t see too often in series, to have both new couples introduced as well as a main couple that stays a key focus. I think it works well here as Simon is really the pivotal character in the book. His magic is strongest, he has multiple forms of magic himself, and his is closely linked with Gray and Cormac, both of whom represent a different type of magic. Simon is the one who first starts the crossover between magical beings when he follows his heart and rescues the pack cubs at the start of the trilogy, despite knowing he will get in trouble. And so it works well to see him be the focus as the series culminates.
So I really enjoyed this trilogy and think Dennison has done a great job with it. Each book builds upon the story, leading to a really exciting finish. I loved Simon and Gray and the family they built together, and really enjoyed the focus on the pack and how they created this adopted clan that incorporates so many. I also really enjoyed Liam and Cormac together, and was so happy to see Cormac get his own happy ending. And I think Dennison really pulls off a great trilogy here. I like it a lot and would definitely recommend it.
Cover Review: Once again another beautiful cover. All three have been just lovely (my favorite was Mind Magic) and this is no exception. My only tiny criticism is that I wish the cover had depicted Cormac with his blond spikey hair instead of Liam. Cormac has been such a key character throughout the series, plus the book focuses on soul magic, which is his form of magic. So it seems like a better fit. But regardless, from a looks perspective this one is lovely.