Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Union begins several weeks after Capture ends. Finally released and able to visit Fimor, his bonded dragon, Nykin jumps at the chance. But now that he’s officially in a relationship with Ryneq, the King of Torsere, Nykin has to find a way to balance out his duty to his dragon and the time he gives Ryneq. Part of that requires him to move in with Ryneq and another part requires announcing him officially as the king’s consort, which he has thankfully avoided thus far. Until Nykin realizes that he is not only being selfish, but also hindering the kingdom by not standing openly by his king. So, Nykin reluctantly agrees to the official ceremony, much to Cerylea’s merriment.
Ryneq has increased patrols along the borders and has had spies searching for the missing Rodethian king, Seran, with no word. With Cerylea’s upcoming nuptials that will bind her with the Elven prince, Morkryn, and Torsere with the elves and their magic, of course Seran would turn up to meet with Athisi’s new leader. Pushing Cerylea’s wedding date forward, the royals, their guard, and their dragons leave the day after Ryneq and Nykin’s consort announcement.
Instead of attempting traveling by foot and horse through the woods, since that ended in disaster last time, the elves have given permission for their party to travel by way of ship and enter through the protected elven veil by water. When a strange storm beats down on the ships, Nykin and Fimor and the other dragon pair recognize the storm for what it actually is: the work of a witch. Luckily the dragons are able to negate the magic with a little of their own and the wedding party is able to make it to the Elven city safe.
The city is beautiful and both Nykin and Ryneq look forward to reuniting with old friends—some more than others. With the wedding on the horizon, the happy couple, as well as Nykin, Ryneq, their friends, and family, find themselves in danger. The discovery of old magic and it’s relation to Seran have Ryneq and Nykin wondering what is to come next and how the kingdom and the people they care about will fare.
If you will recall, I absolutely fawned over the first book in this series, Capture. I am a fantasy addict. I crave it. The escape into new worlds, especially worlds with dragons, is something that my psyche needs. So this series totally does it for me on so many levels. And Union is a wonderful next step in this exciting, imaginative, and fun world. I loved this story. Compared to the first, it’s less heart-pounding and intense. I loved that about the first book, but I also like that this book is much sweeter. We get to see lots of Ryneq and Nykin together, falling in love, and becoming a bit of a power couple. Don’t get me wrong—there is still plenty action and adventure making up this story. But whereas Union isn’t as intense, it is emotionally captivating.
We get to see the development of the bond between Ryneq and Nykin—their little idiosyncrasies and vulnerabilities. I have adored these guys since the beginning. But I love their growth. Nykin has lived his life as a dragon rider, so his relations with other people have to be balanced with Fimor. He makes mistakes, but he’s quick to rectify them and admit his wrongs. And Ryneq is used to getting his way, but with Nykin it’s a bit of give and take. These guys are still learning, yet they are perfectly balanced. It seems pretty easy for them, but after the first book, they could use easy.
This world that of colorful creativity. The author does a wonderful job of showing readers this world. It’s fantastical and beautiful. I’m in awe of her description and world building. With this second book, readers are introduced to the secret Elven city of Alel. It’s stunning in my imagination—big, bright, colorful, open, and colorful. From the castle to the treehouses, from the walkways to the star-like flowers, from the woods to the seaside—it’s a world I’d like to dive into and stay.
I’d also like to drop a couple lines in here about Faelon and Avelor. Both elves were introduced in Capture, and I was so excited that they take a larger role in this story. They’re friends, confidants, and supporters of Torsere. They’re such well-rounded characters and I’ve enjoyed their progression and relationship, even as secondary characters. I like what they add to this story, and I can’t wait to see how their storyline will progress.
The only downfall I saw to this story, and the reason for my four-star rating, is the ending. I’m disappointed with the lack of conclusion or finality that came at the end of this book. I’ll be honest in saying that I don’t dislike cliffhangers, though I don’t love them either. My problem is that there is such a huge build up in the conflict between Ryneq and Seran that I felt cheated when there was not even the slightest hint of resolution. Of course, on the flip side, now I’m hoping the third book will be out next week.
Overall, this story is a really, really good one. It’s sweet while remaining exciting. And it’s visually and verbally stunning. I look forward to what this author plans on doing with this world and these characters next. I recommend Union by Annabelle Jacobs.
Note: The Torsere series by Annabelle Jacobs is meant to be read in order, as it would be confusing and, I imagine, frustrating to read them out of order.
Cover: I feel like I should write a letter: “Dear Paul Richmond, You are my hero. That is all. Crissy.” I love both of the covers for this series. Richmond takes the world that this author created in my mind and brings it to life in this cover. Just beautiful.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.