Act One: Safe TravelsRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novella

Becket’s uncle Theo has been gone for almost a year.  Theo has disappeared before, but he’s always shown up again.  This time, Becket knows that Theo must be dead, because Theo, for all his flights of fancy, has never not been there for Becket when Becket needed him most.  As Becket sets about packing up Theo’s house, Becket discovers that his uncle just might have finally managed to put his magic to use and has traveled to another world…magic that Becket doesn’t believe in.  Even though it goes against Theo’s wishes, and though Becket possesses not a bit of magic himself, he sets off to follow Theo.

An accidental summoning has Becket landing in Ket, and in Toreth’s circle.  But in Ket, Becket is a bibelot—one who has no magic—and he knows absolutely nothing about the world.  With Toreth’s help, Becket gets to his uncle again.  An accident has trapped Theo in Ket, and now they have no choice but to do what the elders of the world want, or else they’re never going to get back home again.  That includes letting a seer scry for Becket’s mate.  When the man is found, Becket has little choice but to pledge himself to Caster Kellan Fik.

This is the first book in a serial, and I will tell you now it ends without things being resolved.  The author has indeed set this up like the first act of a play.  We get the background to this fascinating world, and see where the journey begins. But it ends just as things really get interesting, and it already has me on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next installment.

Becket breaks my heart, at the same time he makes me grumpy.  This guy has had some deep pain in his life.  He’s lost his parents and his guardian has disappeared.  He’s lived his life rigidly and practically, even from a young age.  More than that, he absolutely does not believe in magic.  At first it just seemed as if he was pissed off and unforgiving.  As if his anger was the only thing ruling him.  But slowly we get to know him, and we see the deep hurt that is fueling his reactions.  When he begins to go through his uncle’s things, I finally felt like I understood him and how desperately he needed his uncle back.

What I love here is that because Becket doesn’t believe in magic in the slightest, he has absolutely no frame of reference about Ket or what magic entails.  It was the perfect excuse for some wonderfully done exposition.  Gregg does a great job weaving in the details of her world as things are explained to Beckett.  This is a fantasy world where magic reigns.  Everyone can do even the most rudimentary of magic, and it’s used for absolutely everything.

With that being said, I do admit that there were a couple of small instances where I felt a little lost and would have liked more of an explanation.  More than that, I don’t yet understand the rules of how magic works in this world.  So while I think there are some great moments that really immersed me in the story and helped me to get a feel of this created world, I also need more.  I’m hoping to see that in the next installment.

Overall, this was a really fantastic beginning.  Be prepared that it definitely reads like the first installment though. There is no real resolution to the overall plot, but we do see Becket and Theo beginning to fix what’s gone wrong between them and we have the set up for a lot of interesting moments to come. If fantasy and magic are you’re thing, definitely pick this one up.  And then I won’t be alone in waiting for Act Two.

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