It’s been nearly a year since Ori Jones transformed into a swan. He’s still settling into a leadership role, but thankfully Raynard is by his side to guide him. Like with the decision of the cages. Ori wants punishment of any avian to be lesser than whipping at the dominant avian’s whim. Although cages seem a bit harsh… that is, of course, until Raynard walks him through the positive aspects.
To top it off, the elders bring up Ori’s upcoming birthday, a date in conflict with his first shift for a variety of reasons. When Raynard confirms the wrong date, Ori is struck silent. How his master could forget Ori’s birthday when he remembers everything meticulously is beyond him. But when the date of his party (not the date of his birth) rolls around, Ori discovers that Raynard’s celebration shows he is everything Ori has ever dreamed of and then some.
This is a short story situated on the timeline between Duck! and Magpie. It’s classic Ori and Raynard, with Ori finding himself unsure about something he knows to simply lay in Raynard’s hands but doesn’t, and Raynard going above and beyond because he knows exactly what Ori needs. I enjoyed revisiting the couple, not only the sweet, intimate side, but that quiet domination Raynard holds that Ori enjoys so much. This short stayed true to form, in line with the first book. And in a move of pure genius, the author sets up Magpie with a little set up as to Everet’s new position.
Overall, Celebrate is a wonderful midpoint story that shows the beauty of this couple and the way they’ve grown in the past year. I definitely recommend this story for anyone who has read Duck!