Rating: 4.5 stars
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Length: Novel

Quinn Broomsparkle has settled into his life with his familiar and mate, the half dragon/half fairy, Twig Starfig. He loves Twig completely, just as Twig loves him, but they haven’t solidified their mate bond due to the fear that it will strip Quinn of his magic. When their presence is requested in the Hominus realm, they have no choice but to leave the Elder and head back to the realm of Quinn’s birth.

Quinn knows he can’t trust the witches. After all, they were the ones who sold him into indentured slavery in the first place. But he’s the first wizard in a thousand years, and he knows how to play their game. Plus, there are resources in Hominus that he needs in order to answer his most pressing questions.

When Quinn’s family is murdered and his younger brother goes missing, Quinn is on a mission to find Zak and discover the killers. Twig is called back to the Elder for an emergency vote, and he must leave Quinn behind because Quinn can’t leave until he has answers. Though Twig swears it will only be for a day, things go from bad to worse as soon as Twig leaves.

Separated from his familiar, Quinn’s magic is dulled. And those looking to make the power grab reveal their hand. Quinn is on the run, injured, and separated from Twig. It will take everything in him to survive until Twig can make his way to him again. Except things are so much worse than they feared, and even after the pair is reunited, the situation becomes truly dire. But nothing can stop Quinn and Twig, as long as they’re willing to fight. And they can find the support in friends new and old to save themselves and the world.

Meghan Maslow has done it again with another romp in her fantastical and amusing world of the Starfig Investigations series. I was eager for another installment in the series and this book might just be my favorite. There was one issue I had with the story, but other than that, I was absorbed in the fun, funny, and sometimes harrowing exploits of Twig, Quinn, and company.

This time, we get the story from Quinn’s POV. After having the first two books from Twig’s POV, I wasn’t quite sure how this would play out. When the series begins, Quinn is a bit of an unknown and he keeps his secrets close. He opens up more in the second book, and we get to see more of him. It seemed a fitting time to see the story told from Quinn’s POV, and I have to say, even though I enjoyed him previously, he hadn’t endeared himself to me as Twig had. But I can no longer say that. Seeing things from Quinn’s view changed a lot of my perception of him, and Maslow does an outstanding job of really sucking the reader in by showing us how strong, and how human, Quinn is.

Twig and Quinn are definitely growing in their love together, and that is showcased here at several different points. They have their ups and downs, and there’s a dark moment where things seem bleak for them. But there’s no doubt they are perfect for each other, that they bring out the best in each other, and are there to balance each other out. I was thrilled to see them take the next steps in their relationship, and was truly satisfied with the way things played out there.

As for the larger story, let me first bring up the sticking point for me. From about one quarter to one third in, I was getting a little frustrated with the narrative. I thought it could be a little tighter throughout this section, and I felt like we were bouncing back and forth without making much progress. Add to that there was something that Quinn was repeatedly noticing, and yet not really questioning. In fact, he blew it off every time it happened. Now, I understand why the author made a point of mentioning it, and in the end, it was an important point. But it didn’t track with Quinn as I saw him. He’s suspicious of the witches, and rightfully so, and the fact that he kept noticing this one thing and didn’t investigate was driving me crazy. Because it was clearly significant, and the Quinn readers know would have questioned the hinky vibe. So for me, I wish this had been portrayed differently, and it made me frustrated and pulled me from the story.

This is a long book and there is a lot going on. And I mean a lot. Betrayal and deceit, action-packed battles that rage on page, mystery, intrigue, new characters that worm their way into your heart. On the whole, I think Maslow did an excellent job tying it all together and making each character shine in their moment, integral for the plot. Considering the sheer number of characters, that’s quite a feat. Not to mention this is all going on while Quinn is trying to sort out his feelings for his family (they are not good people) and reconnect with his brother who, well, acts exactly like he should as he’s a teenager.

This book has it all and is a great third book in the series, which yes, definitely has to be read in order. I think Maslow is achieving things not often seen in our genre. If you love paranormal fantasy stories that have a healthy dose of humor, true love, and moments of angst, then this book and this series is one you should check out.

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