transfiguration coverRating: 4 stars
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Length: Novel

 

Con is one of the best trackers working for the Fellowship. He is highly skilled at unraveling a puzzle or following a trail to track down books and other magical artifacts. Con is on a job, following the trail of magical book with a mysterious symbol, when he finds a young girl who can talk to ghosts. Even more, the girl claims to have spoken with Con’s murdered sister. Con isn’t sure what to do with a small child, but he is also determined to protect Bella with all he has.

While Con is away, things are complicated at home with his partners, Luca and Sam. Luca is a dhampir, part human/part vampire. He has always known that at some point his body will change, making him a full vampire, but it is a dangerous process and one that won’t be easy. And this seems to be the worst possible time for Luca to go through the change, with Con away, the Dominion being unraveled, and lots of unanswered questions about who is behind the latest magical chaos. Not to mention that Luca worries about how the change will affect his triad. With two vampires and a witch, it changes their relationship dynamic and Luca fears it will tear the three of them apart.

Even as Con, Luca, and Sam face personal challenges, the magical world is in even greater crisis. There are still so many unanswered questions about the recent events surrounding the creation of the golem, and no one really knows who is behind it all. Human First advocates are getting more aggressive and attacks are on the rise. With the help of their friends, the men are working to dig more into who is behind it all and what they want, but when the find themselves in the crosshairs, they are facing danger like they never expected. And when an old enemy resurfaces and power enters the wrong hands, it could have world ending consequences. Luckily, Sam, Con, and Luca are strong and powerful, some of the most powerful beings out there. But it is going to take all they have, with the help of those they love, if they hope to stop the evil forces in time.

Transfiguration is the second book in Lissa Kasey’s Pillars of Magic: Dark Awakening series. This series directly follows the first set of books, Pillars of Magic: Dominion, and they all really need to be read in order as it is essentially one continuous story (albeit one with about 13 years in between the two series). This book relies very much on an understanding not just of Resurrection, the first Dark Awakening book, but also characters and events from the earlier stories as well. I really love this series, so I would definitely recommend checking it out if you are new reader, starting with Inheritance.

I enjoy the way that these connected series have three central romantic relationships and the stories move around among them. In this book, Con, Luca, and Sam are the main relationship focus and the men are a long-time triad who first got together in Absolution. Kasey does a nice job establishing the foundation for these men and the way they have grown in their relationship over the years. They are an unusual pairing, both in personalities, as well as supernatural abilities, but the three of them work so well together. While the men remain rock solid in the love for and commitment to one another, they are facing challenges, as all of them are undergoing changes in their abilities. It makes for some nice growth for the characters and allows them to build and change individually, as well as a triad. The guys are separated for quite a lot of the book for various reasons, so I did miss having time where we really see them together, both from a romantic end, but also being able to work together to solve problems. But I continue to really enjoy them and this story sets up some new and interesting elements for their future.

These series are incredibly rich in world building and Kasey does a great job building a complex and well developed storyline that builds from one book to the next. The author’s take on magic, witches, and vampires is unique and interesting and this is a nicely put together urban fantasy. That said, I do find things overly complex at times in the books and I often feel like there are elements I am not following. I have read all of the books, but they rely very heavily on one another, as I said. Often past events or characters are referenced without enough reminder for me of what happened. The world building can also be quite complicated sometimes and I can’t always follow exactly what is going on. This book is particularly intricate, even more than some of the others, and there is just so much happening throughout a fairly long story. So I mostly get by following along the best I can and accepting there are things I am just going to miss, and it works for me. I enjoy these books enough that it is worth it, but I do find that the story details can sometimes be a lot to manage.

One of my favorite aspects of this series is the found family dynamic. While this story focuses on Sam, Con, and Luca, we also spend time with the other couples and various other side characters. In this book, we really see the group sort of coalesce as they face dangers and each are growing in their powers. So I really enjoy the way that while we have these core relationships, the stories are all broad enough to encompass the whole group and I really like the dynamic among them.

Transfiguration was another enjoyable installment in this really engaging series. We leave things off in an exciting place and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

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