Fionn is a seer, the only one born to the bird folk in seven generations. Fionn never knew his parents, his mother is dead, and he has spent his entire life shuttered away in an isolated abbey. Fionn knows nothing about the outside world and he feels he should be grateful to the head of the abbey for giving him shelter all these years, but Fionn has never experienced kindness at all. Fionn has visions, but he has never been taught how to evolve his skills as a seer and he has no idea what to do with visions except report them to the Abbess. But Fionn doesn’t share everything, especially the visions about the boy he sees.
Kiernan is half-human and half-fae and his life has been a struggle. When he wakes up blind and weak inside the abbey walls, he has no memory of what his mission was that brought him there. He has to rely on a healer he can’t see for everything. Kiernan is attracted to Fionn’s gentle ways, but Kiernan was brought up to believe that bird folk are beneath him and he is shocked to find out that Fionn is one of them. When Kiernan’s memory returns, he knows he can’t carry out his mission, as he will not allow any harm to come to Fionn.
Kiernan seems to be plucked right out of Fionn’s visions and Fionn instantly falls for Kiernan. But Fionn doesn’t know if he can trust Kiernan and there is dark magic at work to take everything away from Fionn. Kiernan knows he has feelings for Fionn, but with Fionn being so isolated, Keirnan wants Fionn to be able to make his own choices and Kiernan’s family would never see Fionn as Kiernan’s equal. There is also an order to the way things work and Fionn is expected to live out his days far away from Kiernan in a life that is still not his own. But the men want to be together and Fionn and Kiernan will have to disrupt the way things have been for generations to accomplish that.
I was intrigued with this book from the start as we meet Fionn. Fionn is not a shifter, he is bird folk. He looks part human and part bird and has the anatomy of a bird and I liked seeing a being not usually seen in books. Fionn is a sad character at first. He has lived his entire life in an abbey with no love, no comfort, and no idea really what his purpose is in life. He has never even seen another bird folk. Fionn has visions, but they are sporadic, and he has no guidance for being a seer. He is uneducated and, at 33 years old, he is languishing in an old abbey. There are hints as to what is going on, but Fionn has been too isolated to even think something might be off.
Fionn and Kiernan fall for each other right away, but Kiernan doesn’t want to declare his feelings and he is caught up in a lot of politics surrounding his family. There are many threads of storyline that come together in this book. Fionn’s life will never truly be his own and while seers have expectations on them, no one takes into consideration that Fionn has been isolated his entire life, he has no idea how the world works around him, and he is taken advantage of time and again. I also didn’t understand why no one seemed to know who Fionn’s mother was and, while that might come later in the series, it felt like an oversight to me here.
This is book one in the Three Realms, Nine Monarchs series and the name of the series hasn’t fully resonated with me yet. While I felt there was a lot of world and story being built in this first book and not all of it was clear, Fionn is a character that I am looking forward to reading more about as his story evolves.