Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.
Adam Black is in quite a pickle. Having advocated for the human Druid, he's forced to save Dageus MacKeltar's life at the end of The Dark Highlander by sacrificing some of his immortal life-force...And then Aoibheal, the Fairy Queen, exacts her own form of punishment. Now Adam is human...And invisible.
To everybody but his own kind (who he can no longer see) and the human Sidhe-seer woman, Gabrielle O'Callaghan.
Gaby's spend her entire life pretending to be normal, while she's anything but. The last in the long line of Sidhe-seers, she's been taught from infancy to hide her gift, to pretend not to see them, lest they kidnap her and kill her. Then one night, all her carefully built defenses come crashing down when she sees a Fairy that doesn't look like a Fairy...And turns out to be the darkest Fairy of them all—the one the O'Callahan books of the Fae warn to AVOID CONTACT AT ALL COST with.
But Adam Black doesn't appear to want her dead...He does appear to want to drive her crazy though...Unless she helps him.
If Adam Black has mucked it all up in Beyond the Highland Mist and a little less in The Highlander's Touch, he's definitely redeemed himself at the end of The Dark Highlander with his advocacy of the human race...And more deeply and irrevocably in his own book.
He might not appear a tortured hero at first sight (or many sights after), not with that larger-than-life, nothing-can-touch-me, I'm-a-God attitude, that glimpse Dageus gets in the second part of the story, the glimpse of lonely darkness deep inside this Old One, only affirms what the reader (at least this one) believed since the third book in this series.
But it takes a rather selfless act, the strange fascination Adam has with the human race, making him argue and barter with the Queen, and her subsequent punishment, to make the reader see, or at least glimpse, at what makes the last prince of the D'Jai tick, and make him see what he's been missing for so long, and what he truly needs to feel larger than life and become truly immortal.
You aren't falling for me, are you, Irish?
The strongest, purest emotion. Love.
To feel love, to be loved, and to love in return.
And he gets all of the above in spades when he meets his heroine, Gabrielle, and eventually chips away at her armor.
It took a little time to warm up to Gabrielle with her skittishness and fear around the Fae folk. She grew up with all of that, she grew up on the darker fairy tales, she grew up learning to fear, and it took a while for her to realize not everything she thought she knew was correct, but once she did, once she opened her eyes and truly saw Adam, I knew I was in for yet another stormy, fiery—and unfortunately rather star-crossed—romance.
No, make that love story. One of those odes, songs and sagas are written about. One of those that, despite the fact you know it would end up happily (because it's a romance novel, not a drama), you still fear your heart skip a beat or two as you wonder just how such two opposites could end up together in the end.
And as always, it takes a sacrifice. One has to sacrifice something to gain something else, and, as Adam himself, I also believe he gained much more than he gave up.
Yes, there were paranormal/magical elements, paranormal beings, and a little suspense-subplot about an attempted coup, but in its bare bones, this was a romance, plain and simple. Adam and Gabrielle's love story.
Perfectly paced, wonderfully written, with a wonderful cast of characters, an amazing leading man, and just the right amount of heart-string tugging toward the end. I loved every single moment of it.