What Hunts Inside the Shadows begins where the What Lies Beyond the Veil ends.
There was once a man I loved who lied to me.
He stuck by my side for a good few weeks, all the while spinning pretty lies. His velvety allure captivated me and reached deep into my soul. He ate away at my consciousness and my body until he had me completely. The truth about who Caelum really is, though, has me completely petrified.
Then I learned the reality about who he actually is.
The Nothrek wind carries the sound of Caldris. The myth that, for fear of incurring his wrath once more, is discussed only in whispers and behind closed doors. He wants to keep me bound to him forever, and I can’t fathom his motives or the nature of his aspirations. He leads us back to Mistfell, the settlement where it all began, and the boundary where the Veil once glistened in the breeze, guarded by the Wild Hunt.
Now, a new secret lurks, ready to alter the course of history.
The Mist Guard have sworn to prevent us from entering Alfheimr and stepping on Faerie territory at all costs. They are under instructions to restore the shimmering barrier around Mistfell, but like before, there is a higher price to pay than meets the eye. The people of Northrek once put the blame for the collapse of the Veil on me.
The time will come when they demand to pay the price of the magic.
There are several unexpected turns in this lengthy work. There is no way to enjoy this on its own. Certain events in this novel can only be fully appreciated if you’ve read the prequel. This book is dense with meaning, and I couldn’t put it down. I was concerned about how everything would be resolved in such a long book.
About halfway through, I started to doubt that there would be a satisfying conclusion. Dear readers, good news! One more book is planned after this one. YAY!
This novel finally reveals who Estrella’s true love is. What, you’re shocked? You haven’t shocked me, though. Estrella’s amazement demonstrates that she ignored obvious clues on purpose. Despite growing distaste for Estrella, I gave the novel a passing grade. She changed into a spoiled brat who needed to be slapped across the knuckles.
Her sassy comebacks to Caelum drove me nuts. Her lies and self-centeredness prove that humans are of little use to the fairies. Sincerely, I pity her eternal love. He should settle for less.
The Caldris, god of the dead, is explored in greater depth. The more I read about this mythical deity, the less sympathy I have for him. The fae in this tale don’t have wings since they can’t fly. I appreciate how Ms. Woods never strays from the central theme that the fae are deadly and that they only provide half the truth. In addition, I appreciated the additional context of the veil.
It’s not as simple as either/or. It shames me that people can be so firm in their outrage and opinions. To be honest, if I had to choose between being human or fae, I’d probably pick fae because there are so few interesting humans in this area.
Along the way, Estrella learns surprising details about her own origin and family history. These seem to be plucked out of thin air, but readers who pay attention to Ms. Woods’s subtle hints will recognize a welcome layer of depth. To put it simply, I approve. I had hoped that Estrella would develop as a person during her travels.
It saddens me that she seems to be going backwards. Her magic and abilities, however, do expand. They make me curious, and a part of me feels like I should tell her that she does not deserve it. The woman has no merit. In the following book, we’ll get to see if she finally matures.
Those who have the misconception that this is merely a sexual fantasy should have it immediately dispelled. Estrella and Caelum’s relationship is fraught with sexual tension. Estrella resorts to the classic womanly ploy of refusing sexual activity to show how “pissed” she is. Is it okay if I express how much I despise Estrella right now?
When Estrella’s need to have sex outweighs her maturity, they finally have some fun together. When these two get together, it’s an aggressive, primitive fuck fest. No feelings of closeness exist. So, Caelum is hoping for a more profound bond. If you scratch Estrella’s back, she’ll go away.
If you’re a fan of dark paranormal themes, alpha guys, and irrational girls, you’ll love this sexual fantasy.
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