My deepest apologies to the author, the great people working at Reading Addiction Blog Tours and to my readers for the lateness of this post.
For anyone interested you can read my review of the first book in the series, Kindred of the Fallen.
Date Published: 10/22/2013
Before Serenity and Cyrus can embark on a romantic honeymoon, one of their gifts from an immortal comes to life and unleashes a devastating series of events that forces them to make an unthinkable sacrifice. To undo the evil of dark magic, Serenity must travel to the immortals’ hold in Iceland. Alone.
Her journey leads to an island shrouded in mystery, where secrets from her past come to light…and she forms an inexplicable connection with a handsome, tempting healer who may pose the greatest risk of all.
Cyrus comes close to unraveling without his mate, but refuses to let honor or duty keep them apart, even if it means the bloodshed of his own kinsmen.
As the Great Council prepares to convene to determine their fate, friends become enemies, enemies become allies, and soul mates are pushed right to the edge—where love and faith is the is only hope of survival.
Warning: Contains soul mates put through the grinder, dark magic drama that will leave you reeling, angry sex that crumbles concrete, an alpha hero pushed over the edge, and a roller coaster full of twists.
Isis Rushdan was born in New York City. Fresh out of high school at sixteen and to the horror of her family, she turned down a college scholarship and joined the U.S. Army. She likes to keep her family on their toes, but they have always been supportive and even signed the parental consent form. She had to wait almost a year due to a minor age hiccup, but her calling to serve did not diminish. After her tour, she went on to graduate with a B.A. in Psychology from Ohio State University and parlayed her degree into an active duty commission as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. In 2005, she joined the reserves, where she is still a member of the Armed Forces.
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
I RECIEVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK IN EXCHANGE FOR A HONEST REVIEW.
Title: Protector of the Flame
Author: Isis Rushdan
Year of Publication: 2013
Length: 361 pages
First Line: “Serenity stood at the tree line of the woods with life in one hand–in the other death.”
Review: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
I wanted to start off by saying thank you to the author for listening to her readers in the reviews. In a lot of reviews, myself included, readers mentioned that putting the glossary at the back of the book in KINDRED was a poor choice and should be changed. Glossary for book 2? Bam! Very front of the book! I loved it! It was so handy. I knew where it was at all times. Before I read the novel I was able to refresh myself on the terms and while reading the book if I forgot something or was confused, I knew where the glossary was. Thank you, Mrs. Rushdan for this minor but amazing change. It definitely made the reading experience a lot better.
PROTECTOR OF THE FLAME began right where KINDRED OF THE FALLEN left off, so if you did not read the first novel you will be completely lost. After the events of KINDRED, Cyrus and Serenity fly off to their honeymoon only to be meet with tragedy. Serenity decided to go to the compound of House Aten to find some answers, but on the way there she was ambushed by her long-lost mother (gasp!). Sothis took her daughter to Neith, the Great Historian and to her private island where other Kindred lived in neutrality. The rest of the novel was rest on this tiny island. Serenity finds out why her mother left and how her father died (won’t spoiler that!). We met a ton of new minor characters like Nakia, Adriel, and Cae. Cyrus came to the island, knocked up Serenity and in the end, all end broke loose because people wanted to kill Cyrus, Serenity and their unborn kid.
I thought this book was a lot like HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. You know, when the trio camp for six months and then in a deus ex machine situation find all of the Horcruxes in Bellatrix’s bank vault? Serenity was just chilling out with the other Kindred on Neith’s island for several months then along comes Cyrus and got her pregnant (something they have been striving for since the first book).
Of course I am generalizing the plot but you get the point.
In PROTECTOR OF THE FLAME, the writing seemed to be too dialogue heavy. Just lines right after another. Several times through-out the book I was confused about who said what and would have to double back a little to figure it out. Unlike its predecessor which took place over the course of a week or two, this novel happened over several months, around six to nine I would estimate. But with the heavy dialogue, and fast paced writing it was hard to tell. Without the characters occasionally throwing in time stamps, I would have thought this book took place over a short period, perhaps a month or two at most. A plus for me as a slow reader was that since the chapters were short and the writing was fast paced I was able to finish this novel in a short time.
I was iffy about Serenity and Cyrus in KINDRED. After reading PROTECTOR OF THE FLAME, I really disliked them, which is horrible since they are the main characters of the series. It was more of a hate for Cyrus, and disliking Serenity for putting up with him.
Cyrus was the man you were warned not to date. He was possessive, abusive, and really only wanted Serenity so she could be a broodmare. At one point in the novel, when Adriel was simply touching Serenity’s shoulder, Cyrus reacted by throwing Adriel against a bookshelf and warning the boy (he was a boy, like a teen) ‘if you touch her again I will cut your fucking hands off’ (paraphrasing). This was not cool behavior. I don’t care if this was a soul mates trope or if Cyrus was an alpha male. It’s not cool. When he’s doing stuff like that, it’s time to leave him. Especially when he thought his actions are justified. It’s awful that Cyrus believed that Serenity can’t be alone without him or a chaperone like she’s two instead of a thirty year old woman. He didn’t seem to care what she thought or of her opinions; his way was the what they would do and that was that.
Serenity grated at me because she’d flip-flop at Cyrus’ actions. When Cyrus threw Adriel against the wall for touching her, she was grateful. Oh, thank you, Cyrus for saving me from that brutal teenager! She became some sort of deluded victim, justifying her mate’s violent tendencies as being normal and okay. It’s sick. It seemed that only Adriel (and sometimes Neith) could see it for what it was. Sometimes Serenity wised up. When Neith told her the cold hard fact that when Cyrus took his place at the Council, she’d be a broodmare, bearing Cyrus up to thirty-seven kids, Serenity was not pleased. She was her own woman, who really didn’t want kids, nevertheless be in the shadow of her husband having his babies every year (apparently Kindred pregnancies last for 48 weeks). But does she discuss this with Cyrus? No. Doesn’t mention that she still has a huge parenting phobia, and that she really doesn’t want to have a ridiculous amount of kids doesn’t want to be out of the limelight. Does she ask questions about her future role at his side or research what Kindred pregnancies are like since she was raised outside the collective? Nope. Instead, what happened was that she got pregnant. That’s a perfect solution wasn’t it? After she found out she was pregnant, Serenity seemed to have forgotten her broodmare and parenting fears and embraced having Cyrus’ child. It sounded like she had been brainwashed or something.
Their relationship wasn’t solid either. It was based solely on two things: that they were soul mates and they had a lot of hot sex. They had sex like every night. They never had a decent conversation with each other. I highly doubt that they both know what each other’s favorite color was (or something equally as simple like that).
HUGE TRIGGER WARNING!!
There was a graphic miscarriage very early on in the novel, like in the first five chapters. So be aware of that.
Riddle me this Batman. You had a parenting phobia. You found yourself pregnant but wind up miscarrying the child. You were traumatized but still had the phobia. On your very next cycle, would you try to have another kid? Nope. It’s no. No, you wouldn’t. This seemed like I was not giving Serenity and Cyrus a lot of credit, I know. Kindred’s cycles happen every four months and after the miscarriage the next time Cyrus saw Serenity was on the island and she happened to be at that time she when she was primed to make a baby, go figure. But it was still odd and weird. Because to Serenity, it was her next fertile cycle and that miscarriage should be still fresh. I don’t know anyone who would go back to trying for another baby that quickly.
The minor characters totally carried this novel. We were introduced to a new Blessed couple, Cae and Nakia. Poor, Nakia who was a horny teenage girl and only wanted Cae to go to first base with her at the very least (lol). Cae was trying to remain modest despite being tempted by his soul mate (you’re sixteen, Nakia, come back and in a few years). Adriel was another healer *sob Cassian!!! *sob* who was also a Kiwi! The fact that he was from New Zealand meant Adiel owned me. I enjoyed Neith’s no crap from anyone attitude. If you were a fan of Talus and Abbadon from KINDRED, be aware that they barely appear in this novel. They probably have around five lines each. Hopefully they will play a bigger role in the next book.
We still have a lot to look forward to in the next novel. Now that Serenity is pregnant what dangers will befall her and her family? Will the prophecies that the seer told in KINDRED come true? Will the curse be broken? Does everyone get a happy ending? I am looking forward to CURSE OF THE BLESSED that will come out in 2014.
Worst part: Serenity and Cyrus’ relationship
Best part: The minor characters carried this novel
Recommend For: Fans of soul mates
Other Books by This Author: Kindred of the Fallen