The sisters ongoing battle against the demons continues as Shadow Wing’s forces look for the spirit seals, a way for them to break through to Earth and, from there, break through to Otherworld as well. The fate of both world rests in the balance and the D’Artigo sisters make a thin line of defence.
They have only a little support from the Queen of the Elves, because Otherworld has it’s own turmoil. The fairy queen, Lathanasar, has become more erratic and cruel, her increasingly failed rule has now lead to outright civil war, dragging in the other forces of Otherworld and destroying or occupying the agencies that should be helping against the demons.
Into this we follow Delilah, the middle sister, cat shapeshifter and private detective (her cover job, at least). She’s approached for a case – a local werepuma pride is under attack by an unknown murderer and her and her sister’s skills are needed to track it down – becoming all the more urgent as the bodies pile up and there’s a clear link to Shadow Wing’s campaign. Along the way she has to make some deals with some terrifying entities, Elemental lords of extreme power that untap some long dormant power within her.
And she loses some more of her innocence, some more of her naivety and is faced with more of the cruel, stark reality that faces them in this war – to say nothing of the complications in her love life, with her polyamorous nature clashing with her human boyfriend
This world is huge – with 3 realms of beings, a million kind of fae, shapeshifters, demons, vampires and many variations of each, it’s a world with near infinite diversity. I could spend hours just pouring through the world building alone. Part of this is because each element seems to have some weight, there’s not just werepumas, they have their own society and customs and it differs depending on whether they’re Earthside or Otherworld. The vampires aren’t just vampires, they have their own meetings and difficulties. The kingdoms of the fae and the elves have their own cultures and depths. There’s a weight behind the world building that suggests a lot of work and preparation has gone into it beyond just names and labels.
And that full, rich world with all its possibilities and magic feeds directly into the story. We have epic forces and a thousand options and a constant idea that anything can raise its head. I do think the action scenes were a little truncated and could have been less anti-climactic, but following to them is interesting as we learn more. It’s not the most novel concept – find the bad guys, save the world – but the path there is original because it wends through so many different characters and so many fantastical diversions. It isn’t a mystery – there’s no questions and little investigation, it’s more a hunt, a battle and an exploration and they become ever more deeply involved in a much wider and larger meta-plot.