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Mantled in Mist by Rory ni Coileain

MantledinMist It’s not really a secret that I love this series. It’s sweet, it’s fun, the writing is really solid. And this book, the sixth in the series, definitely has all those things. The book starts with one of our main characters, Fiachra, a fae who’s ostracized because of his coloring and lineage. He slips into the human world, but ends up in a body that isn’t his, with no idea where his own is. Since he can’t do anything about it, though, he decides to just live in this body. He becomes a cop, and seventeen years later, while he’s working, he meets Peri, a human with a troubled past. There’s an instant connection between the two. But before they can really start a relationship, the other fey and human SoulShares from the previous books realize that the body Fiachra is in is an important one, and that it needs to go back where it came from.

So, first, I should say, I loved this book. I’m in a bit of a book slump‐ I’m not interested in anything, I keep picking stuff up and putting it down‐ but this hooked me right away and I basically devoured it. There’s something really, uh, magical about this series. It seems like it shouldn’t be good‐ there tend to be a lot of plot holes, consistency issues, tons and tons of insta‐love‐ but it is REALLY good. I can’t get enough of it. There are a couple books in the middle that I missed, and as badly as I want to read them, I feel like I should ration them for the times when I want to read something that I know will just make me feel good. That’s what these books do. They’re awesome. And this one was no exception.

However, I did feel that, for me, so far, it was the weakest of the series. There were a couple reasons for this.

The first was that we were presented with these two very interesting main characters, but they almost get pushed to the side in favor of exciting plot and the thoughts and goings‐ons of all the other characters. I really enjoy the excitement of the plot, but I wish it was more tied into Fiachra and Peri and not just kind of revolving next to them and occasionally drawing them in. Likewise, I love seeing the characters from past books, but I wanted to get to know Fiachra and Peri. It’s their book. If the author wanted to write more about the other couples, perhaps she shouldn’t have introduced these two new characters, but continued the story of the other couples. As it was, by the time Fiachra and Peri were falling in love, it seemed like their entire romance was dependent on their SoulShare. Why were they in love? SoulShare. Why did they like each other at all? SoulShare. Why the attraction? SoulShare. And while I feel you can float a lot of that past readers, I wanted some more substance, something, even just more time spent in the same room, between these two. But that time was spent talking about the other characters in the book instead, so the romance, for me, wasn’t as exciting as it could have been.

In the same vein, I felt, as I felt in the last book, that too much time was spent in the mind of the series’ villain, the Marfach, and its host, Janek. The thing is, both the Marfach and Janek are wholly evil‐ there’s very little depth to these characters, they’re just The Bad Guys. So spending time in their minds is… boring. I already know they’re bad, and I don’t care what happens to them, so I don’t want to spend pages and pages reading about their thoughts. If they had more depth to them, yes, I would. And I do understand the need to outline their plans. But I think it could have been done in shorter bursts.

Not only that, but the Marfach is very… offensive. The scenes with this monster are crude and gory and just awful. Again, I understand the need for some of that. But it’s over the top and, I felt, sometimes expounded upon more for titillation than for plot. And it’s very jarring, to be reading all this sweet and lovey‐dovey stuff, and then have this giant section of HORROR AND GORE. It’s weird and uncomfortable.

I did really enjoy that, in this book, the SoulShare bond is discussed a little bit more than, ‘It’s there, that’s why I love you.’ It was discussed very briefly, but this has always been something within the series that I felt I needed a bit more explanation on, and, so far, from what I’ve read, I hadn’t gotten it. So I was pleased to see that. (I mean, sharing a soul and falling in love with that person seems a bit narcissistic, doesn’t it? It was nice to see the few sentences that hinted at a deeper connection.)

On the other hand, it made me uncomfortable when Fiachra and Peri had sex while Fiachra was still in the body he had accidentally stolen. It wasn’t his body. It was someone else’s. So, basically, they’re violating this body without consent. And while the guy who’s body it was didn’t seem to mind, he was never actually asked, either. Maybe it was because he was fae and the fae are, in this series, supposed to be kind of sex maniacs, so it wasn’t supposed to bother us? But I wished it had at least been considered.

And, to round out my bout of nitpicking, I found the end to be incredibly abrupt. Like, I actually wondered if there was something wrong with my copy of the book, it ended so suddenly. (I’m pretty sure there wasn’t, though.)

However, I will stress again that I enjoyed this thoroughly. My nitpicking is because I love this series and I think it’s fantastic, and I want it to be as awesome as possible. The dialogue is great, the characters are interesting, the plots are fun, and there’s just so much sweetness and love in here that it would be impossible to dislike this. These books are the ultimate comfort reads. I can’t wait for the next one.   -SEL

You can purchase 'Mantled in Mist' from Riverdale Avenue Books: Riverdale



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