The Darkest Warrior by Gena Showalter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
OK, I admit to having assumed that even after the way Gillian was left in the last book, there would still be some epic and romantic happy ending for Gillian and William. I get the backlash when this book came out, but from the start, you know it will be different than the other installments.
We begin this story with a whole new dimension/world/whatever. There is a different rate of time, there are different powers, and oracles essentially rule the fates of everyone (or people let them). Puck and his brother are determined to beat the prophecy indicating one will die, but those pesky demons end up messing up their plan. Puck is unwittingly infected with indifference, but is still determined to follow some simple rules. Those rules (or his new plan) end up involving bonding to Gillian to save her and get her away from William, then using her to get William to overthrow his brother’s evil rule.
Gillian has always been a sort of background character. Sure, there was this always simmering Gillian/William romance that was essentially assumed to come to fruition when she gets old enough to do such a thing. She’s a bit broken, but tough, and growing tougher by the day. We rejoin her before she gets “sick” on her birthday and get to see things from Gillian and Puck’s perspectives. Soon after this happens, I was firmly on Team Puck. William is pretty much the playboy jerk we always knew he was, but it is a pretty stark comparison when placed next to Puck.
Puck, though inhabited by indifference, is totally the fairytale prince Gillian deserves. Sure, they hit their bumps along the way, but the time difference between dimensions allows many many years to pass in a single book without being annoying and fast-forwardy. If you’re worried this will seem horrible and forced – don’t worry! This book ended up being a recent favorite of the series. It moves the larger story along, gets Gillian where she needs to be, and gives a super solid HEA.
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