It has been a year since the First and Third Greaneth of Velesi arrived in Pathen. In that time, Alorn and Mellis have hunted and sent back some of the UnderRealm's deadliest of denizens that escaped during the Closing.
But a new threat has been awakened by the expected arrival of new blood which will open the gateway for an ancient evil to return to Velesi.
She is called the Talion Witch, and she will stop at nothing to take vengeance against those who exiled her to the realm of Pathen. Unfortunately for our heroes, one of their own possesses the new blood and the Talion Witch is killing all who stand in her way to get it.
However, before they can get to the Witch, they must first face the deadly, but beautiful, Sister Assassins and a horde of shimodos.
haha I read the 'Sister Assassins' and got a little more excited for the heroes than I probably should've.
Oh my God, there's so many feels right now, but they're not so overwhelming that I'd turn into a potato.
*but a cute potato.*
As a returning reader to L. Filloon, it was nice to see the gang again. A year's past since Mellis and Alorn have left their home in Velesi to get back all the demons that escaped back in the Velesi Trilogy, and have come across more shimodos under the control of Kil'iria, the Headmistress of the Talion witch coven. Her story goes beyond the gossip and rumors hinted throughout the story and my heart went out to everyone involved in her expulsion. :( However, Kil'iria wants to return home after centuries of being banished, and the only way to do that is through the child of one of Velesi's queens, and Katherine, the doctor needed to save the baby's life.
Mellis is as big a flirt as ever, with his cousin Alorn remaining just as sullen and serious. His heart still aches for Lily (UGH IT'S BEEN A YEAR DUDE!) and it's left him more guarded than he already is. Yikes. The story starts off on a note of stealth, Alorn finding some shimodos that eventually alert him to the witch searching for something, and the mood changes to hilarity the moment Mellis steps onto the pages to save his cousin's life. One of my favorite things about this book is the author's writing. Her style is so sleek that the moment I slow down to read, it's almost like I'm tasting a different culture of food. It's weird, I know, but stay with me. The entire time I was reading, I felt transported to a different plane of existence, one more sophisticated than the pink sheets stained with paint I'm on at least, and somehow the melding of old speech and slang made things amazeballs... and I feel like I've lost you already.
Our heroes, being the hotties that they are, get thrown trial after trial, one of them involving the Sister Assassins (yaaaaaaas). I loved their explosion of an entrance, especially when the sight of them had Mellis running out just to do a little more than say hi. Poor Alorn, forever the serious one lol. I also loved how they resembled the cousins, one being a major flirt while the other one looks on with a serious demeanor. Anna and Cricket were adorable- especially Cricket -and I found it ironic, though not surprising, with Mellis' pick of an assassin sister.
The POVs are only ever from Mellis and Alorn, but I still got a sense of perspective from the other characters as they came and left the scenes. I just fucking loved that the barely-there characters were given touching back stories to further enhance just how sweet my elven boys were. And, ah, my boys, I forgot how well-mannered they were. Their culture built up in the Velesi Trilogy felt like a familiar thing of comfort for me as they battled it out in Pathen (our world) while still maintaining their sense of morale propriety and sticking to the golden rule. How beautiful, to have somewhat polite elves with assassin reflexes and degrees in The Arts of Seduction.
*I'm looking at you, Mellis.*
Alorn and Mellis really were a great balance for this book, because it was fun to be in a cynical mind learning to open up and jumping over to a relaxed, more mischievous mind who enjoyed being God's gift to the world. Or at least to the female (and okay male) population. The whole story was just so well done. With Mellis I wanted to trust anyone who seemed worthy, but as soon as I was with Alorn, I'd immediately question that character's true motives. I'm not gonna lie, I struggled with trying to figure out the real deal and just enjoying the ride. Pretty much gave up on trying to guess the next scene by around halfway through lol. However, I did totally guess on the assassin's identity in the forest scene.
The ending was especially intense, more so because I was torn between Alorn and Mellis when shit went down. Could they be trusted or not?! And it was a little sad. :( On one hand, the bad guy is willing to kill an infant to exact her revenge! But at the same time, I couldn't help but think if I'd turn out like her after being sent to a hellhole for so long... But things got better- or worse? -shortly afterwards. AND LILY AND THARIN MAKE AN APPEARANCE. But Alorn, dude seriously what the hell? She kisses you and you say "She's not the one." What does that even mean???
I loved this so much, it's insane, but again, a calm sort of insane, a feeling one might get if they'd experienced a hell of a storm years ago; war streaks are still there, but it's faded to a state of familiar comfort.
Filloon's writing is unique with an amazing flow that makes you feel like you're reading something 'olden' with the perks of today's better sense of humor and sexy that only Mellis can pull off. I was pulled into her writing, easily falling in pace with Mellis' and Alorn's process of thought. The additional characters were all amazing with their own little quirks. Katherine grew on me once I wasn't so suspicious (curse you, Alorn) and now I have this need to own a hoodie with a pair of mouse ears...
Again, a huge THANK YOU! to the author for gifting me this. I almost cried when I checked my email and saw the little red bow. You have no idea how happy I am to have Alorn and Mellis in my life again. Yet another amazing reason to be thankful.