Nine Kingdoms #5
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Berkley Publishing Group
Sarah of Doìre is finished with mages, magic, and the mayhem caused by both. Her quest to find her brother and stop his terrible spells has failed, her future lies in ruins, and her trust in Ruith shattered. What she wants is peace, safety, and a quiet place to weave. And all that stands between her and that dream is a collection of black mages suddenly hunting her, her own sense of do-gooding, and a past she knows nothing about... yet.
Ruitneadh of Ceangail has managed to ignore the magic in his veins for a score of years, hiding in the mountains until aiding Sarah with her ill-fated quest forced him into places where his past was impossible to deny. Now, faced with an ever-increasing number of former enemies knowing he’s alive and wanting his power, his choice is to accept his birthright and gather all his father’s spells together so he can destroy them, or turn away and allow the Nine Kingdoms to be overcome by his father’s evil.
Sarah reluctantly agrees to help Ruith, though she’s fairly sure she’ll do so at the peril of her life... and her heart.
At the end of book one (or four, depending on how you look at it), Ruith and Sarah suffered a capture in which Sarah was taken and Ruith was left tied to a tree. Despite the parting it doesn't take long for our heroes to find their way back to each other. Exactly twenty-one pages to be precise. But a happy reunion they do not have. For one, this is the first time being together wherein Sarah knows the truth of his identity, and secondly, Ruith is acting like a boor. All in the name of protection that is, though Sarah is very much in the dark about that. Still... the woman's pissed.
I was a tad confused shortly after that as Sarah kept talking about just walking away and becoming some anonymous woman. I mean, Hello! What happened to the quest of thwarting your brother's evil plot? And honestly, there's a lot of moments where you're left wondering what and why. Although, during such madness, I did enjoy the conversation she and Ruith shared with Solleirr, a very powerful mage who once had romantic interest in Ruith's mother. And really enjoyed finding Runach, one of Ruith's long lost brothers. The garden though, a place that would slay him or welcome him, took the cake in the what the hell were you thinking category.
I couldn't recall when exactly Ruith realized his love for Sarah but he's very aware of it in this book so all bets lie on it being some time in Tapestry of Spells. In this installment, he is very much wanting to earn Sarah's favor although he sucks pretty bad at it for most of the book. Not at all like his childhood friend (and hero of the first three books) Mochriadhemiach. But Ruith does have his charms and is quite good to Sarah when he puts a mind to it.
Of course, Sarah is one wacky, unobtainable female who's convinced that once the world knows of Ruith's still living existence, the women will flock and he'll want nothing more to do with her.
They go on to negotiate ten princesses. Which gets amended each and every time Ruith screws up. Quite the hagglers those two. The story itself though is one of two souls wanting to be no less than they are, and finding it difficult to rise to the challenge. One desiring magic she will never possess, and the other fearful of what magic he does. It's a beautiful love story -an imaginative fantasy- and I can't wait to see how the last one ends because this baby had a doosey. We discover the truth of Sarah's parentage.... Miach had the *best* entrance as he guest appeared... Finally got a kiss between our hero and his lady love... and a grandfather was reunited with his youngest grandson. Wooh. 4 out of 5 stars.
The children of Gair & Sarait:
Keir, Runach, Brogach, Gille, Eglach, Ruithneadh, and daughter, Mhorghain.
Other books in the series: (The story of Morgan (Ruith's sister))
Star of the Morning, book one
The Mage's Daughter, book two
Princess of the Sword, book three
Ruith's story, book four: