Shannon K Butcher
Sentinel Wars, book seven
ebook, 400 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Signet Book
They are the Sentinels. Three races descended from ancient guardians of mankind, each possessing unique abilities in their battle to protect humanity against their eternal foes: the Synestryn. Now a warrior must protect a strong-minded woman from an incredible evil...
A beautiful, independent Theronai, Rory Rainey knows that her attempts to be a warrior are futile--unless she can stop the demonic visions that torment her. Determined to be free, Rory sets out to find the mysterious guardian who can cure her, before she loses her sight--or her life. But Rory's journey brings its own dangers when she is attacked by a pack of Synestryn sent by the demon lord Raygh.
Cornered and desperate, Rory narrowly escapes with the help of a sword-wielding stranger. Cain knows that Rory needs his protection to survive, just as he knows that her power is compatible with his own. And when Rory binds herself to Cain, the warrior knows he will do anything to keep her safe from the threat of the demon lord that pursues her...
Cain's had it rough these last couple of months. Sybil, the girl he's protected for centuries, finally grew up over night after being released from her promise to her mother to never age and ran off to live her own life. Then, he nearly had a mate in Jackie but despite Iain's help and Jackie's agreement, those two couldn't be with anyone but eachother. Now, alone again, Cain faces a doomed future as the last of his lifemark's leaves hang precariously from their branches.
Rory arrived on the scene in book five as a young woman with pink hair (and ultimately given pink sneakers to match) that came by the homeless shelter where Hope worked every once in a while. But despite appearances, Rory isn't homeless. She's a Theronai suffering uncontrollable visions that leave her blinded during these episodes where she sees through the eyes of anyone who is near.
But someone, or something, near the old shelter has been easing the chaotic visions and Rory is determined to find whoever, or whatever, is responsible. The only other reprieve she finds is in Cain's touch after he arrives in the midst of yet another stalking attack by demons. As he blocks her madness, she, too, dulls his suffering and gives Cain a renewed sense of purpose.
Cain is slow to feed the hope he finds as Rory's presence calls to his luceria and the agonizing pain he's suffered for centuries finally quiets. But he can't deny the compatibility between them. She could be the one to wield his power and save his dying soul. And when she takes his luceria while he lay unconscious, he wakes with a pledge to protect her with his life... until she finds the man she's meant to be with.
I loved Rory's wit. That girl's got a fire in her that we haven't seen since Paul found his Andra and a smart ass, quick mind that's all her own. She's not defenseless. More important, she doesn't want anyone to think she's anything less than a confident, put together, young woman who doesn't need anyone to help her do anything. In truth, she's lost. She's alone. And she's spiraling.
Rory needs Cain. Cain needs Rory. Cain also needs Rory to need him, which she won't easily allow herself to do. And that's the short and thick of it.
Speaking of Andra... she's finally pregnant with Paul's son!
[ SPOILERS BELOW ]
Meanwhile, Beth, who survived being a demon meal for who knows how long, made it through the last book only to die in this one. At Connal's hand. Or mouth, if you want specifics. Her sister, Ella, who fell in love with the Synestryn, Canaranth (and he with her) survived her labor with their son, Ethan, and has managed to hide his paternity from the Theronai as she remains protected within Dabyr's walls. Until a desperate Connal takes her and her son hostage with intent to trade them to the Synstryn lord, Raygh, that is.
Rory and Cain's story ends, what I feel is, the worst so far. Rory ends up blind, her curse now a blessing, as the only way she can see is through the eyes of others. Connal dies. Canaranth dies. Even Ella dies.
There is a bright spot though. It appears Ronan has found his match in a woman named Justice. Like Hope, she appeared out of nowhere without any memories. In one single scene, she came into Ronan's life only to disappear out of it.
4 out of 5 stars.
Previously in the series: