Guardians of Paradise by Jaine Fenn

I loved the often fiery relationship between the three central characters.
Guardians of Paradise book cover

This book ties together the events in Principles of Angels and Consorts of Heaven as the main characters from both meet up, and realize their aims are linked in a battle against the Sidhe. Jarek Reen, once called Sais and sister to Elarn whom the Sidhe tried to use as an assassin, is fighting to solve the dilemma of the hidden world Serenein. Nual and Taro are on the run with the Sidhe in pursuit of their renegade sister, and their tentative romance is at risk from Nual’s latent Sidhe powers. The trio are faced with attack from all sides, and more frightening revelations of the Sidhes’ plans, and their warped evolution. And even those in whom they place their trust seem to have hidden agendas of their own.

I loved the often fiery relationship between the three central characters as we learn more about their past. Nual and Taro’s relationship is strewn with complications, not least because Nual’s Sidhe powers mean she can cast a mental glamor that would permanently enslave Taro. The romance element is sweet and fraught, and the story is laced with more action, the terrifying abilities of the Sidhe intent on killing their renegade sister and the continuing dilemma of Serenein. How can you defeat an enemy who can render you helpless with a touch of their mind, and whom the rest of the universe believes to be a myth?

Jarek emerges as a clear leader of the trio, although he frequently doubts himself after the mental rape he suffered whilst on a Sidhe mothership. Perhaps more wordly-wise than his two companions, he takes full responsibility for the planet Serenein. There are hints that he’s always had this need to protect, but possibly his guilt over Elarn’s death enforces it.

Again, there are more tantalizing hints of the Sidhe powers and their civilization, and the rather frightening revelation that without them, humanity might not have been able to achieve such far-reaching space travel. But it is worth the price?

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