This book is the second in a trilogy about Tallenmere with the first book being A Ranger’s Tale. I have not read the first book but Serenya’s Song was written so well it was able to easily stand alone. I was taken into the story by the compelling beginning: A man brings his beloved wife, who is in labor delivering a baby that isn’t his, to the hospital. The father of the child is known only to the mother and she ultimately dies after giving birth to a daughter… with claws at the tips of her fingers. This young daughter is half wood-elf (as her mother is a wood-elf), half unknown species and is immediately in danger. Pursuers show up to kidnap the baby and her stepfather, a human named Douglas, has to leave his now deceased wife to flee with the baby to save her life.
So the beginning of Serenya’s life is, to say the least, less than perfect. She is then raised by her stepfather and endures the sting of a community who doesn’t really accept her. She has to wear gloves to hide her claws, she is being raised by a human, and her mother is dead and father unknown. As if this isn’t enough, she then marries a rich and handsome guy who the town loves – but who is abusive, demanding and does not appreciate her great musical gifts, her skills at interpreting dreams or the effort she puts into trying to make him happy.
The book goes on to introduce, beyond Serenya’s tale of woe, other characters with their own problems, their own personal demons to face and, unlike most romance novels – a much grander plot than just the romance itself. Tallenmere is in danger; there is evil lurking and secrets to be revealed. Besides finding love with Jayden, a character from the first book A Ranger’s Tale, and having to deal with how this affects her since she is married – both she and Jayden must also work together to defend Tallenmere. This book is filled with action, adventure, secrets, mystery, evil, love, and just about everything one could want in a fantasy romance story. There is no shortage of things to keep any reader interested.
Aside from the story itself, the language is also wonderful and the writing very well done. It is captivating and maintains the interest level. There are no lulls in the story or problems with consistency. Character descriptions are expertly written so that you feel you know the people; you get a real feel for what they are going through in the story. The background is even thoroughly explored with its own mythology, unique creatures and places.
If you enjoy the fantasy romance genre then definitely check this book out. It will keep you entertained throughout and make you want to read the next installment – Hearts in Exile.