They’ve beaten the bad guy and they’re off in search of a new home, but saying goodbye to Jack is harder than Saba thought. She’s also haunted by all the people she has killed or caused harm, shadows that follow her day and night, clouding her thoughts. So when a message comes that Jack’s in trouble, Saba quickly sets off to his aid, ignoring the pleas of her twin brother Lugh that they should press on, that Jack isn’t worth it. What she finds may just prove Lugh right.
And there’s another danger, a price on her head. Someone is searching for Saba, a new threat in the form of someone she knows. They’re clearing the land, enslaving those who are deemed unworthy, creating stewards of the earth and a New Eden. Will Saba be swayed by their vision?
It’s interesting for me to look back on my views on Goodreads when I first read this. I was all on Saba’s side and furious at Lugh for not being more supportive of her. Almost a decade on I feel for Saba, sure. She loves Jack and wants to make sure he is safe, but she makes some terrible decisions, doesn’t take anyone else’s opinion or feelings into account, and people die or are hurt because of her. Lugh sometimes has a point, even if he is incredibly harsh.
I also struggled with a lot of the love interest stuff, and DeMalo in particular. SPOILERS. When Saba ends up alone with DeMalo in the tent and she sleeps with him, I’m not totally sold on it. Sure she’s a little in awe of the vision he showed her and what he wants to create in New Eden, but he’s still killing people to do it. Enslaving them. It’s not really a grey area. Plus he’s put a price on her head and just lets her go, so she’ll come back of her own free will. But he doesn’t lift the bounty? And at no point during that time does Saba mention Emmi (who has been taken by DeMalo’s men at this point), or ask for his help getting her back. Instead they have to trek into enemy territory and lose two of their own to rescue her.
There’s also three men in love with Saba and it sometimes seems like one too many. There’s enough going on without adding Tommo into the mix as well. He’s just there to make problems in the next book I think.
Having said that, I’m still enjoying the series, just not quite as much as I think I did the first time, sadly. I think the parts that focus on Saba’s PTSD/guilt etc are the strongest, and the romantic entanglements just muddy everything a bit too much.