Desert Isle Keeper
Storm and Fury
I’m always on the lookout for new urban fantasy series featuring unusual creatures, so I was over the moon to learn that Jennifer L. Armentrout was writing a spin-off of her Dark Elements series – which happened to be the first series I ever read featuring gargoyles. Plus, Trinity, the heroine of Storm and Fury, the first of the Harbinger books, is a human who is losing her vision because of a progressive eye disease, and I knew this was going to be a book I’d love.
Before I begin rhapsodizing about Storm and Fury, I want to assure you that you don’t have to have read the Dark Elements novels in order to enjoy this one. Reading the original series will give you a deeper and more complete understanding of the world and its characters, but the author does a great job recapping prior events for those readers who choose to dive right into Storm and Fury.
Trinity Marrow is eighteen years old, and doing her best to adapt to some very unusual circumstances. She’s the only human living in a compound of Wardens, who are gargoyle shapeshifters. Her mother was killed by a rogue Warden two years before the story opens, and ever since that day, Trinity has been in hiding. You see, Trinity is no ordinary human, and if the truth about who she really is gets out, chaos will be unleashed upon the land. I can’t say too much about Trinity’s secret without spoiling the whole book, so I’ll simply say she possesses a particular gift, one that makes her extremely desirable to demonkind. And if all that isn’t enough for one teenage girl to deal with, Trinity is also in the process of going blind.
The Wardens tasked with keeping Trinity safe have done their best to keep her hidden from everyone save those who live in their compound, but when Wardens from another clan arrive at the gates one night in desperate need of help, Trinity’s existence is no longer quite so secret. There’s a terrible force loose in the world, a force capable of killing humans and Wardens alike, and the various Warden clans must band together if they hope to defeat it.
Trinity finds herself inexplicably drawn to Zayne, one of the visitors. There’s something about him that seems to speak to her very soul, and despite the warnings of those around her, she can’t resist spending time with him. He is darkly alluring, and even more important, he doesn’t seem to view her as a fragile flower in need of constant protection. Together, she and Zayne might just have the power to defeat their common enemy, but only if Trinity comes clean to Zayne about who she really is and why an extremely powerful demon will stop at nothing to claim her for his own.
I first met Zayne in the Darkest Elements series, and I was beyond pleased to spend more time with him. He has a dark and troubled past, and isn’t sure he’s capable of really loving someone, but Trinity manages to break down all of his defenses. I loved watching him lay his inner demons to rest and give into his feelings for Trinity, even though doing so could be the most dangerous thing he’s ever done.
Trinity herself is a fantastic heroine. She can be a little impulsive at times, but she definitely learns from her mistakes, so I was able to forgive some of her bad decisions. Plus, she’s only eighteen and she’s been extremely sheltered up until this point, making some of her more reckless actions a little easier to understand. By the end of the novel, it’s clear she’s matured quite a bit, and I’m really excited to see where future books in the series will take her.
Trinity’s visual impairment is dealt with in a way that feels completely authentic. She has a lot of mixed emotions about her impending blindness, but she’s determined not to allow it to get the best of her. She learns to fight in ways that don’t rely on vision, and she and Zayne work tirelessly to find ways for her to participate in the community. Often, characters with disabilities are pushed off to the sidelines, and I was so glad to see Ms. Armentrout taking a different tack here. Trinity’s vision loss is just one of her characteristics, but certainly not the most important thing about her.
At a little over 500 pages, Storm and Fury might be intimidating to some readers, but don’t let its length put you off. It moves quickly and possesses the perfect balance between action scenes and character development. The world building is utterly immersive, a necessity in good urban fantasy. Storm and Fury is a pure delight from start to finish, and whether you’ve read Ms. Armentrout’s work in the past or you’re discovering its magic for the first time, it’s a book I’m pleased to recommend.