With a medieval setting and a paranormal twist, this book had a unique story line that held great promise. Unfortunately, that promise was completely squandered by a domineering hero and a lengthy separation between he and the heroine. As a result, any connection this reviewer felt between the two was superficial and physical – it never got any deeper than that. And that, is not romance.
Moira is a Swan Sister from the world of Myr. Myr is an alternate reality connected to “the world of men” through a portal in the circle of stones, Stonehenge. Moira is a talented healer and like all the Swan Sisters, can transform herself into a beautiful swan. There are no males in Myr, and the Sisters rarely venture into the world of men. Occasionally a sister will cross the portal into the world of men and return to Myr pregnant. The Sisters propagate their society in this manner. Moira has never ventured through the portal.
Wulfsun is a Viking leader wounded during a raid. He stumbles into the circle of stones, and his pain calls to Moira. She crosses the portal into his world to heal him. Even in his wounded state, Wulfsun is struck by Moira’s incredible beauty. He decides he must have her, no matter the cost. After she depletes her energy by healing him, Wulfsun tells her that he is taking her captive. She resists and tries to transform herself and escape. Unfortunately, she cannot complete the transformation. Wulfsun places a golden thrall, or slave collar around her throat and takes her across the sea to his land. The thrall collar interferes with Moira’s ability to transform herself and she cannot escape. By the time Moira’s sisters realize what has happened, she is too far out of their reach.
This book started out with great potential, but quickly went downhill. Even though Moira desires Wulfsun, I felt that all of the love scenes bordered on coercion, because Moira is literally begging Wulfsun to remove the thrall collar throughout the entire book. I never felt that she was free to choose him, everything was dictated by Wulfsun’s desires. He was also extremely cruel to Moira. In scene after scene, he deliberately uses her position as a thrall and his as a ruler, to hurt and degrade her in front of his people. In direct opposition to this, he wants her to come to love him. Moira wants to be free to choose to love him herself, not on his demand.
This book was extremely difficult to finish. I never felt that Wulfsun and Moira connected on any deeper level. Their connection was superficial and physical only. There was also a long separation between them when Wulfsun went a-viking. I could never understand the heroine’s motives for coming to love Wulfsun. Generally, I enjoy strong and tortured heroes, but I felt that the author never tempered these traits with any genuine emotion. I felt that he was totally devoid of any human compassion or empathy.
By the time I finished this book, I was ready to rip the hero into shreds. If you like domineering master and slave stories, then give this one a try, but don’t say that I didn’t warn you!