In a far-off realm live the Heathers, a powerful yet mostly peaceful race of Fae. However, this was not always so. For a time, they lived in fear, the victims and playthings of four sisters that held the ultimate power. Evil to their cores, the sisters’ reign of terror had to be stopped. Betrayed by one of their own, three of the sisters are stripped of their powerful amulets and banished to Earth. Not all of their power was lost with the amulets however, and they thrived in New Orleans as powerful voodoo priestesses, reliving their reign of horror on a new planet. Growing tired of their selfish and cruel ways, Lisette walks away from her sisters becoming a healer and mentor to try and atone for her past.
Peachy has grown up on the streets, fending for herself until Lisette takes her under her wing. She spends her days learning from the powerful woman and performing odd jobs for her. But after the most important task Lisette has entrusted her with, stealing an amulet from her sisters goes awry, Peachy finds herself near death in a strange world. Nursed back to health by a mysterious Fae woman, the two strangers quickly form a deep bond.
As she heals, Peachy begins to learn more about who she is and the danger she has unwittingly placed herself and her rescuer in by donning the amulet. Unsure who to trust, the two women will have their allegiances tested. The bonds of family and duty are about to be pitted against the power of love, what is right, and an ancient evil bent on revenge.
Peachy has led a self-sufficient but lonely life growing up an orphan and eking a life out for herself on the streets of New Orleans before Lisette takes her under her wing. She is tough as nails and sharp as a knife. While she may not always be on the right side of the law, she is essentially a good person and her mettle makes her hard to resist.
Noomi is a Fae with the power of a seer and a shapeshifter. She is an artist and a cartographer and has the purest of hearts. When Noomi and Peachy meet the attraction is undeniable, and while it falls somewhat into the realm of insta-love, I still found myself cheering them on.
The sisters Lisette, Adele, Beatriz and Rahimah were powerful Fae tellers. Utterly cruel, they used their powers to create fear and misery amongst the Fae until one developed a conscience and became the catalyst for their banishment to Earth. Far from flat, they are very multidimensional and convincing villains.
The Writing Style
There is some very creative world building in this book with unique classes of characters and an interesting mythology. While the romance progressed quickly, the plot sometimes slowed as we learned more about the history of the world and the characters, which I didn’t find I minded too much since I was very intrigued by the lore.
The world building definitely stands out in this book as Castro is not only able to develop interesting folklore surrounding the Fae of the Heathers, but she also ingeniously weaves it into some of the voodoo folklore of New Orleans. I really enjoyed the way the she intermingles the two in this book creating a new spin on some of the lore from our own world.
This story does end with a major cliffhanger so if you don’t enjoy those types of endings you might want to wait until the series is completed before starting this book.
This is a creative fantasy with great worldbuilding and an intriguing mythology. If you are looking for a unique escape from the everyday, a fantasy with a bit of a different spin, then this book will surely fill that need.
Excerpt from The Taking by Celeste Castro
“We are Heathers, named aft’ our foundin’ mothers, five divine women, each one unique and powerful. One born o’ creative thought possessed the ability to foresee, to anticipate, and to counsel through connections o’ the mind. This Heather was a Seer. Another was born o’ wild instinct. Her gift allowed her to shift at will, to empathize with creatures great and small. She was a Shifter. The third was uprooted from the earth, covered in soil and fragrant foliage. Her gift was mastery o’ plants, minerals and elements. She was skilled in alchemy with the ability to heal with her touch. This Heather was a Healer. The fourth, shaped through strategic thinkin’ and leadership, possessed the ability to call willin’ minds to order. She was a Protector. The fifth, the last, was born o’ the sky, a celestial wonder with the ability to conjure, not to foresee, but to shape the future to her will. She was a Teller.
Together these foundin’ Heathers brought peace and structure. Their rule ensured a thrivin’ realm. Through their inhabitants, they sealed their immortality. Every living Heather was proof that their plan was sound. Upon a Heather’s death, he or she would bestow their gifts to others for the betterment and protection o’ the realm.”
“Very well said.“ Manon replied. “Ye are ready to learn the endin’.”
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 978-1642470796
Publisher: Bella Books
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