Storm Born (Dark Swan #1) by Richelle Mead
Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants...
Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy--one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie's first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.
Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne'er-do-well, and the ones who don't want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her...
Publishes in US: August 2008 by Zebra Books (first published January 1st 2008)
Genre: adult fantasy
Series? Yes. Dark Swan #1 (four books in series, all released in US)
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Audience alert: this is an adult book. It does contain sex scenes that aren't fade to black and violence. If you are under 18, get your parent's advice if this is a book for you.
I wanted to read storm born because I have really enjoyed all of Mead's books, both adult and young adult. I have avoided this one for a while because I wasn't really sure about the whole shaman aspect of it but I think I just didn't really understand what that meant.
The main character is Eugenie and she basically uses magic to banish creatures such as the fae or other creatures that are causing problems for humans. She either kills them our she send them back to the Other world.
The romance in this one was pretty hot and yes it was kind of an insta love and at the very least insta connection, but I do think that two people can connect on a fairly deep level after a few hours of conversation. I enjoyed them together but I didn't really realize all of the intricacies of the plot that would change how I felt both of them.
There was a love triangle type situation but I can't really talk much about it because it would be a spoiler, but it was a unique set up. I kept pulling for Kiyo, but I liked Dorian as well. Dorian is a king, and even he admits that he has his own motivations for helping Eugenie, but he does keep his promises, and he shows a kind heart in doing so. But I also have to wonder how much manipulation was going on, and where his hunger for power crosses with his affinity for her.
Kiyo also has elements of his past that are chasing him, and for all his and Eugenie's talk of honesty, they both end up keeping big things from the other, and it blows up in their faces. But they aren't the only ones with secrets, and even things that she thought were solid, her background and what she understands as her history are are called into question.
The secondary characters were wonderfully done. I liked the queen, Volusian, Eugenie's roomie Tim. They all had depth and provided some advice as well as needed comic relief.
There were lots of twists and surprises that kept the plot going, and me guessing. There were a few things that I realized just before they happened and it was just as impactful, maybe even more so because like Eugenie, I didn't really expect it.
I will definitely continue this series, and I recommend it if you like Mead's YA, even though it does have some more adult situations.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you prefer to be a fae or shapeshifter?