Series: Persephone Alcmedi #4
Format Read: Paperback
Source: Owned by the reviewer
Release Date: December 28, 2010
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
Even magic can’t solve everything. . . .
After facing down the forces of Fairy in mortal combat, Persephone Alcmedi still must deal with the aftermath. Not only does Seph now possess deadly secrets she must hide from the arcane and mundane world alike, but the dozens of magical creatures who’ve taken up residence behind her cornfield need food and shelter, and there’s still her foster daughter Beverly’s tenth birthday party to plan.
And that’s not all. . . . Seph’s boyfriend Johnny has revealed himself as the waerewolf Domn Lup, and the ruler of the waere world is en route from Romania to make sure Johnny really is the “king” he claims to be. But Johnny’s hiding a dangerous secret: his magic is locked in his mysterious tattoos. He and Seph must find a way for him to reclaim it—fast—despite those who have no intention of letting Johnny gain his full powers. Seph knows that, in the arcane world, strength is always a necessity and power must be constantly proven, but how far is she willing to go to succeed . . . and at what cost?
It had been over a year since I read the first three books so I skimmed some reviews of book three to refresh my memory on events, etc. I'm glad I did because I'd forgotten a lot. You definitely want to read in order.
I think this is my favorite book in the series to date. It was a mix of action, domestic life, and romance with an emphasis on Johnny, his position and future as the Domn Lup. Werewolves and witches are my favorite paranormal beings so I was delighted with their prominence in this story. The vampires are around also but take a backseat to the werewolves this time around.
The global leader of the werewolves is coming to town to investigate Johnny's claim of being the Domn Lup and to confirm it. However, matters do not go as planned. The Rege, the werewolf leader, is not a nice man at all and violence follows him like a cloud of skunk spray. Seph and Johnny have to deal with him, the fallout from the battle with the fairies, and problems with the parents of Beverley's classmates. Oh, and Seph has some familial issues of her own and several shockers. The Rege is reluctant to confirm Johnny as Domn Lup and furious at the involvement of Persephone, a witch, in the werewolf pack's business. We get a close up look at werewolf politics and later there's a scene with Menessos and some vampire politics. There's a lot in this book and Robertson makes it all work. It's a seamless blend of politics, personal relationships, magic, the mundane, romance, action and humor. The ending is bittersweet and I can't wait to see where things go next and how it will affect Persephone.
One of my favorite things in the book were all the domestic scenes with Seph at home with her grandmother and with Beverley. Like any family, there are ups and downs; it isn't a perfect home life with everything going along smoothly. The domestic scenes show us the family-centered, devoted Persephone who is determined to give Beverley a stable, normalish home life. "Normalish" because, after all, Persephone is a witch and she has vampires and werewolves in her life. The family scenes also help ground Persephone and make the magic more believable. I loved the scenes with Mountain and the exotic menagerie. I hope we'll see more of Thunderbird the griffon.
"Arcane Circle" is an excellent addition to the series and a wonderful read. The world building is intricate and realistic, the story is not all dark and angsty but neither is it cotton candy and lemonade. The themes of justice, forgiveness, love, loyalty and service are ones that anyone can relate to and appreciate.