Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren

From the Back Cover:

Selah Kilbrid may descend from the goddess Brigid, but her heart beats—and breaks—the same as any human. Yet enduring the scorn of London's most noble lords and ladies is a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. Selah would endure much more for love, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan, is prepared to challenge anyone foolish enough to stand in their way—even another goddess born.

But when a captivating young gentleman draws Selah into a world shadowed by secrets, she is forced to confront her darkest fears. What if some differences are too great to overcome and a future with Henry is doomed from the start?

With these doubts threatening her impending marriage and the very last of Brigid's fire draining from her soul, a violent attack on an innocent child pushes Selah to the very edge of her power. She must find a way to cross into the Otherworld and regain her strength—or forfeit the streets of London to death and disease.

My Thoughts:

Last year I read and enjoyed Kari Edgren's debut, Goddess Born, a novel of a lonely young woman with exceptional healing powers struggling to find her place in a superstitious community, though I had a few issues with it. But I was anxious to see how things would play out in A Grave Inheritance, the second book in the series, and I'm pleased to report that I ended up liking this one better than the first book!

The story picks up a few weeks after the first book left off, with Henry Fitzalan, the man Selah Kilbrid fell in love with believing he was an indentured servant, but who turned out to be heir to a dukedom and promised to a princess, back in England, and Selah, his affianced, preparing to follow him to meet his father and the king and secure her place as his bride. But the day before she is set to leave, an encounter with a strange man and an even stranger beast set her on edge. After a treacherous sea voyage, she arrives in London with her nerves and thoughts in a jumble, anxious to reunite with Henry but worried that his feelings for her and his determination to marry her may not have survived their separation. She quickly learns just how much the deck is stacked against them, with Henry standoffish in public, and a king, a princess, and most of English society condemning her as a gold-digging upstart. The one bright spot is the discovery of a fellow Goddess Born, a handsome young man keen to help Selah learn more about her heritage, to help her replenish her powers while in England, and to let him into her heart if he has his way.

As if fighting for her one true love and attempting to prove her worth to English society weren't enough, Selah has an encounter with a street waif that leaves her injured, and when she later sees that same waif nearly kill a little boy with just a touch, Selah realizes there are more powerful forces on the loose in London than just the Goddess Born. As more people fall ill and die, and as the little waif seems to be taunting Selah, circling ever closer with more creatures of the underworld, Selah is drawn deeper into the community of Goddess Born in England. But even with her newfound friends, defeating an ancient foe with its sights set on Selah may prove to be more than she can handle, especially when those she loves most are placed directly in the path of a monster.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this stage of Selah's story, I did miss the Colonial America setting, which is what drew me to this series in the first place. But this London installment makes up for that by constantly keeping my attention on the plot and the subtext and the revelations about Selah's heritage, and on a truly creepy villain in the form of a little girl. There are more than a few pulse-pounding moments when Selah's insecurity and doubt about Henry and her place in his world had me on pins and needles, but, as in the first book, Henry continues to be pretty swoon-worthy and proves himself a worthy match for a Goddess Born. And Selah and Henry are HAWT together, even while remaining fully clothed. Nonstop action and emotional drama had me burning through the pages right up to the cliffhanger ending that sets the stage for an epic confrontation in the final book. If you're looking for something a bit different in historical romance and can handle a little magic and mythology mixed in with your history, give the Goddess Born series a shot. I am anxiously awaiting the conclusion to this exciting, romantic series!

My Rating:  4 Stars out of 5

*This review was originally posted to Romantic Historical Reviews.

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