Reviewed by Helyce
Though Gryphon was rescued from the underworld, he’s still plagued by the darkness within him. Atalanta’s voice still beckons him, a hated voice inside his head. He can’t forget the brutal torture and rape at the hands of Kronos and Atalanta while he was being held in the underworld. Gryphon knows that his brother, Orpheus, is just trying to help; but it’s the looks on the faces of his fellow Argonauts that kill him. He knows they don’t trust him as he is prone to violent outbursts. He is not the man he was before he was taken to the underworld and he doesn’t know if he’ll ever recover.
Maelea is the daughter of Zeus and Persephone. As the proof of Persephone’s indiscretion, she has lived in fear as Hades does everything he can to kill her. For thousands of years she’s existed, just surviving, trying to do something impressive enough to gain favor from Zeus and gain entrance into Olympus. When she meets Orpheus and learns about the Orb of Kronos she sees the perfect opportunity, but all that failed when she realized that Orpheus was trying to save his brother from the underworld. Now, hiding out in the Misos Colony in the human realm, she’s antsy and just wants to leave.
After an unfortunate event where a fellow Argonaut is hurt at Gryphon’s hands, he knows that he must leave the colony. He knows Nick doesn’t want him there, but more importantly Gryphon knows that the only way to rid himself of the voices in his head is to confront Atalanta and kill her. He’s been watching Maelea when she walks around the gardens late at night and he knows that she’s figured out a way to escape. His plan is to use her to get out through the maze of tunnels and then let the voices pull him back to Atalanta and finally put an end to her existence.
But when Gryphon finds Maelea in the tunnels, something strange happens when she is near. The voices in his head stop and he feels the darkness start to dissipate. He can think more clearly. So he decides to keep her close for a little while; just until he’s far enough away from the colony and they are both safe. But he doesn’t know just who Maelea is and almost immediately they are hunted by daemons and hellhounds. Leaving the colony turns into a much more dangerous escape than they could have imagined and one they may not survive.
I really love this series and look forward to each and every installment. Elisabeth Naughton is a fabulous storyteller and the world she creates here is amazing. I never feel lost as we move between Argolea and the human realm and though there is quite a big cast of characters, you are never overwhelmed with too much information.
The main story arc overall has been the war with Atalanta who blames the Argonauts for her lot in life. When things didn’t go her way, she chose evil and has since been doing everything she can to bring down the Argonauts. At the same time the Argonauts themselves have been fighting with the Council to prove themselves and keep the status they’ve always held in their realm. Within all the fighting and blood and gore, we get beautiful love stories as the Argonauts find their soul mates. This is where the author shines. While advancing the story, by bringing us the action and adventure we’ve come to expect in this series, she also gives us a love story that fits in perfectly for the characters involved.
In this book, the author focused quite a bit on the relationship between Maelea and Gryphon. They have a lot of page time and though there is a kiss before they even escape the tunnels, this couple truly has to work for their HEA. Gryphon is so emotionally damaged following his time in the underworld he doesn’t trust anyone or any of his emotions. The only thing he knows is that something about Maelea keeps the darkness within him at bay so that he is able to function. Maelea thinks Gryphon is dangerous and she really does try to escape him, but his strength is just no match for her. Their journey to love is met with many obstacles, so when they finally get to their safe place and things begin to change for them, it’s really rewarding for the reader.
I loved that we finally get some closure to one of the original story arcs. The battle at the end was epic as we see one especially evil character finally see her demise. While this is a good thing, it’s not enough as Zeus, Persephone and Hades all have their own agenda if they can only get their hands on the Orb of Kronos. There’s also the question of a character named Naberus who shows up late in the book as a daemon in Atalanta’s army. Though he had very little page time, it was enough for me to wonder who exactly this person is. He’s very intriguing and I hope we see more of him, even though he’s a bad guy, I think.
My love of mythology and the fact that the author weaves it so expertly throughout the world she’s created here makes this one of my top paranormal reads. The only thing I found a bit confusing with this story is that Maelea is the daughter of Zeus and Persephone-a God and Goddess and while she has been cursed with immortality, etc. and bound to the human realm-we see snippets of a “power” she supposedly has. It seemed to come to her at perfect moments, though she didn’t seem to know it was within her, and was a big part of their success at the end. What confuses me is that as the daughter of two Gods, both powerful in their own right (Hello Zeus is her dad!) shouldn’t she be quite powerful too? It seemed as though her powers are bound in some way and only come to her in times of stress and panic.
This series just gets better and better. I would recommend reading in order to get the full effect of this world and the characters in it. Especially for Gryphon, whose story really starts back in book 2 or 3 when he is originally taken to the underworld. I can’t wait for the next book. Now that one foe has fallen, who will the Argonauts have to fight off next? Definitely recommend!