Lionheart by Thea Harrison
October 3, 2018
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “It was good to be free. Good to be home.”
As Lyonesse is slowly being destroyed, it’s ruler, King Oberon, sleeps deep within his palace, the victim of an assassination attempt. His only chance at a cure comes in the form of the top Elder Race surgeon, Dr. Katheryn Shaw. When she arrives, her presence awakens him though he is no longer the man he was before. His only means of survival caused his emotions to be stripped from him. Now Katheryn must find a way to not only cure his body but also his soul. Because Queen Isabeau is coming to finish what she started and unless Oberon can come to care about Lyonese and his people again, it will fall forever.
The 3rd story in Harrison’s Moonshadow trilogy gives us King Oberon’s story and the final conclusion to the war between the Fae Courts. Set in the same world as her Elder Races series, the focus here is on the Fae demesnes and the ongoing war. Easily read as a standalone, you do not have to read the Elder Races to enjoy though I do recommend starting with book one of this trilogy-Moonshadow. If you have been following the series, you will remember that Oberon had vanished and Lyonesse has been shut off from the world by the Light Queen’s Hound-Morgan le Fae. Those who managed to escape are seen in book one, rallying for help while book two deals with Morgan Le Fae and his battle to escape Isabeau’s control.
Fans of the Elder Races, especially Dragos, will definitely love King Oberon (King of the Daoine Sidhe) who exhibits the same sense of power, arrogance, and all-encompassing passion. As old as Dragos, Oberon was celebrating the Winter Solace when Morgan le Fae bespelled him. Oberon was forced to put himself into a coma to save his life and the lives of those around him. Unfortunately, when he went to sleep, his power went unchecked and the city became a frozen tomb. When he realizes his domain has been breached, he awakens with a fury, seeking to destroy that which has dared to disturb him.
Pieces of dried fruit lay sprinkled over the trampled crimson-and-gold bedspread like confetti, and there was the sharp, aromatic scent of cheese. Curious, he pawed at a small, overturned tub. As he flipped it over, one of his claws sank into soft butter.
He licked it off as he took in other details. Amid the rubble was a fur-lined cloak and a strange piece of clothing that looked like a formfitting blue coat, and another odd, lightweight sheet of something that looked like metal but was pliable and made of a foreign substance he had never seen before.
The interloper had planned a ravishment, and she had brought… snacks?
Dr. Kathyrn Shaw has been a mainstay throughout the Elder Races series. She has saved the day on multiple occasions and her assistance in Moonshadow opened the door to the fight that ends in here. One of the Wyn and trusted by the inner circle surrounding Dragos, she has the moxie and strength to hold her own against the bigger creatures who exist. Intelligent and witty, I found her calm demeanor, crisp mannerisms, and innovative ideas quite amusing as she pits herself against one of the most dangerous creatures in the demesnes.
Silkily, he asked, Cat got your tongue?
Very funny. Her grumpy mental voice sounded much better than her physical voice did. Okay, I apologize. I am so very sorry for what happened—
Come down here and face me properly, or are you too much of a coward to do so? He threw out the challenge carelessly. He had no real expectation she would comply. If they stood face-to-face and she was grounded from flight, he had no doubt he could easily destroy her.And she certainly didn’t seem to be motivated to continue the confrontation on the ground. Instead, she told him in a steady, crisp voice, Oberon, you’re going to die unless you consent to medical treatment.
That voice. That sounded exactly like the voice that had wound through his dreams, interrupting his nightmares of Isabeau. He snapped, I did not give you permission to address me by my name.
She retorted, I don’t really give a shit.
When Kathryn and Oberon come to an “understanding” the real work begins.
Harrison does an excellent job in here of not only expanding on the history and politics of the Fae courts without overburdening us with recaps and unnecessary information while slowly building a romance between two strong-willed people. Warriors who are honor bound to care for those around them. The enormity of their precarious situation is tempered by sharp wit and moments of compassion and sorrow. I love that Kathryn gives Oberon no quarter. She treats him like a patient and slaps him down when he gets a little too autocratic. She has served under Dragos for centuries…Oberon is a piece of cake.
“What other symptoms have you experienced since the attack?”
I remember having the emotions, but I no longer experience them. In fact, I only feel two things anymore: anger and lust.”
She stopped writing, suddenly inundated with the memory of yesterday’s encounter. The feeling of his mouth moving so urgently over hers as he speared her with his tongue. The delicious sense of weight as he shifted to lie on top of her, and the thick, heavy feeling of his erection pressing against her hip. For one shocking, mindless moment it had been glorious.
His voice sounded softly in her ear, deep and dark as the ocean and rough with the lion’s purr. “But I do feel anger and lust very deeply, Doctor.”
She had gotten so lost in her reverie she hadn’t noticed he had come around to her side of the desk, and she nearly leaped out of her skin. “For crying out loud, Oberon! Back up and give me some personal space!”
She listened to her own exclamation with deep dismay. That was supposed to have come out much more sharply than it had. Instead of sounding disapproving and offended, her voice had sounded as breathless as a gasp.
“Are you sure that’s what you really want?” Callused fingers traced the line of her jaw, down the side of her neck, and lightly pressed against the very spot where he had sucked so hungrily at her pulse. She remembered. Oh, she remembered it all too well. The shadow of his body fell over hers on the desk as he bent over her, and his lips brushed against the sensitive shell of her ear as he whispered, “Or wouldn’t you rather experiment with just how deep and hard my feelings can really go?”
Oberon had her rattled. He knew he did.
But suddenly she laughed, and the bright, carefree sound broke the sensual spell he had begun to weave over them both. “Did you really just say that to me? My lord, that line was bad.”
She wasn’t funny.
Though heavily driven, the strong narrative and steady bites of action and intrigue keep the storyline flowing at a brisk pace. Favorite characters from both series make appearances to this readers delight. I enjoy any interactions with Dragos and the New York demesne, especially when clues are given to what is coming new. We also meet back up with couples from books one and two. I was a little disappointed we did not see Queen Titania and Queen Tricks. As part of the fae demease, it was odd they weren’t a part of this trilogy. I especially loved the scenes with Robin aka Puck. Heartfelt, his journey has been a tough one and everything he went through to save his king was heart wrenching.
Your king is going to die unless something is done for him. Why didn’t you want to bring Annwyn and the troops with us?”
He stamped at the snow desultory. Other than tangling his mane and tail, the wind and the massive cold didn’t seem to affect him at all. “I wanted to judge you for myself while they weren’t around. If you were a threat, I would take care of you.” He looked at her sidelong to see how she took his words.
He might be old, unpredictable, and dangerous, but he had nothing on a cantankerous, bullheaded dragon. She said gently, “You were looking after your king.”
“He told me to guard his place and watch them. A long time ago, Isabeau took me and held me captive for years. I failed him once. I won’t fail him again.”
Lionheart leaves readers happy with it’s firm resolution to the main conflict yet just enough open to allow her back into this world again. As always, Harrison gives readers an adventure overflowing with action, suspense, humor, romance, and just enough tragedy to make the journey unforgettable.
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Thanks for the review, Tori. I’ve read the Elder Races books as well as the first two in this series; I’m looking forward to reading this, too.