cover image Blood and Ember

Blood and Ember

Isabel Cooper. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $8.99 mass market (288p) ISBN 978-1-4926-8760-3

Cooper’s disappointing third fantasy romance in her Stormbringer series (after The Nightborn) showcases a surprisingly bland pairing between a sentinel and a knight as the fight against the Traitor God’s resurrected priest, Thyran, continues. After Olvir Yoralth, a Sworn Knight of the god Tinival, discovers that he carries a piece of the Traitor God’s heart inside himself, a newly revealed prophecy orders that Olvir travel to the Battlefield, the site of the clash between gods that tore the world apart. Sentinel Vivian Bathari volunteers to accompany him, claiming her abilities and magical soulsword could prove useful. Along the way, romance blossoms—but Vivian’s true purpose is to protect the world from Olvir if the time comes when he is lost to the Traitor God’s heart. The stakes should feel high, but the pace drags and the excessive, repetitive introspection from Vivian and Olvir eclipses both the action and the romance. Readers hoping for closure to the series-long conflict will find it, but this makes for an anticlimactic finale. [em]Agent: Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (July) [/em]