For some reason I have this crazy fascination with the idea of empaths, so all I have to do is see the slightest mention of one in a story and I instantly HAVE to read it.
I am happy to say that I really did like, for the most part, the way Luke's empathic abilities were handled in this. I liked how his empath thing combined with the classic shifter mate thing with the added dimension of the myth of the "lion-hearted" to make this story feel fresh even when dealing with such commonly-used tropes.
The shifter thing was also made fresh in a few other ways: we got to meet several different species of shifters, and there was an interesting twist to the mate element. It was fascinating to watch Tryg go from overly-agressive without Luke to calmer and more caring the closer they became. It was a fun and new way to turn the possessive/aggressive "Mate. MINE." cliche on its head.
The paranormal elements were also well-handled, I thought. The big fight scene at the end was wonderfully vividly described, and hit just the right mix of paranormal/horror/crazy-villain/seeming-hopelessness to keep me captivated.
Very fun paranormal/shifter story. I'll definitely keep this at the top of the list of stories to return to if I need a shifter fix.Favorite Quotes:and Tryg--for the first time in ages--felt there was nothing at all to feel bad about.
'Am I going to have to live with jokes like that forever?' ...
'You are going to have to live with them,' Luke said, never breaking his gaze. 'For ever.'
'That's a long time,' Tryg said, reminding Luke of what he was saying. Some frightened part of him giving Luke an out.
'Not long enough,' Luke said.
And then Tryg could breathe.