• La Crimson Femme

Review: Iron Ember by Donna Grant

★★★★ #DonnaGrant #IronEmber

Starting a new series focused on the Skye druids, this first book is fast-paced with betrayal, magic, and past hurts coming to light. This new series intrigues me as we have humans who are now wanting to mimic the "Others". Yet these humans think they are not the bad "Others". How does the saying go? The path to hell is paved with good intentions?


Elodie MacLean is the proverbial son who returns to the Isle of Skye. Her love/hate relationship with this place is rooted in her childhood. Her past shattered their family and she never recovered. There are reasons why she is unable to move on. Within a couple of chapters, I pretty much guessed Elodie's back story and it breaks my heart. Trauma at any age is difficult to deal with. When memories are scrambled and dampened with time, it makes it even more difficult.


Fortunately for Elodie, her time has come. Scott Ryan shows up at the isle to "help a friend" with his father's passing. Scott is determined to meet Elodie because he desperately needs her for his cause. I am mixed about hiding causes. On one hand, it may be that the group is trying to hide its nefarious purposes. On the other hand, it may be, because they are rebels trying to fight the oppressors. Which team does Scott belong on?


There are several subplots going on in this book and sets up for the next few books in the series. After reading through this one, I'm eager to read the next. I have so many questions. Whilst this book is a good size, as I drew near the end, I realized there were too events without a conclusion yet. This made me panic because I realized the events would not conclude within this book. On the plus side, this means there definitely will be more books forthcoming.


What I liked about this book is seeing the different perspectives of the different factions. Each of them believes they are in the right. Ms. Grant blurs the lines and shows how each group has its merits yet they may be too shortsighted. Making the villains understandable and the heroes fallible creates a better read for me. For example, Elodie's hot mess of a life as a plot device works because of her growth and journey in this book. Her eyes are opening and she is starting to see more than just her own needs. Scott's blind faith in his group comes into question when he learns more about Elodie and the druids of Skye. I love it.


There is a bit of romance in this book for relationship lovers. Personally, I like Ms. Grant's world-building and plot. I hope she starts to move away from the romantic element or at least give that a minor voice. It would be nice to see her move into urban fantasy or high fantasy. This paranormal romance is recommended to readers who love magic, angst, and redemption.


* I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.