Selkie, witches, curses, magic... this story has it all. This is the fifth book in the Embraced series. It can be read as a standalone. Reading the other books will give more depth and understanding of this magical world. Ms. Sparks does provide enough details from the previous book to help fill in the blanks.
This story is focused all on Maeve. Maeve is yet another child left on the Isle of Moon. She is raised in the nunnery and with all her sisters finding mates with power off the island, Maeve is eager for a bit of adventure. Or at least try to start up a relationship on her crush, Brody, the shape-shifting spy. Brody is the ultimate spy for the four kingdoms as he can sneak in and out of places as different animals. And he can also shapeshift into a human. This is not a born ability, but a terrible curse from an evil sorceress who took so much from him and his family.
This book is delightful as it brings everything together and answers the questions raised the past few books. Who are the Circle of Five and what is their motive? Sometimes, unraveling the past can negatively impact the future. Because sometimes the sins of a father or mother may fall on the child. This type of plot device is usually a bit tired and wearisome. Ms. Sparks keeps it fresh with good character development and a journey of growth. Maeve matures from an impulsive headstrong youth into a more thoughtful and determined adult. Whilst the conclusions and motives are easy to anticipate, the storytelling weaves a magical tale of betrayal, lost love, curses and redemption.
When Maeve feels most isolated and guilty, seeing her adoptive family rise to the occasion to defend her brings a certain amount of warm fuzzies. Seeing the different sisters and their mates make cameo appearances brings another element of sweet nostalgia. This paranormal romance is recommended to readers who love water shifters and star cross lovers.
*provided by NetGalley