Magic is necessary to all things, but too much of it is sending the emotions of the Dark Fae Court to extremes.
The Fae Nation’s championship boxing match is the highlight of the year, but there’s a chaos-creating surge of energy accompanying every exhibition bout leading up to the main event. With the championship looming, the Special Collections Team is called to Las Vegas to investigate the magical disturbances at the Red Raven casino, the home of the volatile Dark Fae Court.
But the fae are not the only ones affected by the instability. The Dark Court is a hostile environment for the SCT, dragging them closer to emotional breakdowns and lines drawn in the sand. Dangerous royals, randy revelers and relationship dramas have the Special Collections Team close to folding, until a pair of changelings ups the ante.
“Can we get on with it?” Greel broke in. “I need to be on my way, and I’d be just as happy leaving now, if you lot can’t focus.”
“By all means.” Beryl’s voice dripped sugar. “If you’re scared of being torn apart by the Dark Court, your entrails served for dinner at the downstairs buffet, then do begin the briefing. I’m surprised they haven’t banged down the door for you yet, as it is.”
“I do not fear the fae,” Greel sneered.
Beryl smiled with all of her teeth showing. “You should.”
“Enough!” I raised my hands, unable to take another moment. It seemed we had learned nothing on our first case. “Just tell us what the mission is. The sooner we begin our investigations, the sooner we can get out of Las Vegas, and away from the fae.”
Beryl patted her hair. “I see you have the sense to fear the fae, Niccolo.”
I gritted my teeth to hold back my angry words, which would serve no purpose other than getting the former assassin bent out of shape. However, it was on the tip of my tongue to tell her, in no uncertain terms, that one belligerent fairy in my company was more than enough, and I did not need to surround myself with a whole Court more.
As I said, there was no reason to voice such a thing out loud, especially not to an overly emotional woman thoroughly skilled in all the ways a single finger can kill a man. And especially not when said finger sported a triangular hunk of metal large enough to rip a man’s throat open. Instead, I asked Greel to continue.
“There have been anomalies in the flow of magic through this casino.” He passed his glare around the table, staring at each of us in turn. “The disturbances have grown stronger lately, and with the exhibition matches already underway, we’ve been able to find a correlation between the power fluctuations and the bouts.”
“But that’s not surprising.” Zahra shifted in her seat, though she kept her cheek pressed to the tabletop. Her voice scraped against my eardrums like sandpaper, and she moaned in pain when
Giovanni rubbed her shoulder. “More and more people would be coming to the casino to see the championship match, right?”
Greel lifted his lip. “You are correct.”
“It’s the highlight of the year for my Nation,” Beryl told her.
“With so many fae already here,” Zahra managed to lift her head a bare inch to look at me, “and so many tourists popping in, and then all the others gathering to see the fight, it makes sense that the magic would be stronger.”
I cocked my head. “She’s right.”
“Not exactly,” Beryl protested. “Morrigan keeps the citizens of other Nations strictly prohibited to the lobby and the boxing arena, but apparently the spikes in magic are affecting the gaming floors and nightclubs, as well.”
Our angel liaison waved his hand. “The disturbances have grown beyond what’s normal for these events. The magic seems to be human.”
Delve into the emotions, dive into the erotic.
An extensive traveler who loves to incorporate various legends from around the world into her tales, Lola White likes to twist reality at its edges in her stories. She likes delving into the emotions of her characters, finding their strengths and weaknesses, and seeing (and showing) how they get themselves out of whatever trouble has found them—if they can.
Having read and enjoyed the first book of the Tithe Collector Series, I was excited to get the chance to review the second book from Red Moon Book Tours. I love the fae folk, and I think that the species is a really under-utilized source for fantasy fiction writers. Ms. White did not disappoint with the second book.
The characters are all delightful, even the villains. I have always been partial to the bad guys, and I think that to have great protagonists, you need to have even better antagonists, and Ms. White has created great ones. There is a great level of snark amongst the characters that make them likable and a lot if big personalities.
The plot moved along cleanly and smoothly. There were very few snags, many of which are not an impediment to the story. The plot has a lot of relevance in today's society, but I can't say much about that without risking a spoiler.
This was a fun book, enjoyable, and I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.
4/4--fun and entertaining.