Jul 12 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Thea Harrison’s Spellbinder (July 18, 2017)

Spellbinder by Thea Harrison

Thea Harrison
Spellbinder (Moonshadow #2)
Thea Harrison / July 18, 2017 / $14.99 print, $5.99 digital

With her Moonshadow series, Thea Harrison gives us new and vibrant characters set in the comfortably familiar world of the Elder Races. Spellbinder creates for us a world full of magic, but I believe the real magician here is Thea Harrison.  She weaves a spell with words and we are helpless to be anything but mesmerized by her storytelling.

Morgan le Fae has been feared for centuries. He is a powerful wizard, the Captain of the Hounds and the enforcer for Queen Isabeau of the Light Fae. He has performed atrocities at her command.

I built her an army of monsters and command it.  If you become the Queen’s enemy, I am your worst nightmare.  If she tells me to do a thing, I will not stop, ever, until it is done.

But as fables say, it is music that soothes the savage beast, and so it does for Morgan.  Sidonie Martel weaves magic of her own.  But it is not spells that she casts, Sid is a master violinist and seduces the crowds with her masterpieces.  Morgan stumbles upon Sidonie’s concert tour and follows her through Europe.  Now it is Morgan who is falling under a spell.  Morgan develops a weakness, an obsession with Sid’s music, and for the woman herself. 

“So you like my music?”

“Like is not the right word for it.”  His words came slowly, his unwillingness to answer evident.  “Your music hurts, the way sunshine hurts when you’ve existed for a long time in darkness.”

But powerful men also have powerful enemies and Morgan’s interest in Sid does not go unnoticed.  Someone is looking to shove a wedge between Morgan and his Queen and that person is desperate enough to use the beautiful musician to accomplish that goal.  Sid is kidnapped and taken to Avalon in the Other lands.  She is presented to Isabeau as a gift, knowing that Isabeau will be jealous of Sid’s talent and beauty, and the Queen will eventually command Morgan to hurt her.   Morgan would then be forced to choose between his obsession and his Queen’s command.

“You’re so perfect I couldn’t find a better weapon if I had tried.”

“I’m no weapon,” she whispered, staring. “I’m just a musician.”

“I’ll give you to her, and she will be horrible to you.  And that will matter to him.  With you, I’ll drive a wedge between them so deep it will tear them apart.  And they need to be torn apart.  You have no idea the damage they’ve caused or how many people they have killed over the years.”

But there is one huge flaw in that plan, while Morgan is Isabeau’s enforcer, he has been under a geas these many centuries.  Morgan might be the more powerful magic wielder but he is a slave to the Queen, forced to carry out Isabeau’s every disturbing whim against his will.  Her commands are like a leash no magic can break and the harder he tries to fight it, the tighter is pulls.  Isabeau commanded him never to speak of it so everyone believes he is a willing accomplice to her tyranny.  No one knows that Morgan has no loyalty to the Queen.  Morgan dreams of destroying her himself, if only he could.  

Isabeau coveted the powerful wizard belonging to a human king.  When Isabeau first captured Morgan under her power, she took more than just his freedom.  Isabeau destroyed Morgan’s beloved King and the Kingdom he served.   He didn’t think he could hate Isabeau more than he already did.  But when Sid refuses to bow to Isabeau’s wishes, the Queen, like a spoiled child unhappy with her new toy, she tortures and breaks Sid and throws her into the prisons beneath the castle to rot. 

The geas forbids Morgan from releasing prisoners so the only thing Morgan can do for the woman who has captured his heart is heal her, feed her and comfort her as best he can.  Sidonie can’t know who is helping her.  It would be dangerous for them both.  If Isabeau knew Morgan was helping Sid, she would simply order him not to and there would be nothing he could do to fight that order and Sidonie would be left vulnerable.  Until he can think of some way to return Sidonie to where she belongs, Morgan needs to keep his identify a secret.

Even as they argued, he realized he didn’t want her to know who he was.  He didn’t want her to look at him with the same kind of fear that he saw in other people’s faces when they looked at him.

Morgan is afraid of the feelings that Sidonie is awakening in him, feelings which have been dormant in him for centuries.  He is as much a prisoner to Isabeau’s cruelty as Sidonie.  He is hated by every demesne.  Morgan has nothing to offer her, not even himself.  Yet for the first time in forever, he wants more than just freedom.  He wants a life of his own with Sidonie by his side.  But only death can break the geas. Will it be Isabeau’s or Morgan’s?


Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Spellbinder by Thea Harrison, available July 18, 2017:

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Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.

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