Wed
Nov 15 2017 1:30pm

The Return to Mystral in C.L. Wilson’s The Sea King

 The Sea King by C.L. Wilson

The Sea King is the latest in C. L. Wilson’s romantic fantasy series the Weather Mages of Mystral.  In book one, The Winter King, Khamsin Coruscate, princess of Summerlea married King Wynter Atrialan to settle a long, hard war. The match and the resultant victory brought about by their combined magical powers not only brings peace to their land but a wonderous loving partnership to the royal couple. Now the time has come to repay their allies. As part of a bargain for the help received from the seafaring Calberna, the men of that land will be allowed to court wives from their kingdom.  More importantly, Dilys Merimydion, only son of the Myerial – ruling queen of Calberna – will be allowed to court Khamsin’s sisters, the Seasons of Summerlea and take one to wife. The Seasons, princesses with weather magic that match the season they are called for, are all beautiful and powerful. Well, mostly. Sweet Summer - Gabriella Coruscate– is, like her season: kind, gentle, generous and warm. She is not the powerful kind of mage Dilys will need by his side to defeat his own foe, the dreaded pirate known as the Shark. He leaves Calberna with strict orders to marry one of the other Seasons.

Summer hides a terrible secret. She is the most powerful of all the Seasons, combining the burning, fiery strength of the sun with another gift people must never know of. She plans not to marry because strong emotions unleash her deadliest abilities, powers that leave utter devastation in their wake. Her sweetness is the mask behind which she hides the beast within her. When it is announced that Dily Mermydion will be courting them, she makes plans to greet him and then be so insipid that he is sure to pick one of her powerful sisters as bride instead.

It should be a simple matter: Dilys has been told to bring home either powerful Spring or the unparalleled beauty Autumn. Summer plans never to wed and to stay well out of his way after the initial introductions.  It is what his council wants, and it is what Summer herself wants. But fate clearly has other plans.

He was beautiful. She could think of no other word for it. The long ropes of his hair were a glossy black that glinted deep, mysterious green in the sunlight, framing a face that was breathtaking in its symmetry, strength, and uncompromising lines. From the firm blade of his nose to full, sensually sculpted lips, to the strong jaw, high cheekbones, and the deep-set, mesmerizing eyes of a bright, glittering gold. Even the exotic tattoos that swirled across his burnished bronze skin were beautiful swirling patterns that sparkled in the sun and drew attention to every impressively carved muscle in his arms, broad shoulders, massive chest, and taut, rippled abdomen. More tattoos circled his equally impressive legs, teasing her with flashes of shimmering blue and bronze each time he took a step.

His bright golden eyes fell upon her, she blushed and looked away embarrassed to be caught staring, but the moment she felt the intensity of his gaze move away from her, she hazarded another peek. Sweet Halla preserve her. He was magnificent.

Dilys sets a fire going in Summer’s heart but it’s a flame she cannot allow to burn. Her fear that her powers, if they are ever unleashed, will destroy anyone and everyone she loves is too real for her to ever selfishly give in to her own desires.

But it is not just Summer that feels the pull between them.

He turned to direct his last words to the Seasons, and for the first time caught gentle Summer’s startled blue gaze full on.

Her eyes were like the clearest waters. A pure, deep sparkling blue, shimmering with light and warmth inviting waves. They called to him, those eyes, as surely as the sea itself, and for one instant the world fell away, and he was diving deep and fast, into endless, magical, beautiful blue. In that instant, he’d felt a perfect peace, a sense of rightness he couldn’t explain. Like finding home after a lifetime of wandering.

The two battle their growing attraction for each other. Summer pretends to be frightened of Dilys, while he responds to her fear by telling those around him “Princess Summer is a soothing cup of milked tea but I’m thirsty for a strong Summerlean fire brandy.” The insult stings when Summer hears it but she admits to herself that it’s ultimately for the best that Dilys not want her for his bride. What she doesn’t know is that he dreams of her constantly and she fills his thoughts by day as well. He knows what he should do but she is too alluring for him to resist. Both fight the attraction as long as they can in spite of feeling inexplicably pulled toward each other. It is inevitable that a beautiful night and romantic setting have them giving in to temptation:

Her eyes never left his as she gently and inexorably tugged his face down and guided his lips to hers.

She’d never kissed a man. She’d wanted to a few times before, but she’d never allowed herself to do so.  Now, the instant his mouth touched hers, she knew she’d never want to kiss any man but him for the rest of her life. He was her one and only. He was everything she would ever want, everything she could ever need.

When the moment is over, Summer returns to sanity and using one of her forbidden gifts, erases the kiss from his memory. But she can’t remove it from his heart and Dilys soon begins to court Summer in earnest, using all his considerable charm to win her over.

What follows is an adventure driven romance between two powerful, fascinating people. Wilson has created a complex, intriguing world in this series and filled it with magic, mayhem, and romance. Readers of fantasy romance will want to dive into this richly imagined seafaring love story.  

***

Learn more about or order a copy of The Sea King by C.L. Wilson, available now: 

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Maggie Boyd, blogger, reviewer, avid reader.

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