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I Belong

Review: Garden of Dreams and Desires by Kristen Painter

Garden of Dreams and DesiresTitle: Garden of Dreams and Desires

Author: Kristen Painter

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Crescent City (Book #3)

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

Format: Paperback, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316278351 (Hachette/Orbit)

ISBN-13: 978-0316278355 (Hachette/Orbit)

Reviewed by: Steph


Magic and mystery collide in this thrilling conclusion to the new urban fantasy series by House of Comarre author Kristen Painter.

Tourists are disappearing at an alarming rate. While Augustine and his lieutenants attempt to find them, Harlow and the evil spirit possessing her remain Augustine’s true focus. Freeing her from the spirit’s grasp is all he can think about, especially with no real solution on the horizon.

Then he discovers the tourists are disappearing because the witches are stealing souls to cast a dangerous chaos spell. Before he can stop them, Harlow becomes their victim. Now he must race the clock to set her free and end the witches’ machinations before the chaos spell strips every fae in New Orleans of their power and bring fae rule to an end.

Quick & Dirty: Augustine needs to figure out how to help Harlow while also dealing with a crazy senator who wants him dead as well as a group of witches who want the same thing. Life is never easy . . .

Opening Sentence: One witch to rule them all.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Harlow has a problem. Her dead twin sister has taken possession of her body and refuses to give it up. Augustine is doing everything he can to figure out how to help Harlow, but he also has a lot on his plate, what with the witches trying to take control of the city away from the fae. On top of that, an otherworlder-hating senator’s son is now missing, and she blames the fae, Augustine in particular. To say things are hectic is really putting it mildly. Will Augustine be able to handle everything on his plate and save Harlow in the process?

Man, this review may seriously sound like a tale of two books. When I was making my way through the first half, it was slow. I wasn’t enjoying myself even though I had liked the previous two books. I really just wanted it to be over. Then, the second half hit, and it was like a completely different book. The pace picked up significantly. One action-packed plotline would get wrapped up, and all of a sudden, something else incredible and tension-inducing was happening. There was never a point where I thought, “Oh, I can put the book down now and just read some more tomorrow.” I wanted to stay up and find out what was going to happen. It was incredible. I wish the first half had been like that.

Kristen Painter really deserves some praise when it comes to how she writes her villains because I just cannot stand them. And I mean that as a compliment! Painter has done her job so well that I just can’t wait for the various villains to receive their comeuppance. The one bad thing about this is that when said villains have chapters from their points of view, it makes it a little hard to read. I wanted to read those chapters as quickly as possible because I wanted to get out of their heads, Giselle in particular.

As far as Harlow and Augustine go, they’re great. As a couple, they’re adorable, and I loved getting to see them interact throughout this book. I love how Harlow has now embraced her fae side. She’s come quite a long way from where she was in book one! Augustine has many opportunities in this installment to show just how tough he is, and how great of a leader/protector he is. And each of those instances just made me love him more.

All in all, I ended up being very satisfied with this final installment in the series. While a whole lot was happening in the latter half, it all flowed very naturally from one plot point to the other; it never felt contrived. In fact, I really wish I could spend some more time in this world Painter has created. I’ll definitely be looking into more of her work!

Notable Scene:

“Look, as much as I want to break the fae’s grip on us, I don’t want you casting this spell if it could . . . hurt you.”  A rare ache of emotion filled Giselle’s gut. “I can’t lose you, too, Zara.”

“You won’t. I’m more powerful than Mother, especially thanks to Ian’s ink work. And while I’ll be casting the spell, there will be three of us controlling it.” She paused for a moment, hefting the candle.

“I think I know a way to test it. Won’t take me long.”

“That would be great. Then we can go back to filling the well with souls and preparing to cast the rulna vox.”

“About that.” Zara set the candle down. “That’s not exactly the spell we’re going to cast.”

That was news. “What have you been working on all this time then?”

“The information in the grimoires Mother left me was for something . . . stronger. From her notes, it seems the spell she cast was meant to be more of a test run. The one she was practicing for, and the one we’re going to cast, is the rulna vox totem.

“Which is what?”

“The rulna vox was meant to temporarily disrupt all fae magic throughout the city.”

“Right. For about twenty-four hours. Just long enough for  us to cast a few more spells that would destroy the fae strongholds and take out a few of their key people. What’s the new spell do?”

Zara’s eyes took on an usually brittle light. “The rulna vox totem won’t just work for twenty-four hours. It will destroy the power of any fae on Orleans Parish soil for good.”

Crescent City Series:

1. House of the Rising Sun

2. City of Eternal Night

3. Garden of Dreams and Desires


FTC Advisory: Hachette/Orbit provided me with a copy of Garden of Dreams and Desires. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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