Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Review: Daughter of the Spellcaster

Daughter of the Spellcaster (The Portal #2)

by Maggie Shayne


Has a spell been cast?
Lena Dunkirk is a practicing witch, Ryan McNally a wealthy playboy. Logic says mismatch, yet from the first they share a passion that defies reason, as if they know each other from another place, another time. Then Lena gets pregnant and runs for the safety of home.
Months later, when Ryan appears at her door looking to help raise their child, Lena doesn’t know whom to trust–particularly now that “guru to the stars” Bahru has taken an interest in her baby, offering gifts forged of magic.
Soon she and Ryan are sharing eerie dreams of ancient lands, while a vengeful demon plots to take possession of their child. As the moment of birth approaches, the demon’s power rises, forcing the hand of love to wield the blade that will decide the fate of a child’s soul–and the future of the world.


Daughter of the Spellcaster is an interesting story that focuses a lot on the overall plot of the magic and less than I’d have liked on the romance between the H/H.   But as a continuing story in the trilogy it was great.   There was a lot of moving back and forth through time that might have left readers confused if you weren’t paying close attention, but overall it was a great read.
Lena and Ryan have a history, one full of heartache and secrets.   When they are thrown together again and those secrets begin to be uncovered they have to decided if the passion and feelings they share are enough to overcome their trust issues and insecurities.  The darkness moving them around like pawns is not something that Ryan is easily able to understand or accept, but Lena is determined to make sure that her baby and her heart are protected.
Ryan and Lena were both decent characters, though there was very little passion in the current time scale.  Most of the relationship info we receive was from their time together months before.  The fact that Lena is nine months pregnant obviously precludes a lot of the passion that would normally exist in a romance novel, but I think the relationship and growth of love could have been developed a little more.  Obviously both Lena and Ryan have been in love for a while, though neither of them has put in the time and effort to take their relationship to the next level.
The continuing story of the portal and the three sisters from ancient Babylon is definitely the main part of this story.  The magic that Lena and Ryan become entangled in is dangerous to both them and their child.  It is interesting to see how a modern Witch handles dealing with her past life when it comes back to haunt her…literally.  Lilia makes a return appearance, leading Lena on her path to fulfill her promise.  The ritual scenes and the magic were richly portrayed and very well researched. As the story unfolds Lena realizes that her magic may not be strong enough to defeat the evil after them and keep her baby safe, but trusting the man she loves and believing in their love is the one way they can win.
This is an interesting trilogy for sure, with magic, mystery, and layers of mysticism.  The relationships in the novels are sometimes secondary to the grand scheme of the plot, but they are beautiful to see unfold. I am looking forward to the final story when Lilia and her man will finally be reunited.   Although I am unsure how that will all come about since neither of them are corporeal and both aren't so much reincarnated as released from the spirit world they have been trapped in over the millennia. I am invested in this series and have enjoyed it, but I’m not sure I’ll jump on any future series by Ms. Shayne.  A Good read and well researched, but a little lacking on the relationship and passion I look for in a romance novel.

Rating:  3.25 stars
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