(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Selah Kilbrid, descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid, has been ordered to remain in London and leave any dangers in Ireland to her goddess-born family. They fear she’s no match for Death’s most powerful daughter and—if the legend holds true—the witch who once nearly destroyed the Irish people. But Selah has never been good at following orders, and nothing will stop her from setting out to find the two people she loves most—her dearest friend, Nora Goodwin, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan.
Hiding from kin, traveling uneasily beside companions with secrets of their own, Selah is forced on an unexpected path by those who would steal her gift of healing. With precious time ticking away, she turns to a mortal enemy for help, heedless of the cost.
Selah would pass though hell to rescue Nora and Henry, but what if it means unleashing a greater evil on the human world? Her only chance is to claim the fullest extent of her birthright—at the risk of being forever separated from the man she longs to marry.
[Full disclosure: I requested and received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
It took me much longer than expected to finally get to An Immortal Descent, the last book in the Goddess Born trilogy, but I finally did. And I’m very, very glad I did.
The second book ended on a cliffhanger with Selah’s friend Nora being kidnapped by Deri, the daughter of Cailleach who can kill people just by touching them. So Selah has to travel to Ireland, where Deri has taken her friend for a possible ritual sacrifice. Of course the journey doesn’t go very smoothly as we discover that Cailleach has more than just one child on the loose and that perhaps not all of Brigid’s children use their gifts for good as Selah does. There are plenty of twists and turns on Selah’s journey with a surprising yet satisfying ending. Even better, the plot is relatively fast-paced considering just how much information and character development Kari Edgren puts into her novel.
What I really loved about An Immortal Descent was the expanded mythology of the goddess born. As we learn, Cailleach and Brigid certainly aren’t the only ones to have descendants in the human world, even if they do seem to be the most prolific. There are others like Nuada, Balor and Lugh whose descendants have motivations of their own and unique powers. And unlike with descendants of Brigid and Cailleach, their powers aren’t always immediately apparent. It certainly makes for a few surprises throughout the novel.
Another satisfying bit was the character development of Selah. She’s come a long way from the first book but it’s only really now that she’s truly learning to trust her instincts when it comes to her healing powers. Selah tries to do things she never would have in terms of healing in the first book (like reattaching a certain idiot’s hand). And she’s becoming more self-possessed, more willing to challenge Henry on his seemingly increasing penchant for violence. She stands up to people like Julian, James and Cate more than she did in the last book and finally takes fate into her own hands. It’s a wonderful transformation from the generally shy yet still feisty woman we met in the first book.
Although Henry doesn’t play as big of a role in this book as he did in previous ones, he’s still present and he’s definitely a changed man. Despite his penchant for violence and his hot temper, he listens to Selah and values her opinion. Even when he completely disagrees with her, he at least listens before taking action. And now Henry isn’t as blind to the motivations of those around him. He realizes that James completely mistreated Selah and that Julian is a growing danger (not just a romantic rival), despite ostensibly being on the side of the other goddess born like Tom and Cate. When he and Selah are together, they make a very well balanced couple and they’re one of my favourite book couples of all time.
If you enjoyed the previous two books, Goddess Born and A Grave Inheritance, you’ll love An Immortal Descent. It’s a satisfying conclusion to a thoroughly enjoyable trilogy. I can’t wait to see more from Kari Edgren in the coming years.
I give this book 5/5 stars.