Tagged: selah kilbrid

An Immortal Descent by Kari Edgren

An Immortal Descent by Kari Edgren

(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.

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A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren

A Grave Inheritance(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

Selah Kilbrid may descend from the goddess Brigid, but her heart beats—and breaks—the same as any human. Yet enduring the scorn of London’s most noble lords and ladies is a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. Selah would endure much more for love, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan, is prepared to challenge anyone foolish enough to stand in their way—even another goddess born.

But when a captivating young gentleman draws Selah into a world shadowed by secrets, she is forced to confront her darkest fears. What if some differences are too great to overcome and a future with Henry is doomed from the start?

With these doubts threatening her impending marriage and the very last of Brigid’s fire draining from her soul, a violent attack on an innocent child pushes Selah to the very edge of her power. She must find a way to cross into the Otherworld and regain her strength—or forfeit the streets of London to death and disease.

[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook in conjunction with the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.]

After having read Goddess Born, the first book in Kari Edgren’s trilogy, I was very, very excited to get my hands on A Grave Inheritance.  The first book had been so great that it would be hard to top, but I had faith that she would be up to the challenge.  And of course she was.

Selah is a much different character now.  She’s more sure of herself and of Henry, but there are still little doubts lingering beneath the surface.  Those doubts aren’t helped when Henry seems to all but ignore her for a while and chastises her for using her gift when he knows she can’t help it.  Will they be able to overcome their differences?  Or will the pressure from pretty much everyone in King George’s court undo the love they found back in the colonies?  Especially when Julian, another descendant of Brigid starts showing an interest in Selah.

Yes, some people will probably get frustrated with Selah doubting Henry all of the time, but you have to remember that although they’re in love, they haven’t exactly known each other for a long time.  It’s natural that Selah fears Henry will leave her once he goes back to his life as the King’s favourite courtier.  And Henry doesn’t exactly alleviate those doubts early on.  Both of them grow so much as characters throughout this book that you can hardly recognize them from how they were at the beginning of Goddess Born.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but I do have to say that they both change for the better.

I kind of saw some of the plot twists coming, but there were others that completely blindsided me.  Especially the revelation about Selah’s family and the fact that Brigid wasn’t the only deity to have mortal descendants with powerful gifts.  For a largely character-driven novel, the plot is fairly fast-paced so I really can’t complain about that.  The only real criticism I have is that I wish a little more had happened in the middle of the book; it wasn’t boring, but it wasn’t exactly super interesting at times.  Since that’s really my only complaint (and it’s pretty minor), I’d have to say that the plot was pretty darn good overall.

One of the things that made me fall in love with Goddess Born, aside from the characters, was Kari Edgren’s writing.  It’s just as good, if not better, in the sequel.  She has this beautiful way of describing things that makes you feel like you really are there with the characters; that’s rare enough in authors.  What makes her writing great as opposed to good, however, is the fact that she can give a very authentic historical atmosphere.  Edgren makes you really feel like you’re in England in the 1700s.  I know almost nothing about the period but she puts in these little details of everyday life that it makes the story ring true.  It’s quite amazing, really.

It’s not often that second books are just as good if not better than the first book.  Yet here we have A Grave Inheritance, a wonderful tale of love, magic, intrigue, gods and goddesses.  It’s an emotional roller coaster at times and Kari Edgren really makes you feel all of her characters’ hardships.  You can’t help but get emotionally invested in her characters and that’s part of the reason why I’m so anxious for the third book.  Selah’s story is far from over.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

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