by Courtney Cole
Book I in the Bloodstone Saga
Genre: YA historical paranormal
Publication: May 2, 2011 by Lakehouse Press
Copy received from author
Amazon ( Paperback, Kindle), Barnes & Noble, Indiebound
Synopsis from goodreads
What would you do if you held Fate in your hands? 17-year old Macy Lockhart has the weight of the world on her shoulders. For thousands of years, she has been a Keeper in the ancient organization, the Order of the Moirae… and she literally holds fate in her hands. But this is something that she forgets because her memories are wiped clean in every life until it is time for her cycle to start again. For the last two thousand years, this has never been a problem. Until now. And now…Fate, the very thing that Macy was born to keep, is being challenged and she has only one choice: To return to a previous life to fix it; a life where she was Cleopatra’s handmaiden, Charmian. And that’s not all. Unless she interferes with the fabric of time, the very thing she has returned to repair, her soul mate will die leading Marc Antony’s forces against Rome. Can she really stand aside and allow the love of her life to die all over again?
The premise of this book is fascinating! After a pretty harsh break up, Macy finds herself sucked back in time to ancient Egypt. Not only does she travel back in time but she learns that she’s a pretty serious player in the supernatural efforts of the Fates, trying to prevent the timeline as it’s supposed to be from being altered.
I’m a big fan of historical fiction, and although this era is one I don’t read a lot of books set in, I really loved the details Courtney Cole provided. She was able to weave in reference to the way people dressed, ate and behaved as well as the architecture that surrounded them, without ever sacrificing the forward momentum of the plot. Her vision of ancient Alexandria is an amazing place to be.
Macy spends most of her time in this book in the person of Charmain, Cleopatra’s closest attendant, confidant an childhood friend. Charmain was a interesting girl, at both modern due to the memories from Macy that she brought back in time with her and classical with all the knowledge she held of who she was in that particular life time. I liked Charmain. I think she balanced the troubles sent her way nicely, at least when she wasn’t obsessing over the man she loved in that lifetime, Hasani.
Which brings me to Hasani. So there are a few things we learn quickly about Charmain’s love: he’s hot, he’s stacked and he LOVES his woman. It would be easy to overplay this hand, and it can be particularly difficult to show the strength of a character’s feelings for another character without going overboard, but I think Ms. Cole did a good job here. I liked the romance between Charmain and Hasani. I liked that it was clear that their affection ran both ways and I could really feel the strength of the bond they shared was strong enough to last through lifetimes. It was truly very sweet.
Cleopatra and Marc Antony also figure quite prominantly in this story and I love the behind the scenes look at these historical figures that Ms. Cole provided in her book. She put real flesh and blood on the bones of what we know about these people from history books and made them individuals with wants and needs, fears and desires of their own. In particular, I adored Cleopatra, who seriously almost stole the story with the strength of her character (which is actually very IN character if one thinks about it).
But what would a story be without a villain?? And this story has a couple! The most immediate villain is Pothinus, a truly vile character who is just SO easy to hate. He causes most of the trouble in this book and I will say when he gets his comeupance it is really satisfying!
Behind Pothinus, though, is a longer range trouble maker, one I suspect we’ll see in future books: Annen. Like Charmain’s care-taker, Ahmose, Annen is a aegis, one of an order of priests who protect, guide and possibly maintain control over the power of the keepers. But Annen is tired of blind allegance to the Fates and he wants Charmain to be his tool to move toward chaotic free will. It’s clear that Charmain is reluctant to listen to him at all, except Annen knows her weakness: her love for Hasani and her loathing to lose him in the violent deaths they’re both fated to have in this lifetime!
I loved this book! It was a fast read that kept me interested and had me rooting for Charmain to keep the line of history flowing correctly while I felt for the sacrifices she would have to make to do so.
And I was completely fascinated by the mythos that Ms. Cole constructed around the idea of the Fates and the Keepers. I can’t wait to read the next book, Fated, to find out more!
One of the great things about this book is that the series is complete! If you like Every Last Kiss as much as I did, you can read the other three books in the series: Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds.
Also…Ms. Cole is currently hosting a tour of the series and she’s giving away a Kindle Touch, loaded with her books, and skinned in the GORGEOUS My Tattered Bonds cover art! You can find out all about that and enter to win here!
Now go and get lost…in a book!
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