(Shifters, #3)
Published 2009

I'm on trial for my life. Falsely accused of infecting my human ex-boyfriend--and killing him to cover up the crime. Infecting a human is one of three capital offenses recognized by the Pride--along with murder and disclosure of our existence to a human.I'm two for three. A goner.

Now we've discovered a rogue stray terrorizing the mountainside, hunting a wild teenage tabbycat. It's up to us to find and stop him before a human discovers us. With my lover Marc's help, I "think" I can protect the vulnerable girl from both the ambitious rogue and the scheming of the territorial council.

"If" I survive my own trial...

  “You don’t want me to stand against the council. You want a magic wand, so you can walk around smacking people with it until everything’s just the way you like it. But guess what, Faythe? Life doesn’t work like that. Life bites, and the harder you fight it, the more leverage it has to tear your heart right out of your chest. And if you really want to wake this particular sleeping dog, the truth is that if you’d just taken that "damn ring" five years ago, none of this shit would ever have happened!”

There must be some hidden, golden rule somewhere that I tend to fall more in love with Urban Fantasy series by the third book. I don't know what it is - maybe the writer is in the middle of getting the story even better, or else I've just fallen in love more with the characters? Have no idea, only in this one I do know it's not because I love the main character. I actually loathe her.

I was hoping that, by this point in the series, she would have evolved, calmed down, and grew up a little. Instead she's still abrasive and makes me cringe at some of what she says and how silly she is in predicaments, but it was toned down a little this time. Marc is more likeable now, although I always liked him a decent bit. The mother and Manx aren't really in this one as the book takes place in a neutral meeting place for the shifter council. They were missed but we get lots of the father, who I always dug, and the brothers, who are fun.

I'm not usually into shifter internal politics, but the maneuvering here was actually interesting. There is a big change in the status of two of the main characters, so there is a small cliffhanger with that at the end. There's a lot of talking in this one compared to the action of others, but it works and pacing somehow doesn't lag or suffer for it. Good stuff.

Rachel Vincent has a creative way with words and dialogue that works. It's easy to envision the characters you're reading about. Their motivations are clear without needing spelled out. She must like the main character herself, and I know some other readers do, but for me she's the only downfall of the story.

I'm curious about the next book, as it's clear there's a lot of changes in store and potential dangers to the family, not just Faith herself.

   Book Quotes:

“I wanted a do over. A time machine. That magic wand. But real life didn't have any easy outs, and very few happily-ever-afters. The real world was more like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, with most of the choices ripped out before you even opened the cover.” 

“Life bites, and the harder you fight it, the more leverage it has to tear your heart right out of your chest.” 

   Author Extras:

Shifters Territory Pride Map |  Source: Author Site

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