This review features a book that is the third in the Irin Chronicles series, and has spoilers for those who have not read The Scribe and The Singer. My review of the first book can be found here.
The main difficulty I had with this book came from the knowledge this would be the last Ava and Malachi hurrah. I kept putting it off, trying to savor it, but when the publication date changed, I decided to break out the super-reader within and go for it. I have to say, sometimes with characters in series, you aren't left wanting when the series (or the character's parts) end. With this book however...
As the title forbodes, this book does indeed revolve around 'the secret'. But as it turns out, there's a lot more to the secret than you'd expect- it's more like 'the secrets'. As you could imagine, this series gives you a lot to wonder about with the first two books, and with the third, almost everything I've wondered about is revealed.
The Plot: (As Seen on Goodreads)
'Only when the darkness falls can you see the light of the stars.
'For thousands of years, the scribes and singers of the Irin race have existed to protect humanity and guard the gifts of the Forgiven. They have lived in the shadows. They have kept their secrets.
'But the Irin aren’t the only race with secrets.
'Ava and Malachi have found each other, but wounds as deep as theirs don’t heal overnight. While the Irin world struggles to correct the power imbalance left by the Rending of the Irina, Malachi and Ava struggle to connect their past with their present.
'The Fallen may scheme, but Ava has found her power and refuses to be an angel’s pawn. And while Malachi may have forgotten his history, the scribe’s relentless search for answers leads both him and his mate to the heart of the Irin power structure in Vienna, where knowledge is guarded more closely than gold and those with power will do anything to keep it.
'Malachi and Ava have survived the darkness, but will they ever discover its secrets? A powerful cabal of the Fallen may hold the answers, but to surrender them, it wants the Irin race to finally face their enemies. Both those coming from the outside, and those raging within.
'THE SECRET is the third book in the contemporary fantasy series, the Irin Chronicles, and the conclusion of Ava and Malachi’s journey.'
Ava really comes into her own in this book. With the previous volumes, she has had to deal with feeling like she was completely insane or completely alone, none of which came to be true. In this book, although she has doubts about her abilities and what they might be, she knows she has Malachi and the Irina at her side, raising her confidence.
One thing I love to love about Ava and Malachi's relationship is that Ava is just as strong as Malachi. Often in some romance, I'm subject to making faces every time the heroine bows down to the hero's will without a fight. Ava and Malachi fight- like normal people (who aren't so normal), and Ava's reactions to Malachi's poor choices of words are completely priceless, because, again, with some romance, the hero domineers the heroine and the heroine just goes with it. And I lose all respect I had for that cowed heroine in a matter of seconds.
One of my favorite parts of this book is we get to see different sides of the Fallen. My new favorite, Vasu, reminds me of the Norse god Loki because of his mischievous ways: he isn't completely what he appears to be. Jaron, who has been a mainstay of the series, is more fleshed out in this book than any preceding it- we learn his cryptic motivations and reasons for protecting (and yet not protecting) Ava.
The Secret is another exceptional addition to the Irin Chronicles. Although I'm sad this is the end to Ava and Malachi's tale, I'm excited to know Elizabeth Hunter will not be closing the book on the Irin Chronicles world. I recommend The Secret to anyone as enthralled with this series and these characters as I am.
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars for an exceptional end to Ava and Malachi's story!
Content: Ages 18+ for rockstar cursing, sex scenes, and angelic violence that looks like child's play.
Page Count: 373 pages
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