Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy
LGBTQ+ Category: Gay
Reviewer: Linda, Paranormal Romance Guild
About The Book
Lenna Faircloth thought she was content enough to be junior librarian at one of the grandest libraries on the Continent, so long as at the end of the day she can enjoy a glass (or two) of wine and some decent shut-eye.
Reticent and unconcerned with trivial matters, Lenna is almost laughably nonplussed the day her childhood friend, Gilbert, appears at her door, asking her to help smuggle stolen goods across national borders. Librarian is the first part of a young woman’s long journey set in an alternate, sparsely-populated world.
When unfortunate circumstances leave a bizarre, out-of-place artifact of immense power in the sole custody of Lenna, she is forced to question her own wants, the source of her withdrawal from others, and the curious nature of the Continent’s magic — all the while being the target of numerous political factions longing to possess the strange item bound to her by a child’s promise.
Twenty-two-year-old Lenna Faircloth lives with her dad, a clockworks craftsman. She’s a junior librarian who lives a quiet life, and books are her passion over anything else.
Jeffer Scalla is the senior librarian, a man who has no redeeming qualities. Her only way to get even with him is by eating pickled eggs each morning, which drives him crazy and puts a smile on Lenna’s face.
Lenna is beyond excited over the upcoming arrival of texts from the Blue Crescent Brotherhood. Most ancient documents were destroyed during the God War, and thanks to her childhood friend Gilbert Hovey, the library in Port Hollish has been awarded the first opportunity to display these documents. One delay after another has made Lenna anxious, and when she is notified that they will be coming at night, she convinces Jeffer to allow her to stay alone in the library to await them. The books don’t arrive, but her childhood friend Gilbert does.
Gilbert’s arrival with an apprentice, Luc, is both a surprise and a mystery, and Lenna soon finds herself involved in a situation she is not prepared for. Gilbert asks her for help getting out of town, and she is suspicious. But when her mother died, it was Gilbert who stood by her, and they promised each other to always be there.
Gilbert is a mage and Luc is his apprentice. Gilbert sensed that Lenna had magic and helped her use it. Luc resented her for it, and hated the fact that Gil would help a woman learn magic.
Gilbert reveals the real reason the texts were assigned to her library, and why he has shown up needing help. Gilbert and Luc are considered traitors by the Brotherhood for stealing something of great value – a jewel – and her father is convinced she needs to leave with them.
Now aware of the stolen jewel and the fact that it is powerful and dangerous, Lenna is in as much trouble as her childhood friend. Her father suggests that she go to her mother’s people at Granemere Settlement. Her mother was a Freewoman, and all her life she tried to train Lenna, but Lenna just wanted to immerse herself in books and not learn to fight. Now she is heading to the place she never wanted to hear about.
The Freewomen of Laur were once slaves, and when freed they made their own settlements and are ready, willing and able to defend themselves. Lenna has learned to use some of her magic abilities and finds herself responsible for the stone, which has bonded with her. She’s a target for anyone familiar with the stone. While the book was slow moving at times, I enjoyed the story.
Betrayal, lies, secrets, magic and political intrigue all rear their ugly heads while Lenna tries to survive it all. This is just the beginning of Lenna’s journey. I look forward to the second book in the series!
I am an avid reader the mother of 3 sons and grandmother to seven grandchildren. Since retiring I have been doing more reading while volunteering as a CASA worker. CASA is an organization that works with the family court system to ensure that children are in the best living situation. There are way too many children that get overlooked in the foster care system and I visit homes and make visits to the parents. I was born and raised in New York and my husband of 50 years and I live in Upstate New York.
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