Title: Cruel Enchantment
Author: Anya Bast
Series: Dark Magick #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Even the most powerful hands need a delicate touch…
Emmaline Gallagher is a master of wielding personal glamour. As a free fae who lives among humans, she must hide her true self at all times as she works undercover within the powerful Phaendir—for if certain factions within the Phaendir gain control, the fae will be wiped from existence. Now, an object of fae power lies within a locked ancient box. And there is only one fae who can forge the key.
Known as “the Blacksmith” Aeric O’Malley can create or destroy almost anything with his forging skills. Emmaline has come to him in need, but he and Emmaline have a past—and he has spent centuries wanting to take revenge on her for her transgressions. But now that he has her within his grasp, something about her keeps him from exacting his vengeance—or is it merely her glamour blinding him?
Trapped by fate, Emmaline must hope that she can reach Aeric’s furious heart before it’s too late…
Cruel Enchantment is the follow up of Wicked Enchantment, in which we got to know the Dark Queen and her consort, the Wild Hunt & the Phaendir. This time we have Emmaline, who has infiltrated the Phaendir and is trying to free the fae from Piefferburg and Aeric, the blacksmith and member of the Wild Hunt as lead characters. These two share a tumultuous past and when Emmaline needs help trying to build a key, she knows there's only one person who can help her and she's ready to face his wrath if he finds out who she really is.
I really liked how the relationship between Emmaline and Aeric evolved. It started as a hate / wariness sentiment that then became love. One of the things I liked the most about the book was how the characters didn't trust each other from the beginning, they had to work to gain the other's trust and that took time. Also loved the scenes with the Summer Queen (she's scary), Aeric's father (he's a sweetheart) and most of the people at the Dark Tower (it was fun seeing how many peolpe wanted to kill Emmaline).
This time we get to see a little bit more of how the Phaendir works and it was interesting getting a glimpse on the organization and the many people it's made of, especially Gideon, who got even more evil and creepier than in the previous book. The other thing I liked was that we got to know the important people of the Freedom of the Fae, and I especially liked Calum, the mysterious fae who is more powerful than what it seems, and I really hope he gets his own story in the future.
The worldbuilding, as with the previous book, is not extensive, but what it's described is awesome. The plot moved along at a nice pace, and even though I don't think some points of view added anything important to story (like David's) they did introduced us to some new interesting characters.
All in all, this was a great tale about forgiveness, second chances and how love can triumph against all odds as long as the couple tries hard enough. Now I can't wait to read the third book of this series, Dark Enchantment.
1. Wicked Enchantment - Review
3. Dark Enchantment (April 5, 2011)
* I received this book from the author for review.