RB is a powerful telepath and a private detective, working outside the clans on a series of mundane cases, often finding cheating spouses.
But outside the clans doesn’t mean she has no ties to them and when a young druid is kidnapped – one among many, she is the one that Lord O’Byrne turns to to investigate.
The trail leads across Europe to a huge human trafficking network of vulnerable women – and uncovers tensions that may start a war between the clans
So much good to say here.
Let’s start with the world. A world with a huge hidden population of Telepaths – with varying gifts. Some of those gifts produces druids – or succubi (with lots of history explaining this odd link). And by varying gifts – our protagonist, RB has 15 separate ones and I get the impression she doesn’t even have a quarter of them so there’s huge scope for “varying” under that umbrella. The Telepath clans are woven into our history in a way that draws on it and explains their current affiliations, enmities and ongoing issues but doesn’t appropriate it (for example, the Clans are very involved in World War 2 but never said to be responsible for it) but with the odd name drop implying certain famous people are Telepaths in ways that work without being skeevy (like the Medici family for example) and just make me further appreciate the integration. The world is huge and awesome.
The plot is really fast paced and wide. It has a lot of elements all of which are inter-related and draw on each other as RB sees the conspiracy she’s facing grow every wider and more complex as the human trafficking she’s exploring becomes Europe wide and related to various clan plots. Despite that, RB is excellently focused on her goals among the temptation to bloat elsewhere. The action is really well written, the story is extremely fast paced – the race to find and save a girl, the many leads they have to chase down all feel both realistic and exciting; from the excitement of a new lead to the disappointment of another route blocked, it carries you along.
I love the main characters. She’s powerful without her super-woo-woo being her defining feature. She’s blessedly free of angst. She gets on with other women and doesn’t have any of those insta-hate moment. She’s sexual without it completely overwhelming the story. Her main assets, despite all of her super powerful magic and her supernatural beauty, is actually her brain and detective skills. She has familial support despite her estranged father, she has a community, she has a life and she’s happy about it. It’s kind of sad how rare all of these elements are and how refreshing it is to have a protagonist who combines all of them.