Where did you get this book from: Review copy from publisher
Release date: Out now
ZANDER — The most feared of all the Eternal Guardians. It’s rumored he can’t be killed, and he always fights like he has nothing to lose. But as a descendant of the famed hero Achilles, he’s got to have a vulnerability… somewhere.
Forces of daemons are gathering and have broken through the barriers of the Underworld. Now more than ever the Eternal Guardians are needed to protect both their own realm and the humans’.
Zander can’t afford to think about what might have been with the bewitching physician he once regarded as his soul mate. But with eternity stretching before him, he also can’t fathom spending his life without the one woman who makes him feel most alive. Perhaps he’s found his weakness, after all…
I have to pre-warn you all that I did not get the chance to read the first book, Marked, which was on my to be bought list in the last month. But with huge thanks to Dorchester who sent me an ARC of Entwined, I had no problems catching up with the worldbuilding and characters from the previous book.
Zander is one of the Eternal Guardians who is enforced to defend humans, and the realm of Argolea from Daemons, who are headed by Atlanata, who is bent on the destruction of their world and ruling over the humans. I am a sucker for Greek myths and it has a similar premise to Sherilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series with a group of warriors fending off daemons. However, the Eternal Guardians does have its own different take and feel on this trope, and I do like how each of the guardians are descendants of the Argonauts from Greek mythology.
Zander is a world weary warrior who has a gift – or you can call it a curse – like all Guardians have which in his case is that of immortality. But due to his longevity, he develops a death wish because he has nothing to live for, and the people around him always die. The only thing that could ground him and give him a reason to live is his soul mate, Callia, whom he had a passionate relationship ten years ago that ended badly. Though another encounter reunites Callia to Zander, but it may be too late since he has agreed to marry the Aegean King’s daughter, Isadora.
Callia and Zander’s romance was well developed throughout the course of the book. Elizabeth Naugton deftly handles the emotional elements from their mixed feelings in the beginning with a chance encounter, and subsequent forgiveness about their past towards the end. It has a secret child trope which is a major subplot in the book, and I did find that this plotline was somewhat weak due to the lack of development about the repercussions. Yet there were good moments of intensity – especially when Callia and Zander discover their son is alive which was a engrossing and well written scene. I just wished that this was expanded on – especially later on in the book, because I thought that the ending was too convenient.
But the strong characterisations of both Callia, Zander, and the supporting characters, as well as the tight pacing, offset that weakness. The overall plotline was an entertaining and satisfying narrative and lays out the plot threads for the next book, which definitely makes me want learn more about this world.
Moreover, I think that the strong world building and the sexual politics of the Aegean society was very interesting and it was definitely a strong point in the book. And I suspect that it will be a major theme in the series. I found their society to be thought provoking because it was more realistic and close to ancient Greek society, and I liked how that internal conflict was a major obstacle for many of the female heroines such as Callia, and the royal sisters, Casey and Isadora. I actually found this to be much more interesting than the villain, Atalanta, who I did not care much for due to her being a bit too clichéd for me. And I didn’t find her to be particularly terrifying or affective. I don’t think she or the daemons were anything special from the usual bad guys in the genres, but what easily stood out for me was the internal social politics, the society, and the romance between Zander and Callia.
Entwined was an enjoyable and fast read, and although there were some elements that I was not a huge fan of, the fast pace and emotional intense romance between Callia and Zander is well worth picking up. And if you are a fan of Sherrillyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series and want something different from the paranormal romance fare, The Eternal Guardians is a promising start which I definitely recommend. Even though I did not read the first book, I will be definitely reading it sometime, and I am definitely looking forward to book three which will be Isadora’s story!
I give Entwined 3.5 stars.