5 Stars, Carole Cummings, Torquere Press

Aisling Book Three: Beloved Son by Carole Cummings

“This is not at all what I thought it would be.”

This is so very much more.

A beloved son. The Beloved Son. The son of the mother, and the Son of the Mother—both placed above and before all else for the good of all mankind. The Aisling and the Guardian, the Dream and the Keeper, Watcher, Guide—Shaman. To be the heart of the Heart of the World—it is choice and honor and duty and sacrifice and trust and love. And fear, always there is a shadow of fear behind the courage it requires to stand behind and beside the one who would willingly make an offering of himself to save the other and to save the world. To save the Father.

“He is what he’s made of himself.”

To undo the damage of the one who’d convinced the Heart of the World that he wasn’t loved. To protect the Beloved Son from the one who wants his name, the key, the power; to protect him from those who reject the Mother, those who hate the children who remain faithful to her, those who keep her bound by their fervent dogma. To protect him from the mania of those who seek to fulfill the gods’ purpose, yet cannot possibly know what that purpose truly is because sometimes man’s interpretation of the arcane is little more than hubris and fanaticism…and faith. Blind faith that what is believed is the only way and the only truth and the only light.

A cage is still a cage, even if it is gilded by love. What is important seems to be whether you choose to be there or are forced to be, and whether or not you hold the key.

“Mundane, ordinary paradise.” The Cradle where they are reborn, the place where they can now dream their own dreams and leave the dreams of the others to the Father, the place where people who know nothing about you can still love and revere you, simply because they believe you are worthy.

“They knew.” And that was enough.

The battle is fought. The Cleric and the Soul-eater, the Aisling and the Guardian have faced one another down in a fight for supremacy, and love, a love that is not supposed to be, a love that could very well have corrupted rather than confirmed the outcome of the battle is the very thing that resurrects and redeems the Heart of the World.

The beginning was the end. The end is the beginning. When one dies to the old life and is reborn to the new, that’s the only way it can be. “We build our own cages and we make our own keys.” There is only moving forward along a path that has not been well worn by Time and History, because there is now a connection between the Aisling and the Guardian that is unprecedented. And inadvisable by those whose job it is to give counsel. But there is always choice, and it’s the cost of those choices and the price one is willing to pay that outweigh all else.

This is a journey that will begin on new ground, unexplored and uncharted territory, unproven and perhaps littered with danger and the debris of a war that is won, but to what end? It is time to make reparations, to attempt to right wrongs, to help the hurting to heal from the sins that were not their own, and to make sure the evil that was done is contained, not allowed to fester and to regroup. It may be a journey without end.

This series has been a masterpiece in the making, a wonder to behold, and I am in utter awe of it. Each word, each sentence that has been threaded and woven to form the tapestry was selected with the utmost care and attention to detail. It is at once ethereal and aesthetic, a feast for the imagination and a wholly sensory experience.

Is it finished? I can only hope that it’s not.

“I can’t seem to help myself.”

Buy Aisling Book Three: Beloved Son HERE.

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