For Dante Pane, the torture of watching Deacon live with and love Aren Montrell was too much to bear. It caused him nothing but anger and resentment, and it compelled him to do something so destructive that the man Dante loves, the man who loves someone else, sends Dante away in humiliation.
That Dante is incapable of loving women and has learned to be ashamed of his attraction to men—a lesson that was beaten into him when he was just fourteen-years-old—is a misery that leaves him destined to live a lifetime alone. But if you believe the romantics, then you believe there’s someone for everyone in the world, even in a landscape as harsh and unforgiving as Oestend, even for a man for whom both women and men are unattainable; until he finds a woman who is the best of everything Dante needs to be whole and to be healed of the taint and the limitations of his desires.
Cami is that woman, the woman that Aren sends to Dante and the woman who eventually becomes a friend, but who isn’t able to trust in Dante enough to reveal the secret she hides. It seems shame is something both Cami and Dante have in common, and it isn’t until they finally have nothing left to hide that they discover there’s nothing shameful about who they are and how they feel about each other. It doesn’t matter whether or not there’s a label for that person or that love, whether or not she’s different; all that matters is you’ve found someone who gives you everything you thought you’d never have, and you realize the thought of life without that person underscores how very much you love and need the life you’re building with them.
Saviours of Oestend picks up where book one leaves off—with the wraiths still terrorizing most of this remote country in the dead of night and where plagues, the likes of which have only been seen in Ancient Egypt, wreak havoc on the land. Everywhere but the BarChi Ranch, that is, because it and its people have been claimed by Deacon, and that magick now protects the BarChi from the spirits of the dead. But there’s more to be done if the wraiths are to be sent on to their final resting place, more songs to be sung to the ancestors, stories to be spun to honor those who’d come before, and rituals to be performed, rituals where sex and magick and six become one.
There’s a certain fluidity to the relationships in this book, and if I’m being honest, I’d have to say that the dynamics of those relationships played a bigger role for me in this story than the paranormal mysteries of Oestend did. As always, whether that’s a positive or negative will depend upon the reader’s expectations.
Deacon and Aren have always had an open relationship with Frances, who is in love with Simon, who is straight and can’t feel romantic love for Frances but can love him in the only way he’s capable of, and whether that’s good or bad for Frances is up to the boy himself.
There’s Dante and Cami, the woman for whom there was no definition until she learned there was, and she found friendship and acceptance where she never believed there would be. And there’s Dante, the man who loved and lost Deacon, who finds that relationship ultimately healed because they’ve each found love, just not with the other.
These six people whose lives are intertwined become the saviours of the world in which they live. This is not six degrees of separation; this is six degrees of unity—not romance but ritual—and it might not work for those who’re expecting something else.
Saviours of Oestend is the catalyst for change, but I’m not sure if this is the end or the beginning of something else in this world. It feels done in some aspects, undone in others. I can’t say I loved this installment in the series as much as I loved Song of Oestend, but change is sometimes hard to accept until you see where it’s going to take you.
Buy Saviours of Oestend HERE.