Author: Vaughn R. Demont
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
At a Glance: Breaking Ties is a right fun way to spend some time getting lost in a book.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: A sidekick’s work is never done.
Kicked out of his family, fetching coffee for idiots, out of cash, and usually starving, Spencer Crain is a shadow of his former self. And more certain than ever that living a normal, serious life is the last thing a Coyote should shoot for.
When he gets the chance to investigate a troll/sidhe gunfight at Under The Bridge, he can’t drop “office intern” from his résumé fast enough. Even if it means bringing the last person he ever thought he’d see again back into his life—his father.
James Black, the Sorcerer King, was taking an inordinately long time to choose a draconic protector, but his kidnapping by dragons seems a little extreme. It’s up to Spence to navigate Fae politics, work the Feud, bring down a murderous order of sidhe knights, and heroically save James, the man he loves. Assisted by the guy James has been dating.
Ain’t love grand?
Warning: This novel contains a Coyote doing the ultimate thankless job—the sidekick—dragon-shifter sorcerers, Dwarves, pop-culture references, and a shotgun that shoots lightning bolts. Freakin’ lightning bolts, people!
Review: By all the gods and monsters and men, I adore this series. I just do. Vaughn R. Demont returns with our favorite Coyote trickster Spencer Jensen Crain, taking readers along on another action packed adventure filled with danger, drama, laughs and, yes, maybe even a few sniffles.
Breaking Ties, book four in the Broken Mirrors series, is a transition book, told in multiple points-of-view. While “transition book” may not be the technical literary term for it, what that means to me is the action in this installment of the series somewhat takes a backseat to the development of its main characters; oh, there’s still plenty of action to be found–what would a Broken Mirrors book be without a few chase scenes, after all? But in this series, your car just gets creamed by dragons.
While Spencer is still a walking encyclopedia of pop culture who lives nearly every waking hour of every day as if it’s been scripted by Fate in a comedy-fantasy-drama mashup, Love has come along now and sucker-punched poor Spence right in the enlightenment, and whaddaya know? For better or worse, he’s not quite the Coyote everyone expects him to be. I loved the very human side of Spencer we get to know in this book because, really, all he seems to want at this point is to be good enough for James, even if it means denying himself the one thing he truly wants—which is James.
If only James weren’t already in love with Ozzie, the dwarf. Ah, ain’t love grand, indeed…
James, Ozzie, and even Slartibartfast (yes, I know, just read the books) have a chance to tell their sides of the story in Breaking Ties, which I felt was essential as an alternative to the 3rd person omniscient narrative. A new path is being laid in the City, and it was important to see how the twists and turns thrown in affected each character. James is learning more about what it means to be the Ra’Keth, and we learn a secret about him, too, that…whoa…even James doesn’t know about James. And Ozzie, for his part in the best laid plans, does something that unintentionally altered things for James and Spencer, which was probably Fate’s intent all along, anyway. One of the great things about the way Fate plays a role in these books is that no matter what happens, or how it happens, or to whom it happens, it means everything–regardless of the actions, reactions, and decisions these characters make–would still dump them at the same place. They are all moving through a grand and elaborate design, played by Dungeons & Dragons rules, where there may be multiple courses to follow but they all lead to the outcome that’s meant to be, which I suppose could make Vaughn R. Demont Fate in this scenario. Hm, now there’s something to chew on…
There’s a lot to absorb in this book, every bit of it relevant to the moving forward of the storyline and its characters and the world in which they live. Some of it’s just plain weird and wonderful, some of it touching in an entirely too human way, which is where the sniffles happened when a character gets a bit of redemption–but not too much. Just enough. Demont’s delivery, as usual, has a charm all its own, his sense of humor is all kinds of out there and utterly delightful, drawing his characters—from dragon to fae to sorcerers and coyotes and whatever else you can imagine—to life in a fantastical and vivid way.
I think all you’d have to do to love this series is bring your imagination to the reading of it, engage your love of the wacky and absurd, and embrace a world where every manner of mythological creature can and does exist. It’s a right fun way to spend time getting lost in a book.
You can buy Breaking Ties here: