The final installment in Lesley Livingston's "Wondrous Strange" trilogy picks up where its predecessor, DARKLIGHT, left off. Young actress Kelley Winslow, a faerie royal raised among humans, has found love with Sonny Flannery, a human changeling part of the Janus Guard, a group of changelings who protect the mortal realm from rogue faeries. But there's trouble in the faerie world: Kelley's father, Auberon the Winter King, is dying. Sonny's orgins turn out to be more powerful than imagined. The Janus Guard are attacking fae stragglers on Earth without logical reason. And Kelley, trying to Sonny from his unknown power, says she doesn't love him.
Kelley spirals into a depression after Sonny leaves after her lie; Sonny, in the meantime, is taken in by a group of lost fae. They both struggle with their feelings toward the other. In the meantime, rogue Janus are continuing their assault on lost faeries; Auberon is still dying; Kelley must also juggle getting a hold of her powers and trying to set things right. The Fennrys Wolf, fierce Janus Guard, has also been slowly creeping up into her life.
TEMPESTUOUS should NOT be taken lightly. There are battles. Some are gruesome, and the descriptions are more disturbing compared to the first two books. The writing still flows romantically, even when describing the fights. The intrigue of who's behind the Janus attacks and Auberon's illness is well paced; the realization definitely left me speechless.
The relationship between Kelley and the Fennrys Wolf was bittersweet. Starting with DARKLIGHT, the Wolf's thaw from raging warrior to Kelley's unrequited protector was a nice transition. With the publishing world's obsession with love triangles, I didn't mind this one, because Kelley's heart was with Sonny, which the Wolf knew. There is a Big Misunderstanding thrown in between them, but they cared about each other regardless. Very poignant. Call me crazy, but it works for me.
The world of faerie is described as a beautiful yet treacherous place, populated by equally beautiful and treacherous creatures, from water spirits to ogres, leprechauns and goat-footed women, ruled by power hungry royals. You're instantly pulled into the deceit of the dair folk.
Some of the weak parts include the first third of the book. It drags a bit because both Kelley and Sonny spend a lot of time feeling sorry for themselves because of their Big Misunderstanding. Too much moping, not enough acting. Fortunately when things pick up, they're able to pull themselves out of their funks and act. As I mentioned before, the results aren't always neat and tidy. I like Kelley and Sonny as a couple. Beginning with WONDROUS STRANGE, the first book in the series, they compliment each other well. They fall in love too quickly, but I believe their feelings are real.
There's a lot of unwarranted bickering during some scenes. Why are you going to argue NOW when there's a murderous fae coming at you?
Of course, there is Shakespeare. THE TEMPEST is the play in the book, which is appropriate because of the storm brewing between the human and faerie worlds. An okay compliment to the fantastical tale.
All in all, a vivid conclusion to a fun, entertaining series. This is a faerie tale with action, drama, and touching romance. I'm sad to leave, but this is one journey I'll go back to often.