A deeply poignant story, beautifully and compellingly told…
Gateley’s debut installment in The Lost Wells Trilogy is a compelling, leisurely moving tale that grounds paranormal elements in a fascinating love story. Thirty-year-old magic Bearer Julia Harrison has always found herself struggling with the magic and power that she shares with the women of her bloodline. All she wants to do is earn her degree and get on with life. When her beloved grandmother, Gertie, dies, Julia finds herself struggling to feel connected to the world around her. But the arrival of Dom O’Brian, a visiting Irish professor, changes everything for Julia: there is an odd sense of familiarity Julia feels in the presence of Dom, and his raw masculinity is more than inviting. But he also shares with her a connection that’s centuries-old. Gateley has shaped a world that neatly straddles the myth and the reality. There are healthy doses of action, intriguing magic, angst-y romance and tender emotions. The mythical intertwines with the present, and magic, both dark and ordinary plays a critical role in the action. In this world, Druids and Sorcerers and Wielders and Bearers are as real as the general population of humans. The battle between the malevolent Cassius and Dom fuels the plot, as does the romance between Julia and Dom. The slow reveal of Julia and Dom’s romance is achingly poignant. The supernatural aspects of the story bring Julia and Dom’s vividly depicted lives and complex relationship into sharp focus. Gateley deftly establishes parallels between Julia’s internal turmoil—between coming to terms with her part in the ancient prophecy and finding her footing in the real world. Dom’s struggles to understand his own part in Julia’s tragic destiny are equally compelling. Cassius makes for a malevolent antagonist. The minor characters are sharply drawn, with their own longings and fears, impacting the trajectory of the story. Gateley has paid great attention to her characterization, but as a skilled storyteller, she never lets the details of the characters’ backstories get in the way of a compelling and neatly structured narrative. Feminism remains a domineering theme, with complex subjects of longing, passion, what it means to love truly and wholly, duty, destiny, belonging, lust for power, rebirth, and mortality deftly woven into the affecting narrative. At its heart, the novel is an evocative romance, grounded in profound emotion and character. A winner.
Tides of the Sovereign
(The Lost Wells Trilogy Book 1)
Pub date March 14, 2022
Price $42.99 (USD) Hardcover, $32.99 Paperback, $7.84 Kindle edition