An immersive, layered, and extensively developed fantasy…
Gateley’s middle installment in the Lost Wells Trilogy is a complex, beautifully constructed fantasy with vivid and personable characters and magical worldbuilding. After surviving their destined run-in with the sinister Cassius, Julia Harrison and Dom O’Brien leave the West Coast of Canada and land in LA. With their future uncertain, the pair know the Prophecy is broken. But decoding the new Prophecy is a gigantic task. Meanwhile, Cassius has disappeared. Unbeknown to the pair, he is searching for an ancient tome that’s supposed to put an end to all Wielders. Will they learn about Cassius’s destructive plan? Over the course of this compelling tale, Gateley offers readers vividly descriptive prose, an intriguing storyline, and tight plotting. Her knack for creating strong-willed heroines and heroes who are nothing but gentlemanly shines here along with her gift for fantastical worldbuilding. She stylizes the narrative as an alternating third-person omniscient voice and Julia’s first-person narration. Julia’s intimate perspective makes her relentless turmoil understandable as she fights to understand and control her powers. Her turmoil stems from both Dom’s over-possessiveness and compulsively assertive attitude as well as her struggle to come to terms with her new powers. The sensitive, caring, and fierce Dom remains an appealing protagonist, and readers will find that getting to know the way his mind works is one of the story’s greatest pleasures. Ronan’s character gets more growth and depth. There is also plenty of power struggles, political intrigue, dark magic, and delicious romance to please diehard romance fantasy fans, but beneath this facade, Gateley tells an intriguing story of the meaning of love, human connection, and responsibility versus personal desire. Much of the first third of the novel is a gentle setup of Dom and Julia settling into a new routine in LA and the latter’s struggle as she tries to come into her true self. Not much time is wasted once the main events get going and the story moves without a hitch as Julia and Dom struggle to decode the new prophecy while trying to stop the unshakable Cassius. The book is the second that the author has set in this fantasy world, and though there’s a lot of background to catch up on, Gateley skillfully infuses the necessary backdrop, making the novel accessible to new readers. Readers who are already familiar with the story will thoroughly enjoy this thoughtfully developed, vivid tale. Captivating.
Mantle of the World Ruler
(Book Two of the Lost Wells Trilogy)