Return To Shanhasson by Joely Sue Burkhart
In this final book of the Shanhasson trilogy, Shannari dal’Dainari has won the Rose Crown. She has her beloved Khul at her side. Yet shadows crowd closer than ever. Political machinations and assassination attempts have crippled her ability to protect the land and the people. When her children are endangered, she has no choice but to send them to safety.
Away from her.
Surrounded by grief, danger, and turmoil on all sides, the last thing she needs is another enemy threatening to destroy all she holds dear. Yet a Black Dragon stirs in the deserts of Keldar. He haunts her dreams, while a Keldari army amasses on her border. When he soars over the Shining Walls of Shanhasson, will she put a knife in his heart…or will Shadow devour her at last with dragon jaws?
Full Disclosure: Many thanks to Joely for sending me a Review Copy. I had a hand in Beta-reading this beauty ( and it is truly an honor to serve), so you may infer bias.
Blessed Lady, ….what do you let these books do to me?!
I always get nervous after reading a Bloods and Shadows book, knowing that I have to string together words in a coherent fashion to describe how truly epic they are.
These characters and their story have haunted me since 2008. Even now, I can listen to certain songs and be reminded of them, can envision whole scenes in my head. “Love: The greatest gift of all and the greatest sacrifice,” will be forever etched into my subconscious. These books have challenged me on almost every level. They’ve drastically altered my view on love and life in general. They’ve shaped me in a way that I don’t think any other book has.
These were the books that made me start to take my own writing seriously.
Reader be-very-ware. These books are not for the faint of heart. And they are not Romances. Characters you love dearly will die, but they are never truly gone. And when they don’t die, they suffer horribly. But you’ll want to remember that phrase I keep quoting.
“Love is the greatest gift of all and the greatest sacrifice.”
I personally would rather a book rip my still beating heart right out of my chest rather than leave me apathetically numb. But that’s just me.
Shannari has come along way since Rhaekhar, Khul of the Nine Camps of the Sha’Kae al’Dan, decimated her army and won her heart. She’s become such an iconic heroine for me. I have watched her love, hate, fight, win ….and lose. I have watched her suffer, truly suffer some horrific events and come out all the stronger for it. Because Shannari dal’Dainnari never ran from anything. Not for long. Her truly epic capacity for love puts all other heroines to shame. None of them can hold a candle to her passion.If there was one thing Joely managed to get through to this cynic, it’s that love can save you, no matter how Shadowed you are.
Although there is a decline in Gregar for this book (*SOB*), Sal does more than enough to take up the slack in the wicked sense of humor department. You get to learn a lot more about Shannari’s nine Blood in this novel and-let me just say-reow. (Ladies and Gentlemen, watch out for that Jorah scene, it could make you a wee light headed from all the blood loss….)
Mykal tal’Mamba makes for a truly fascinating antagonist. He’s complex and to me, that’s sexy even without all the mouth-watering description about his dark sun-kissed skin. Bloods and Shadows fans watch out! His story comes to some shocking conclusions.
Do not pick up this book if you haven’t read Rose of Shanhasson and Road to Shanhasson. This series is a trilogy in the truest sense. Not much will make sense to you if you haven’t read the first two books, and they are well worth the read.
However, if you have already read the first two books, I’m sure you know exactly what to expect from this third and final installment. Sweeping romance, Epic Battles, Sex so passionate it melts your bones as you read, and yes, a few tears. But as all Bloods and Shadows Fans should know, a few tears are a worthy sacrifice. And not all of them will be shed with sadness.
Now, run to the e-bookstores.