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Paranormal Fantasy Early Review: The Secret by Elizabeth Hunter

The Secret by Elizabeth Hunter (Irin Chronicles #3)

Ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
Only when the darkness falls can you see the light of the stars.

For thousands of years, the scribes and singers of the Irin race have existed to protect humanity and guard the gifts of the Forgiven. They have lived in the shadows. They have kept their secrets.

But the Irin aren’t the only race with secrets.

Ava and Malachi have found each other, but wounds as deep as theirs don’t heal overnight. While the Irin world struggles to correct the power imbalance left by the Rending of the Irina, Malachi and Ava struggle to connect their past with their present.

The Fallen may scheme, but Ava has found her power and refuses to be an angel’s pawn. And while Malachi may have forgotten his history, the scribe’s relentless search for answers leads both him and his mate to the heart of the Irin power structure in Vienna, where knowledge is guarded more closely than gold and those with power will do anything to keep it.

Malachi and Ava have survived the darkness, but will they ever discover its secrets? A powerful cabal of the Fallen may hold the answers, but to surrender them, it wants the Irin race to finally face their enemies. Both those coming from the outside, and those raging within.

THE SECRET is the third book in the contemporary fantasy series, the Irin Chronicles, and the conclusion of Ava and Malachi’s journey.

Release date:March 19th 2015.
Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository


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What a lovely ending to this series! Irin Chronicles always had a captivating, vivid world-building as a background to the unique story of scribes, angels & Grigori. As a plus it's set in Europe not in North America or UK, and the reader can enjoy hopping on a train and travelling from Istanbul to Italy to Vienna and many other locations without feeling like he is crossing big cultural and territorial borders. Europe is compact, cozy and utterly charming, and the author passes that charm onto us amazingly well.

I was relieved that Ava & Malachi finally found each other and rediscovered their deep soul bond. It was lovely to see it click back into place as soon as the scribe regained all his memories.

The Secret was also a book of many revelations. Not only Ava finally met her grandmother and learnt about her roots, the whole Irin race had to re-evaluate what it knew about the Fallen and their children. And I am glad. I love that Elizabeth never separates her characters into black and white when she can blur the borders between heroes and villains and leave us reeling. *grins*

Now, Vienna. It was my favourite part of the book and it was magnificent! While I was secretly hoping for more descriptions of the pastries and coffee (if it's anything like Budapest, they should be absolutely delicious), it's the Council headquarters which grabbed my attention straight away as they were described lavishly. Throughout the whole book we were also slowly discovering the extent of angelic intrigues and the reasons behind them, until it all boiled down to a one  brutal and epic battle.

Overall, while The Secret starts slowly, it gains momentum pretty fast until at some point you realise that you can't stop reading until the very end. I'm also extremely relieved to know that the story will continue in various spin-offs as I was not ready to say goodbye to such a beautiful world, and to its many familiar characters. Definitely recommended, enjoy!

* * *
Чудесное завершение серии! Хроники Ирина всегда выделялись ярким, красочным построением мира писарей, падших ангелов и Григори. К тому же происходит всё это в уютных границах старушки Европы вместо привычной нам Северной Америки или Великобритании, и читатель может вместе с главными героями запрыгнуть на поезд и перенестить из колоритного Стамбула в глубинку Италии или великолепную Вену в одно мгновение, не чувствуя какой-либо культурной разницы.

Облегчением для меня оказалось то, что Ава и Малачи  наконец-то восстанавливают глубокую душевную связь друг с другом когда к Малачи возвращается вся его память. На это у обоих героев уходит много времени так как Ава должна сначала перестать бороться со своей магией.

Секрет - это также книга множества откровений. Ава наконец-то узнаёт кем является её бабушка,что переворачиваёт её мировоззрение с ног на голову. Да и вся раса Ирин вынуждена поломать старые стереотипы когда она  открывает один из секретов Падших ангелов, не говоря уже  том, что вся книга пронизана махинациями Павших, и только под конец их гамбит становится нам понятен в последней эпичной битве в Вене.

Ах, Вена!Какой же красивый это город с его ароматов кофе и воздушных пирожных... Палаты Совета Ирин и его обычаи описаны автором любовно и красочно. Вообще, книга хороша хоть и начинается она довольно медленно.Однако события быстро набирают оборот и заканчиваются на драматичной ноте. Несмотря на то, что история Авы и Малачи подошла к концу, автор планирует рассказать о других полюбившихся нам персонажах этой серии, о которых читать я буду с удовольствием. Рекомендую!
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