Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Release Day Review: Soulbound by Bec McMaster


(Dark Arts #3)
Bec McMaster
Release: October 24, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the author
A dark force is rising in London...

Sebastian Montcalm knows freedom for the first time in his life, but it has come at the cost of his father's soul. If he can learn to harness his uncontrollable sorcery then he might be able to save his father from a demon's grip, but every move he makes leads to failure. The only thing that gives him hope is the innocent touch of Cleo Sinclair, the woman he was forced to marry. But will his darkness drown out her light?

He could be her destruction…

Cleo knew her father only ever loved her for the power of her visions, but when he bartered her away in marriage to a man she'd never met, she realized how little value she truly had. Her husband, Sebastian, was nothing more than a dark warmth in her bed, a stranger who refused to touch her. But together, the two tortured souls found friendship. And now, when he needs her the most, he won't even look at her.

...Or she could be his salvation...

When Cleo receives a powerful vision of a darkness that threatens London, she knows she is the key to defeating it. Only by working together can she and Sebastian prevail. But is Sebastian the one who can end this prophetic doom, or the one bound to begin it?

Soulbound is an unusual romance in part because Sebastian and Cleo have been married already for most of the series. But they've also been big parts of both of his older brothers' books - I think they are the only ones whose POVs are in every book of the trilogy. The story is about Sebastian finding a home with his brothers as much as finding love with Cleo. I think that makes the readers much more invested in their HEA than we might normally be. And I think the book provides a satisfying conclusion to their slow burn romance.

I was surprised how much new information McMaster brought in to their story, making the finale so much more than just the final showdown with the Big Bad. Cleo, in particular, turned out to be much more complex than I (or she) was expecting. Soulbound even introduced several new characters, at least one of whom I think will be featured in the spinoff series.

Yes, I said spinoff! The Dark Arts world is one that grew on me so I'm excited not to be leaving it behind for good. I've really enjoyed this world of sorcerers and demons. It's set in a similar time and place to McMaster's London Steampunk series, but feels very different. And the trilogy is now complete so fellow binge readers, now's a good time to start if you haven't yet.

Recommended for fans of: London Steampunk, Victorian PNR


My reviews of other books in this series:
Hexbound (Dark Arts #2)

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