by Keira Ramsay, paranormal (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-59578-456-8
Breath Of Heaven is the conclusion of Keira Ramsay's RuneQuest series. The series basically revolve around the good fae folks trying to recover four very important runes while dealing with the bitter pixies - who aren't your friendly cute creatures found in those Enid Blyton books here - and other villains. You don't have to read any of the previous stories to understand this novella though, our heroine Rhiannon provides enough exposition in the prologue to let new readers catch up with events that happened in previous books.
Rhiannon, the Moira of the Clan and pretty much the driving force of the series, gets her own story this time around. Previously a young woman named Rhiannon O'Malley, she has assumed responsibility over the security and integrity of the fae realm for so long that she sometimes wishes that she can find some kind of way to get away from the constant politicking and all, if only for a while. You know what they say about being careful about what you wish for, because Rhiannon in this story is forced to step down from being the Moira due to a setback that happened in the previous story. What would she do now? She doesn't know. She hasn't had this much freedom in a long time now.
Our pixie hero Liam Quinn used to be part of the Jionagh, the bunch of rebels who plot to overthrow the current regime, but he's since become disillusioned with the cruel and bloodthirsty methods used by the Jionagh to get things done. Ostracized by his old comrades and even his ex-girlfriend for not being as power-hungry as they are, he now finds himself sitting in the same bar as his old fae enemy Rhiannon. Isn't that cute? Each suspect that the other has come to Yosemite Valley because the last missing rune must be hidden around the place somewhere, therefore each is also determined to beat the other person to the punch. If this means seducing the enemy, so be it.
I feel that Breath Of Heaven is easily the weakest story in the series because of the way the author rushed the characters into a relationship using the contrived "we have sexy dreams of each other, woo-hoo!" plot device and the way she rushed the story to an end in a way that has me scratching my head and saying, "Wait, so that's it? The series is going to end... like that?" The characters are fine, if on the underdeveloped side, but the story suffers from too much information dumping and not enough payoff in the storyline development to make all that information overload worthwhile. The whole thing comes off like a classic case of a story that is compacted into a length that is too short for it to work.
All in all, Breath Of Heaven is a most disappointing conclusion to the RuneQuest series.
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