Author: Shira Anthony
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages
At a Glance: I loved the book. I absolutely, whole-heartedly recommend it. Go! Read! Now!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: With the final confrontation between the island and mainland Ea factions looming, Taren and Ian sail with Odhrán to investigate a lost colony of merfolk in the Eastern Lands. Upon their arrival, the King of Astenya welcomes them as friends. Odhrán, however, isn’t so quick to trust the descendent of the man who held him prisoner for nearly a decade, especially now that he has someone to cherish and protect—the mysterious winged boy he rescued from the depths.
Armed with the knowledge he believes will save the Ea, Taren returns to the mainland. With Ian at his side, Taren convinces Vurin that their people must unite with their island brethren before it’s too late. When Seria and his men attack, Taren must call upon the ancient power of the rune stone to protect his comrades. But using the stone’s immeasurable power commands a hefty price—and Ian fears that price is Taren’s life.
Review: Where do I even start, you guys??? I honestly get so blown away by the sheer force of imagination and the stunning beauty of this universe that I find it hard to get my full thoughts out. There is much to be said about this book, and this series, but I’m afraid it’s going to come out of my keyboard as ‘ASDLKJFALSJDFKSSDLSLF,’ as that’s how it feels in my head immediately after finishing this amazing story.
Running with the Wind jumps right in where Into the Wind left us – fresh out of a battle with the evil Seria and his followers, grieving the loss of Rider, and just having witnessed the transformation of Bastian, first into a dragon and then reincarnated as a winged boy, an Anuki, the ‘heavenly brethren of the Ea.’ Our heroes, Taren Laxley and Captain Ian Dunaidh, along with the pirate Odhrán, and the rest of their respective crews, are in shock, in mourning, and are trying to figure out where to go from there. Things are intense to say the least.
Taren really comes into his own in this book. Whereas in the past he was typically happy to defer to Ian on most things, in this book Taren is learning to trust himself and embrace who he is and who he is meant to be to his people. It was also so wonderful to see Ian supporting Taren, and encouraging him to fulfill his destiny. I absolutely loved this line:
“You’re no longer a slave, Taren. You’re no longer just a rigger. You’re no longer just my beloved. You’re the leader you were meant to be. You just haven’t realized it yet.”
There are so many fantastic things going on in this book. The romance between Taren and Ian – as well as their ancient counterparts, Treande and Owyn – is still off-the-charts fabulous; the rich detail of the world Shira Anthony has created is unbelievably intricate and as intriguing as ever, and the action sequences are incredible and heart-stopping. Though obviously it’s incredibly intense at times, there is still some humor interspersed throughout, and the different friendships – Taren and Odhrán, Ian and Renda, Bastian and Taren to name a few – are wonderful and heartwarming. We’re also introduced to a new character, Eiran, the King of Astenya, who I liked very much and hope to see again.
Okay. Let’s really get down to it. Everything I’ve said so far in my review is true. Ian and Taren…amazing world-building…beautifully detailed scenes and imagery…action-packed, intense battle scenes…high seas swashbuckling goodness…It’s all there. BUT, my heart was stolen by Bastian, and Bastian and Odhrán, on page one. Bastian is so fabulous, and his history, including all of the dragon lore, is beyond fascinating. I was also already a huge fan of Odhrán, so pairing him up with Bastian is so much win. A hybrid Ea/human and a dragon shifter – I still can’t believe he’s a dragon! – both immortal. How can that not be amazing?!?
Obviously I loved the book. I absolutely, whole-heartedly recommend it. Go! Read! Now! Heh, heh. The funny thing is, I started this series as sort of a dare from the lovely author herself…a challenge, if you will, to step outside of my bubble and try something different…and now, I never want it to end.
You can buy Running with the Wind here: