Featured Early Book Review: East of Ecstasy (Hearts of the Anemoi #4) by Laura Kaye
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Intense. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think about Devlin’s story. Complex and charming and emotional. As the son of the outcast and evil Eurus, Devlin is the god of autumn rain and is the heir to the East wind, if the other Anemio can ever beat the Cardinal God of the East who has been making their lives such hell for the past year. This is the last book in Laura Kaye’s outstanding Hearts of the Anemoi series and the story arc comes full circle in a way that you’ll only fully get if you’ve read all the books from the start. The mistrust and animosity towards Devlin is heartbreaking but understandable given the awful history the Anemoi have had with his father. Devlin’s view of himself is low from a lifetime of being put down and mistreated, and it resonates painfully throughout the book. How can someone who has been so terribly manipulated, abused, and beat down by his father, physically and emotionally, think he’s got any good in him at all? This is a constant struggle for Devlin and Anna is the one outlet he has for finding his sense of self and value. She is my favorite of the heroines in the series, innately strong in character with a warm heart and gentle warrior’s soul. She may not go into battle with her man, but she will make damn sure he’s as strong as he can be and for the right reasons.
It’s not all doom and gloom though; there’s some great humor in East of Ecstasy as well. We also get to see a satisfying amount of interaction with the other Anemoi from the rest of the stories, particularly Zeph and Owen, and the alternate point of views give necessary depth and perspective to the overall sequence of events and character motivations. I also really like that while the villain of the series is the master of the East wind, Ms. Kaye takes great care to express that the wind or autumn itself that is not inherently evil, only the being who wielded it. Compelling and politically relevant, there’s a deeper message in there if you look close.
My reaction as I started reading the final showdown of the series?
Heartbreaking. Stunning. Vivid and beautifully wrenching.