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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Realm Immortal 3: Stone Queen by Michelle M. Pillow

Realm Immortal 3: Stone Queen by Michelle M. Pillow
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary; Paranormal; Fantasy
Length: Full (276 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Orchid

To gain the only thing he truly wants, he’ll have to risk everything.

Realm Immortal, Book Three

Juliana, newly appointed Queen of the Unblessed, has realized there is a bit more to her position than she first thought. Sure, it has its perks: a sinfully sexy husband who is also a king, growing powers and a magical life that’s never boring, but the drawbacks are considerable. To save her kingdom from war, Juliana accepts assistance from a witch. But when her reality turns upside down, she realizes she’s been betrayed.

For a brief time, Merrick knew happiness, as much happiness as the king of necessary evil could ever feel. Juliana has become the light in his darkness. Though he can never tell his wife he loves her—or risk upsetting the balance of both the mortal and immortal realms—the words are understood between them. Or so he thought. When she falls prey to a wayward spell, becoming encased in stone, he knows he’ll have to risk everything to gain the only thing he truly wants.

Good is the domain of the Blessed, Evil is domain of the Damned, but sometimes lesser evils are necessary. These come under the domain of the Unblessed, not completely rotten, but far, far away from good.

Juliana, ward of the Blessed King Ean, is now married to Merrick, King of the Unblessed and brother of Ean. She loves her husband and is expecting their child. The war between the Blessed and Unblessed frightens Juliana. She fears if her child is born into such chaos it will turn to the side of evil.

She entombs herself in stone, leaving behind a message for Merrick, explaining what he must do to release her from the spell. Juliana is unaware that Merrick will never receive her message. Minions of Lucien, the King of the Damned, have tricked her so that their master can steal the baby from her womb to sacrifice for his own ends.

So many things hinge on saving Juliana. First Merrick must discover how to save her, and then he must convince his brother Ean to help him. But time is running out for Juliana. If Merrick does not move soon he will lose both his wife and his child. And if Lucien succeeds with his plans not only will the Realm Immortal fall but the mortal world will be overrun by Lucien’s army of half demons.

This novel has fairies, elves, goblins and various other good and nasty mythical beings but they are cleverly woven into an enthralling story. The romance is at times tender and other times sizzling. Each of the Kings has distinct personalities which on the outside reflect their positions, but their inner selves show hidden thoughts and feelings. Merrick reminds me of David Bowie in the film Labyrinth and even though he is on the side of wrong, I wanted the man to win and live happily ever after.

Stone Queen is the third book of the Realm Immortal series and I enjoyed this one as much as I did the second book. Ms. Pillow approaches the magical realm from a refreshingly new angle. Magic and myth are enhanced by mystery and romance with a topping of hot and steamy topping. I hope this book is not the last of the Realm Immortal as I’d love to read more.