Book Reviews

The Gathering Storm (Juxtan 2) by Tricia Owens

Genre Gay / Fantasy / Magic / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 19-August-2019

Book Blurb

After betraying the only man he ever loved, Hadrian ni Leyanon waits for death amid the ruins of a sorcerous battle. Before that can happen, he is recruited by the Council of Elders, which governs the use of magick in Juxtan. The Council needs him to track down his evil sorcerer father and force him to face the justice they aren't powerful enough to inflict on their own.

Wracked with guilt, Hadrian agrees to join the mage-led mission in the hopes it will allow him to redeem himself. But when Caled, the handsome mercenary whom Hadrian betrayed, insists on joining the mission too, Hadrian discovers that redemption needs to come from the man who hates him most.

Caled has forsaken his family name to become an instrument of justice. Stalking Hadrian through the halls of the mage school where the young sorcerer is recovering, Caled is determined to see that justice comes not just to the father but to the son, even if his heart cries out for him to reconsider.

Book Review

“Run now. A storm's on the way...Emotions at play. Intentions to lead you astray. So beware of the Gathering storm...A love to hate at the cost of the soul. Evil will spread its foul breath, leaving but torment and death.” ~ Eleine (Gathering Storm)

There is a saying that there isn’t much difference between love and hate. That one can flip to the other in a minute’s notice. Caledon, of ‘Gathering Storm’, loves Hadrian so much that when he is betrayed by him, the intensity of that love switches to hate. He drops his family name and changes it to Caled, determined to have revenge; nothing, not even the love he held for Hadrian in the past, can change his mind.

Caled decides that the best path for him to take is to go to the tower of the Elders on Juxtan. They will be the ones to exact justice on Hadrian and his father for the atrocities they committed. They are his best chance of finding them. His attitude of disrespect for the Elders is not appreciated nor is it tolerated. Caled is told that, under no circumstances, is he to kill Hadrian. They need him to find his father and inflict punishment on him. Because of his father’s superior mastery of sorcery, Hadrian is the only person who can stop him.

After Hadrian destroys most of the Shard and almost kills his father, he is appalled by his actions. In order to do so, he has drawn from the essence of life, an almost impossible and highly forbidden act of sorcery. Hadrian understands what the devastation means and prepares to die. When the Elders find him, he’s practically gone. They take him back to their tower to recuperate. When he is stronger, they explain what they expect him to do. Helping them find his father is the least he can do to atone for his unforgivable sins.

In spite of the Elders’ warnings, Caled remains at the castle, waiting for the opportunity to kill Hadrian. He enlists the aid of a young man, Lyelin, who is in lust with Caled and will do anything to win his favor. Lyelin convinces his master that he would be a better person to care for Hadrian and the Elder agrees. Lyelin mistreats Hadrian, doing unspeakable things to him while he is unconscious, while leaving the door open so Caled can watch, hoping to make Caled want him. Caled tries his best not to react, but secretly, he thinks that Lyelin is despicable and is more determined to never take him to bed. When Lyelin sees that his campaign to garner Caled’s favor is not working, he arranges the thing that Caled wants the most, time alone with Hadrian.

This, the second book in the series, is even darker than the first, but just as exciting. Even though I know what Hadrian has done, I still feel bad for him. Knowing his history, I can see why he acts this way, although I am not not able to condone his behavior. Caled’s reaction is justified, but his past love for Hadrian makes the situation even more unbearable as does Hadrian’s pain, not only for what he did, but that he betrayed the man he loved. How could love ever survive under these circumstances. What a conundrum! Thanks, Tricia, for a great follow-up story. I can hardly wait for the next book.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 257 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 22-April-2019
Price $3.99 ebook, $11.99 paperback
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