Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: The Druid Stone
SERIES: Layers of the Otherworld #1
AUTHOR: Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane
PUBLISHER: Carina Press
LENGTH: 351 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 23, 2014
Sean never asked to be an O’Hara, and he didn’t ask to be cursed by one either. After inheriting a hexed druid stone from his great-grandfather, Sean starts reliving another man’s torture and death…every single night. And only one person can help. Cormac Kelly runs a paranormal investigation business and doesn’t have time to deal with misinformed tourists like Sean. But Sean has real magic in his pocket, and even though Cormac is a descendant of legendary druids, he soon finds himself out of his depth…and not because Sean’s the first man he’s felt anything for in a long time. The pair develop an unexpected and intensely sexual bond, but are threatened at every turn when Sean’s case attracts the unwelcome attention of the mad sidhe lords of ancient Ireland. When Sean and Cormac are thrust backward in time to Ireland’s violent history—and their own dark pasts—they must work together to escape the curse and save their fragile relationship.
Wow, this book was complex! Lol While I’d normally try and do a small recap about the story, in this case I’m going to recommend just reading the blurb because there is no way I’ll be able to do it justice. Seriously, I tried explaining the book to my husband and he told me to stop because he was just too confused. 😀 Let me start of by saying that I did really enjoy the book but when I say there’s a lot going on, I mean there is a lot going on. What you have within the pages of this book is a mix of Urban Fantasy and Science Fiction where the Sidhe Lords are more than just an Irish fairy tale. Add in a pretty nasty curse and some time travel and you might just start to get an understanding about why the story is hard to describe.
Right from the beginning I fell in love with both of the main characters. Cormac is a Druid in a world rapidly moving away from the old ways; most of his power seems to come from knowledge and the ability to use it though you do get to see a few magical abilities along the way. While it seemed as though he had everything under control in the beginning, as the story progresses you begin to see the deep hurt he’s hiding away in regards to something that happened a decade ago. One night stands and a plethora of masks to keep from connecting with people in any meaningful way are his everyday reality. Sean, on the other hand, has an incredible sense of self but, before he was cursed with daily nightmares of the same man being killed, he had no idea magic or the fae were real. He has his own past and trust issues to deal with but can’t help but feel drawn to Cormac, even when the other man is acting like a jerk.
There’s a lot of movement in the story and not all of it travel related. The characters routinely moved between ‘our world’ to the realms of the fae, sometimes without much warning, and then there was the time travel aspect. I had no problem figuring out what was going on, but sometimes I did have to go back and re-read a section or two in order to understand what was happening because I’d missed something along the way. This was, hands down, one of the most creative stories I’ve read in a while and while it was really complex, I still think it was totally worth the time it took to read it. I think my biggest complaint is that I feel like the moment the mc’s realized they were in love was lost along the way. I could see Cormac coming to that point but Sean throwing out the ‘I love you’ first threw me off.
I enjoyed the characters and I loved the Irish setting and history but there was so much going on in this story it was easy to get turned around at times. I did eventually find my footing, and enjoyed the story quite a bit but I think you’d have to read it a couple of times to really absorb everything. If you’re looking a long read that’s not your usual fantasy, I’d give this one a look. I’m sure I’ll read it again in the future but I’m going to need to digest it a little more first. 🙂