I won an ARC copy of this book from the author.
Mick must face the dragon council for breaking their laws, and while he doesn’t seem too worried about his upcoming trial, but Janet will do anything to keep him safe. She’ll need a little help from her friends, old and new: Nash and Coyote; Cassandra, a powerful witch turned hotel manager; Colby a sort-of-trustworthy dragon. But now a new, dark power is stirring in Magellan that Janet must face, but even more frightening, one is stirring within herself.
**This review contains minor spoilers from the first book, Stormwalker.
Firewalker is the second book in Ms. James’ Stormwalker series, and it starts a short time after the end of the first book. Janet Begay, a Native American stormwalker, with the power of Beneath magic from her goddess mother, has settled down in Megellan and opened up the hotel she was renovating throughout all of book one. She’s hired a witch, Cassandra, to manager her place and business is good. Mick’s been missing for three weeks, and although he has been more open with Janet since she found out he is a dragon, it still isn’t completely odd for him to be gone without notice. But when a shifter comes into the hotel demanding to speak with her, Janet realizes that Mick is in trouble.
Mick is guilty of breaking Dragon law when he allowed Janet to live (backstory in Stormwalker). Dragons are honorable, and he intends to stand trial – even when the verdict is already known. But before he can get there, a new evil finds its way into Megellan – one with a familiarity that reminds Janet of her evil mother. Now Janet, Mick, Nash and their new friends must figure out who is responsible for the gruesome death of an unknown hiker before more innocent people are killed – and in time to save Mick from the dragons and his own honor.
Once again, Ms. James weaves together an amazing Paranormal Romance/Mystery-Suspense story. At the core of her work is a complex “whodunit,” full of twists and turns, that keeps the reader engaged until the conclusion. But what makes the book truly superb is the cast of characters that inhabit this marvelous world.
Tragedy and trouble follow Janet everywhere she goes. She wants to “just be normal,” yet time and time again, she picks the difficult path. When faced with death if she continues to use her “evil” Beneath magic, she doesn’t let her own mortality stop her from making the “right” (and difficult) decisions. One of the most special and poignant parts of the story occurs when Janet is faced with the decision to keep her Beneath half or let it go completely. It is heart-wrenching and emotionally draining to witness her as she contemplates what is truly important in her life. I love that Janet may give in here and there but NEVER gives up the fight and always has a snarky comment or two for those that rub her the wrong way.
Then there is Mick. He loves Janet with all of his soul, but not being human, he doesn’t always express his love in conventional ways – except for the fantastic (and completely hot) sex that he showers upon Janet! He worships her body, he protects her as only he understands and he expresses his love in his own ways. The fact that he was originally sent to kill Janet, but instead fell in love is not a new tale in the world of romance. But what makes his story special is that even with his love, he is afraid that he still may have to kill Janet someday if the Beneath magic gets too strong. In this story we observe Mick’s love deepen and his resolve to love and save her strengthen.
We also have Nash… I think I developed a bit of a crush on him during this book. He’s a “by-the-rules” kind of hard-headed ass that challenges Janet to be better. The friendship developing between Nash and Janet is a worthwhile investment, and I want to see where it leads (and for Nash to be happy with Maya!). With Nash’s mysterious “void” magic and Janet’s magics – I have a feeling that they will make an unstoppable pair against the powers of evil.
Finally, I want to mention Cassandra – because I think there is something about her that will come out down the road. I’m not sure why she’s at the hotel, but she definitely has a secret or two. And there is Coyote – trickster god that is wise and a bit of comic relief. Both characters have more minor parts, but add incredible value to the story.
Firewalker is another amazing book in the Stormwalker series! I highly recommend reading both books because the stories are fabulous, the action is intense, the world-building is phenomenal and both are emotionally satisfying tales.