Pros: Delightful and unusual pairing of characters; wonderful plot and locale
Cons: Crosses over enough with Vaughan’s other series that it helps to have read those books
Rating: 4 out of 5
Review book courtesy of Penguin Group
Bethral is a quiet, strong warrior in love with a noble storyteller, certain she could never fit into his world. Ezren Silvertongue is quick-witted and entertaining, but harbors dangerous wild magics—and he’s in love with a warrior woman whose strength he could never equal. Fate, however, has plans for them, as they find themselves dropped through a portal into the harsh and unforgiving Plains. Suddenly Ezren finds himself hunted for his magics, and Bethral’s family ties to the warriors of the Plains may be all that stands between him and death.
Elizabeth Vaughan’s Destiny’s Star is the follow-on to her Dagger-Star and White Star. I recommend reading all three in order as there’s a strong arc to the character development. It’s unfortunately also handy if you’ve read at least a little of Ms. Vaughan’s other series (Warcry, et. al.), since this installment references events, people, and customs from that other series. If I hadn’t read Warcry I would have been a bit puzzled by these mentions.
Ms. Vaughan has a real talent for unusual character couplings that defy the usual stereotypes. In particular, this series has stayed away from the typical snarky female/snarly alpha male pairing, and each couple in each new book has had a dynamic all its own. In Destiny’s Star, Bethral is strong, methodical, serious, and quiet. Ezren is charming, quick-witted, gracious, and sweet. Between them, they end up having to convince a group of Plains warriors to aid them, and it ends up falling to some of the younger warriors to make Ezren and Bethral see what everyone else finds obvious—that they’re in love with each other.
There’s plenty of action, some wonderful world-building as we explore the traditions of the Plains, enjoyable characterization, and a slow, sweet build to Bethral and Ezren’s relationship. The implications of Ezren’s magic and its role in the changes taking place in the Plains are fascinating, and the plot provides plenty of tension and excitement!