Pros: I really like Nix as a character
Rating: 4 out of 5
Linsey Hall’s Fugitive of Magic (Dragon’s Gift: The Protector Book 1) is book 11 in the Dragon’s Gift world (links to the collected sets for all three sub-series can be found at the end of this review). Nix, Cass, and Del are sisters-by-choice. They woke up alone in a field when they were 15 years old, with no memory of their lives before–merely an awareness that they were on the run from something terrible. They also knew that they were FireSouls–capable of stealing the powers of those they kill, and thus also in danger from those in charge of the magical world. In “The Huntress” sub-series, Cass started to remember her past, and ended up destroying the Monster that hunted the girls. In “The Seeker” sub-series, Del had to save the world from a demon invasion. Now in “The Protector” it’s Nix’s turn. The women know they’re part of a magical Triumvirate prophesied to do great things, and that each has a task to perform. So Nix has some idea that something big is coming her way. It’s a bit of a shock, however, when she’s accused of murdering an ally of the vampires, and given three days to prove her innocence and thus survive. The half-vampire Enforcer, Ares, decides that Nix is innocent and becomes determined to work together with her to bring the real killer to justice.
I wish the romance sub-plot was a little less formulaic. In each woman’s sub-series a handsome, powerful, extremely wealthy man has immediately been introduced as love interest. It’s true that each one has been a little more organic and compelling than the previous, but it’s still extremely formulaic and takes some of the interest out of the plot. I have to admit, though, I’m not yet tired of seeing male leads who respect their female counterparts. Ares is an interesting character. He isn’t your typical brooding, seductive vampire. He’s a bit more human than that, which is a nice approach.
Nix is my favorite sister to read about. She has a sort of wholesome, sensitive vibe going, and it brings something new to the mix. Both Cass and Del were very much on the typical urban fantasy snark end. But this hasn’t in any way stopped Nix from being tough and self-reliant, which is good. She has the most utilitarian of the girls’ abilities–conjuration–but hasn’t yet absorbed the powers of any others, putting her at a bit of a disadvantage. Of course we know that won’t last, no matter how much the idea of stealing powers disgusts her. We do find out some of why that’s the case as she starts to remember bits and pieces of her past (much as what happened to the other two women).
Del almost had to worry more about her Phantom side being discovered than she did her FireSoul side, so it’s interesting to get back to the FireSoul thread. Ares’s mother used to hunt FireSouls, and the vampires do turn them in to the Magica when they’re discovered. So Nix still has to worry about displaying her powers.
This is a great start to the latest sub-series in this world, and I look forward to reading more!