I picked up a review copy of this one by mistake. I was interested in the work of Caitlin R. Kiernan already, due to the fact that she occasionally writes Lovecraftian weird fiction. Caitlin R. Kiernan also writes as Kathleen Tierney. So, when I saw a review copy of a book by Cate Tiernan on offer, I grabbed it without thinking. It turns out that Cate Tiernan is one of those “paranormal romance” writers, as well as writing childrens’ books , under her real name, Gabrielle Charbonnet . Never let it be said that I don’t give everything a decent chance, so, being me, I acquired copies of the first two books in this trilogy and started reading…
The Immortal Beloved series in general appears to be an extrapolation of ideas from the ‘Highlander’ series of films and TV shows. The immortals of that series title can only be killed by decapitation (or something equally drastic which has much the same effect) and they can steal the lifeforce/power from other immortals when they kill them.
In the first two books, ‘Immortal Beloved’ and ‘Darkness Falls’, we follow Nastasya, a 459 year old who still looks to be in her late teens. Having left the horror of her Icelandic roots behind, she lives a life of leisure and excess, alongside her best friend, Incy (Innocencio) and their immortal peer group. Having always left the dark magic potential of immortals well alone, she is surprised and shocked when Incy uses it to cripple a belligerent cabbie. She runs away and finds herself in the immortal equivalent of a hippy commune, River’s Edge, run by River, a 1300 year old immortal. River and her friends are trying to teach wayward immortals that there is other than dark magic, and they don’t need to be evil.
At this refuge, Nastasya meets and develops feelings for Reyn, the last remaining son of the raiders who massacred her family. It’s complicated.
Over two books, Nastasya tries, fails, tries harder, fails again, etc. She runs away. Incy finds her. Things get very bad, but they work out in the end.
This brings us to the volume in question, ‘Eternally Yours’. Very bad things are happening. River’s brothers show up and they don’t much trust, or like Nastasya. We are treated to assorted flashbacks throughout the series, which gradually fill in the backgrounds of the characters and explain the tensions that exist in the present. Nastasya and Reyn eventually learn more about each other and themselves, as it is revealed just how important Nastasya is.
Yes, there is romance here, obviously, but no more than in, for instance, an Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars book. For the most part, what we have here is a gripping adventure story, involving dark and light magic, friendship and betrayal. I read all three volumes over a few days and really enjoyed them. I can’t help but wonder if Cate Tiernan really has no more to tell us about these immortals.