Title: Hounded by Fate
Series: Sons of Britain: Book Six
Author: Mia West
Length: 214 Pages
Category: Historical Romance, Paranormal/Fantasy, Arthurian Fantasy
Rating: 5 Stars
At a Glance: Full disclosure: I wasn’t altogether too thrilled when I read that Cai’s story was the next to be told in the ongoing Sons of Britain series. Haha I’m so dumb. I do love a good redemption story, and Hounded by Fate is an excellent one.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: A wolf on the run from his demons. The one man who can tame his wounded heart.
None of it was Cai’s fault. Or so he’s told himself for years. Only, it no longer holds the scent of truth.
With guilt nipping at his heels, Cai flees as far north as he can. By the time he stumbles into a barbarian hunting camp, he’s nothing but fur and bones and a death wish. It’s just his luck that among the strangers are a small girl with strength to spare and a man whose sure hand sparks an unsettling instinct to obey.
Raised by a brutal despot, Agravain is determined to be a better father to his daughter. He has enough problems without adding this pathetic excuse for a wild wolf to his burdens. But he doesn’t count on his lass’s quick attachment to the beast, nor how helping the wolf mend eases the loneliness of their island home.
And he can’t explain at all why the creature seems to understand him better than anyone else.
Meanwhile, a surprise visitor to Arthur’s shifter compound could corner him into finally accepting a few truths that have dogged him for over a decade.
NOTE: Hounded by Fate is not a standalone novel and is best enjoyed in series order.
Review: Years ago Cai ap Matthias betrayed his brother Arthur out of spite and jealousy, causing Arthur to be banished from the only home he’d ever known, which, of course, set Arthur’s future in motion, but Bedwyr was also affected by this betrayal—unsurprisingly, since what affects Arthur affects Bed by default, though Cai doing harm to his best friend and former shieldmate was not at all what he had intended. The fallout from Cai’s transgression had a ripple effect, reaching Gwen and Elain as well, and Cai himself goes on to suffer the repercussions of his own actions, perhaps most profoundly in his beloved parents’ diminished respect for him. Thus, he determined his best, if not only, course of action was to leave Uthyr’s stronghold to join the enemy Saxons. He did so with help from his sister Mora, and it changed his life forever.
Mia West so effortlessly (or, at least it seems effortless) weaves series events and characters into Cai and Agravain’s unlikely romance, giving readers a glimpse of Arthur, Bedwyr, their band of would-be knights, Gwen and Elain and their sons, Agravain’s mother and brothers, and Matthias, Arthur and Cai’s father. I remain impressed by how capably this author has intertwined these characters and their lives, and has done so from not only chapter to chapter but from book to book, without missing a beat and while moving the story and her characters forward to their eventual resolution, and then sending them on their way to the next adventure.
Agravain and Cai meeting is unintentionally facilitated by Agravain’s five-year-old daughter, Lura, when she finds a wolf on death’s doorstep in the woods near their hunting camp, and convinces her father to bring it home with them. Lura is a bright, bold, precocious, and headstrong little girl who is capable of holding her own against anyone willing to engage her, especially her father, and it’s impossible not to sense she’s going to have an impact through the remaining three books in the series. She charms her wolf every bit as capably, gaining his unquestioning loyalty and protection. Little does her father know, however, that the beast in their midst is, in truth, Cai the betrayer. The building of the relationships—between Cai and Lura, and Cai and Agravain—is sweet but not without internal and external friction. Agravain’s mother has plans, and I instantly and intensely loathed her for them as well as the danger she placed her son and granddaughter in. It was the catalyst for Cai’s redemption, though, and so not only fit her character, but it fed his need to prove himself worthy, as well as being essential to the progression of Arthur’s ascension.
Full disclosure: I wasn’t altogether too thrilled when I read that Cai’s story was the next to be told in the ongoing Sons of Britain series. Haha I’m so dumb. I do love a good redemption story, and Hounded by Fate is an excellent one. I didn’t expect to like Cai, let alone love him, so massive kudos to Mia West for humbling him so thoroughly and then making him so unquestionably worthy of his redemption arc. I also have to say there was a reveal in this book that hit me like a sledgehammer right in the feels, to the point I had to close my kindle and walk away for a bit, which is my way of saying West has made me love these characters to the point where my emotional investment in them is absolute, and the impact of this revelation was palpable.
The end of Hounded by Fate is nothing short of a brilliant tease. I didn’t even realize I’d been waiting for the moment until it happened, which has pushed book seven onto my most anticipated list, and it will be read the minute it’s released.
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