Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Soulstar by C.L. Polk
Series: The Kingston Cycle #3
Published by Tor on February 16, 2021
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
For years, Robin Thorpe has kept her head down, staying among her people in the Riverside neighborhood and hiding the magic that would have her imprisoned by the state. But when Grace Hensley comes knocking on Clan Thorpe’s door, Robin’s days of hiding are at an end. As freed witches flood the streets of Kingston, scrambling to reintegrate with a kingdom that destroyed their lives, Robin begins to plot a course that will ensure a freer, juster Aeland. At the same time, she has to face her long-bottled feelings for the childhood love that vanished into an asylum twenty years ago.
Can Robin find happiness among the rising tides of revolution? Can Kingston survive the blizzards that threaten, the desperate monarchy, and the birth throes of democracy? Find out as the Kingston Cycle comes to an end.
I love the Kingston Cycle series. The covers are gorgeous! The world and story arc so engaging with magic and the politics of the ruling class and regular people. The LGBTQ stories are not my typical reading but I’ve enjoyed them. The main characters of the three books are related and are witches of different types. I found I had to go back and skim my reviews of the previous books to understand where things were and refresh the history.
Witchmark was the story of Miles. I really loved him and his compassion. He’s a doctor who fought in the war and then treated soldiers. He and his sister, Grace, fought together to stop the enslavement of others.
Next in Stormstong, we begin with Grace in prison for that fight. She is quickly released as she is talented with weather magic and she is needed. She serves the Queen and tries so hard to do what is right for Aeland, but it is so difficult. Everyone wants to control her. She is very knowledgeable about the players but still has some tricky moments with traps laid for her. There is a lot more history revealed.
The series is styled as an urban fantasy although each story has a new romance. So because of the politics, I would read these in order. Soulstar brings us Robin’s story. Robin is a nurse who worked with Miles during the war, and a key player in the people’s movement. Grace is the chancellor to the new King and asks Robin to be her consultant about the people’s demands. One of the first things, was to free the witches who had been imprisoned. Robin had a great plan and they were quickly released, including Robin’s spouse who had been gone about 20 years.
The new King started with good intentions but he is very used to being in charge and getting what he wants. There is a lot happening with released witches to be resettled in societies, efforts to provide more rights to the people, and work to find ways to replace the aether without using imprisoned witches and the souls of the dead. I recommend this heartfelt, inspiring series with magic and love.
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