The Pastophori of Iset has set a trap for the Incarnate…only she doesn’t know it….
Trail of Dead (Incarnate #2), by Cristy Rey
The Pastophori of Iset has set a trap for the Incarnate…only she doesn’t know it.
Burned out from being on the road again, a directionless Sunday finds herself inexplicably drawn to Salt Lake City. There she finds herself in a curious state. For the first time in her life, Sunday feels normal. She can walk around free of anxiety that she will be set-off by her inhuman sensitivity. She can be intimate without overheating. Are the days of the Incarnate finally behind her?
Cyrus has not handled losing Sunday well. For eight months, the werewolf has been a shadow of himself. His pack is concerned and his closest friend, Marcus, believes that Cyrus is in danger of being lost to his humanity. When their Alpha confesses that the Pastophori of Iset has set a trap for Sunday, Cyrus goes into full-gear trying to get her out of it…but he has to find her first.
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With a sharp nod to Cyrus, Stephen took a step back and again made his way to his seat. Cyrus claimed the seat Marcus vacated, muscles taut and ready to spring into action. It took everything to abate the firestorm that brewed in him. The loss of Sunday, a threat to Marcus, and the rising wolf that threatened to take over if Cyrus didn’t get himself in check.
“I think Marcus appreciates the situation.”
“Do you, Marcus?” Stephen asked. The younger wolf now stood with his hands in his pockets and his head lowered, refusing to direct his gaze to his leader.
“I do, Stephen, but, respectfully, I think it doesn’t matter.”
“What makes you think you can find her and, even if you did, the Incarnate would go with you willingly?”
“She came with us willingly before.”
“But she didn’t come with you willingly the last time, and correct me if I’m remembering things wrong, but you stated that time she put you on your ass and turned the lights out on you for an entire day to prove just how unwilling she was to be recaptured.” Stephen leaned up on his elbows and shifted forward in his chair. “You think you cannot only find her this time, but get her to agree to going with you? Because, Cyrus, I want to be clear on this. She’s going to have to come with you for this to work.”
Cyrus nodded, and Stephen asked Marcus the same question.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that easy,” Marcus admitted. “But I think it’s worth attempting. At the very least, it gives Cyrus another shot with her, and I’m not sure he’ll stay with us long unless he gets at least that.”
The situation was clear. He’d been volatile since she’d absconded and left him behind, and only by confronting her could the situation be resolved. Cyrus wouldn’t be the first werewolf to leave behind humanity and choose to live out his days in wolf form. Once he made that fateful decision, his humanity would be lost forever. He wouldn’t come back. No one did. He would live out his days in the wild and he would do so in misery, alone.
“Is that accurate?” Stephen asked. There was no mistaking to whom he directed the question.
“Yes,” Cyrus answered.
The word stewed in the room while the three men quietly considered what it meant. Cyrus’s admission was deeply felt, and Stephen sighed heavily and brought his hands to cover his face, shaking his head and mumbling unintelligibly into them.
“So what do you want me to do?”
“I want a meeting with the cult leaders,” Cyrus replied.
Dropping back against the chair, he tucked his chin, beard brushing over chest. All the possible consequences of this action played out in his mind. He might not have admitted it to Marcus, even after Marcus had made his intentions known, but he’d fantasized about the millions of ways he could find Sunday again. Finally, he was opening up about them with Stephen, possibly the only person who could enable their reality.
“The cult has ceased all contracts regarding the capture and retrieval of the Incarnate.”
“Why?” Marcus asked, now inching closer to the table where the two men sat.
“Like I said earlier, Cyrus is the best and everyone knows it. He was the most dedicated to the Incarnate’s case and he is the one with the most experience with her. Since the witch’s flock was all but exterminated when she destroyed the main house, information about her is in short supply.”
“What does the cult know about Sunday that we don’t?” Cyrus interjected.
“Good question,” Stephen admitted with a nod. “It is my understanding that the Pastophori has found another way of trapping her.”
My Personal Review
Dark and Suspenseful Urban Fantasy Read!
Please note that this review contains some spoilers for readers who have not read book #1 in the series, Taking Back Sunday (click title for my review).
If you are not already on board with the Incarnate Series by Cristy Rey then hop on now and ready yourself for a fantastic dark urban fantasy read! Trail of Dead, book #2 in the series, pulses with arcane magic, violence, psychological torment and twisted evil, but it also explores the bonds of friendship, love and self-sacrifice.
After giving Cyrus the slip at the end of the previous novel, Sunday is again on the run, striving to come to terms with her powerful and oftentimes destructive powers. She is drawn to Salt Lake City, where a feeling of calmness descends upon her and she feels like she has a chance at normality. She makes friends with a woman called Deborah and embarks on a rewarding social life.
Nevertheless the Pastophori have set a trap for Sunday that she unknowingly all but sleepwalks into. This trap may not only cost Sunday her freedom and even her life but also that of an innocent teenager. The dark magic and madness of another, who has awaited the arrival of Sunday for a long time finally comes into play.
At the same time Cyrus, in Alaska with his pack, is sinking deeper into depression following Sunday’s desertion. Fearing what will happen if he is not reunited with Sunday and hearing that she is in danger, he once again seeks her out. Accompanied by fellow wolves Marcus and Angel, Cyrus soon picks up her scent. But will he be too late to save her from the trap and the fate that the Pastophori have in store for her? Will Sunday welcome him back? And above all will she remain with him? Their relationship is a complex one and they have much to come to terms with.
Once again I LOVED the characters in this novel. I really felt for Cyrus, the tortured alpha male werewolf, who cannot survive without his mate. He struggles with the knowledge that she left him, yet once he realises she is in danger NOTHING will keep him from saving her. I also enjoyed finding out more about Marcus and Angel and the new characters introduced in this novel. The members of the Pastophori are truly evil and I was on the edge of my seat hoping against hope that they did not realise their twisted objectives!
I emphasised with Sunday and was happy for her when she begins to live a normal life in Salt Lake City. Yet alarm bells began to ring as her sense of self as well as her powers begin to wane. Events conspire to work against her and people are not always what they seem. Sunday can only save herself and others if she can break free of the trap that has closed in around her and for once she cannot do this alone. I will not divulge any more of this awesome plot, but just urge you to give this highly original and entertaining series a go – you will not be disappointed!
I received a copy of this novel from the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.
Taking Back Sunday (Incarnate #1)
After five years on the run, Sunday has finally settled into a seemingly normal life in Columbia, South Carolina. What her two best friends don’t know is that Sunday has a secret past. She is the Incarnate, a conduit of mystical energy transcendent of the mundane and the divine. For most of her life, she served under Bernadette, the most powerful witch in the Northwest. Her power is terrifying, and what she remembers of her past—and what she doesn’t—haunts her. In the year that she’s been attempting to be anything but the Incarnate, Sunday has fought her abilities tooth and nail, but it’s been worth it. When Sunday joins her friends’ coven for an innocent gathering, Sunday discovers a darkness hidden beneath the blanket of the coven’s magic and she is determined to find out who is behind it and what she has planned.
For the last four years, Cyrus has been the point man on the contract to recapture the Incarnate and deliver her to the Pastophori of Iset. A gifted tracker and a fearless werewolf, he harbors a wild, inexplicable passion for the Incarnate that has driven him to hunt her. He was one of the original captors that brought her to Bernadette when his obsession with her began. Having found her, Cyrus and his pack find themselves torn between two objectives: take her by force and deliver her to yet another group of fanatics, or help her uncover the traitor among her coven.
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About this Author
Cristy Rey is the author of the romantic urban fantasy Incarnate series. Taking Back Sunday, Trail of Dead, and the prequel novelette, Edge of Seventeen, were released in 2014. The third full-length installment, Wolf Parade, will be released in 2015. She also writes and publishes unconventional romantic women’s fiction. Her first standalone, Weeping Angels, is available now, and her second, Heart Grow Fonder, will be out in winter 2014/2015.
Cristy lives in Miami, FL where she is a reader and writer most of the time, and a knitter much less of the time than she was six months before she took up writing again. She writes the books that she likes to read. She describes her writing style as riot grrrl Jane Austen sprinkled with a little magic. There’s always a killer soundtrack running in the background of her novels – all you need to do is turn to the playlist to know what’s up.
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