The Shores of Spain (The Golden City #3)
J. Kathleen Cheney
Published: July 7, 2015 (Roc)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference previous books in the series. If you haven’t yet started, check out VBC’s review of book 1 The Golden City.
When last we left Duilio and Oriana they were getting ready to embark on a journey to speak with the various magical races as part of Oriana’s new role as Ambassador for Northern Portugal. The Shores of Spain opens with Duilio and Oriana having been gone roughly six months and they are now making their way to the Ilhas das Sereias, specifically to the island where Oriana’s grandmother resides. Besides her ambassadorial work, Oriana and Duilio have a more personal job they want to accomplish–finding out who killed Oriana’s mother. When a key piece to the puzzle is stolen, Duilio calls in his brother Joaquim for help in finding the missing item.
Joaquim’s search will, literally, take him to the shores of Spain. He’ll be tasked with using his newly discovered witch’s power more than ever in order to finally unravel the political espionage we’ve seen taking place since The Golden City. He will come to rely on Oriana’s sister Marina, and she in turn will step out of the meek and non-confrontational guise that she believes she inhabits and become a woman who stands up for what she believes in and for those she loves.
The Shores of Spain expertly ties up all the intricate story threads started in The Golden City. Starting out easily enough with the theft from Duilio and Oriana, I wasn’t expecting quite so much to be hinged on that one object, but J. Kathleen Cheney is great with the mystery. I think someone could look at this book and this series and get overwhelmed, and while I will say it demands your full attention while reading, I assure you, Cheney is wonderful at reminding readers of past events without coming right out with a long recitation.
While Duilio and Oriana have been one of the more satisfying fictional couples I’ve read about in awhile (I just loved the way their story took shape), in The Shores of Spain they move away from the spotlight and instead the book focuses more on Joaquim and Marina’s relationship, which I found equally as satisfying as the other. I loved seeing the contrast between these two couples. On one hand you have Duilio and Oriana who are perfectly content taking up the sereia traditions. On the other you have Joaquim and Marina who are happy with what they have in Portugal.
Something that has been in each book, but I found even more apparent here, is the fact that both Duilio and Joaqium are ok letting their other halves take charge. Sereian culture dictates that the female makes all decisions in the household, and Duilio is all right letting Oriana do that. It’s a nice change from the typical alpha-male type that many romances depict.
This is slated to be the last book in the series. Cheney left the ending a little ambiguous and I’m hoping that’s because someday she’ll be able to revisit these characters. I would love to read more adventures. The Shores of Spain is a great ending to a really solid, intricately built, series. Highly recommended.
Sexual content: kissing, references to sex