Rhys MacDonald has always known about his ties to Annwyn, the Otherworld, hidden from mortals. His great-grandfather, the banished Sidhe prince Daegan, left him a legacy in the mortal realm but taught him about Annwyn, the home of shapeshifters, wraiths and dragons, and warned him about the family curse. When danger reaches into the mortal world, Rhys wants to ignore the warnings of both his cousin Bran, the Sidhe king, who has forbidden him entry to Annwyn, and Keir, his shadow-wraith protector.
When the Otherworld is threatened by dangerous Dark Magick, Rhys ignores the warnings and races into Annwyn. There he encounters a young shapeshifting goddess, who recognizes him as the man in her dreams, who she believes is her mate. Their futures bound together, they discover that both destiny and Dark Magick have different plans for them. Will the flames of desire bind them together?
Mists of Velvet: the Immortals of Annwyn Book Two by Sophie Renwick is a dark and highly erotic fantasy, set in a world balanced between mortals and legendary beings. I was captivated by the characters and the world building that continues to take place in this story, the second book in The Immortals of Annwyn series. The dialogue is sharp with an occasional Gaelic touch and highly erotic.
Rhys MacDonald is a great character; he’s young, strong and determined to hold his own while surrounded by a host of immortal beings. He’s also tired of being discriminated against because of his humanity and his somewhat symbiotic relationship with Keir, the “Shadow-Wraith" protector assigned to him at birth. The immortals treat Rhys as a third class citizen and look at his relationship with Keir as "abnormal" because Keir needs to feed off Rhys’ emotional energy, specifically sexual energy, in order to survive: in exchange his magic protects Rhys from harm. It’s an unusual relationship that goes beyond brotherhood, since they share everything. Or at least they did, until Keir started to travel to Annwyn, keeping secrets and Rhys started dreaming of a woman with silver blond hair, one he would never share. A woman destined to be his mate.
Bronwnn is a fantastic character, born a shapeshifting goddess; she serves as the handmaiden to Queen Cailleach, co-ruler of Annwyn. Her gift of "sight" has made her somewhat of a prisoner in the supreme goddess’s palace and forced her to hide both her shapeshifting ability and her growing ability to connect with the Dark Mage, who continues to grow in power through his use of Dark Magick. Kept separate from the other young goddesses, Bronwnn is lonely. She fears that although born goddess of sexuality and fertility, she will never be allowed to find her destined mate. When she begins dreaming of a dark haired warrior, her body comes alive and she hopes for her freedom.
The scenes between Rhys and Bronwnn are emotionally charged. Their attraction and physical chemistry scorches the pages. When Rhys rebels and begins to travel to Annwyn, he is captured by the Dark Mage. This provides him with vitally important information for the immortal warriors. Managing to escape, Rhys finds himself near the reflecting pool, which his grandfather had spoken of, and rescued by a white wolf, who is Bronwnn in her shape shifted form. Their attraction undeniable, Rhys and Bronwnn give in to mutual desire, unaware that their union will reveal secret betrayals, and force alliances to be made.
While the focus of the story is the relationship between Rhys and Bronwnn, the secondary characters in this story are vitally important, both as the focus of future books and also for understanding the complex world built by Ms. Renwick. I especially liked revisiting Bran and his human wife, Maira. The scenes between the supreme goddess, Cailleach, and the fallen angel, Suriel, with their uneasy alliance, will be interesting to watch. I also look forward to seeing what happens to Keir on the path he has chosen. The conclusion of the story is well done and left me hungry for more. I look forward to reading the next book set in this world. Because of the complexity of the world building done by Ms. Renwick, I do recommend that you read this series in the order it is written.
Hidden from mortals, Annwyn, the Otherworld, is home to shapeshifters, wraiths and dragons. Rhys MacDonald, the mortal great-grandson of a banished prince races to Annwyn to offer help when his ancient homeland is threatened by a dangerous Dark Magick. There he encounters a young goddess and shapeshifter, who thinks he is the mate foreseen in her dreams. Bound together by the flames of desire, they discover that destiny-and the Dark Magick- has other plans for them...