Author: Kristen Painter
Series: Crescent City, #2
Released: December 2nd 2014
Length: 436 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
Magic and mystery collide in this second installment of the new urban fantasy series by House of Comarre author Kristen Painter.Still coming to terms with their unexpected partnership, Augustine and Harlow have a tentative truce. With Harlow slowly working to accept being fae, Augustine still learning how to be Guardian, and feelings growing on both sides though, they do not have an easy road ahead.But when a young girl is stolen from the Mardi Gras Exemplar Ball -- the biggest far event of the year -- Harlow and Augustine must put all their issues aside to bring her home alive. Harlow's father, Braziano, is of course their number one suspect, but evil lurks in every corner of the city and time is running out. Their only choices: Either find a way to rescue the girl, or Augustine must die.
As an urban fantasy author, Kristen Painter keeps exceeding my already high expectations. City of Eternal Night is undoubtedly a fabulous addition to her Crescent City series – full of danger, excitement, intrigue and romance.
Painter has an infallible sense of pacing, it seems. The tension here builds slowly, gradually, until it finally drives us to the edge of our seats. The story is mostly told from Augustine and Harlow’s perspectives, although there are things we see through Giselle’s eyes. As the story progresses, the villain’s POV becomes more and more important, and the picture we get in the end is far from hopeful for our two heroes.
Augustine remains the absolute star of this series. His character has grown considerably since the beginning and now, as Guardian, he has a steady moral compass we can’t help but admire. If you add to that his boyish charm, his absolute integrity and strong sense of responsibility, you get a hero as lovable as Adam in Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, and just as appealing as Kate Daniels’ Curran.
Harlow is still somewhat difficult to like, although she certainly tries. I feel that her character really shows Painter’s remarkable skill. She is extremely vulnerable, which appeals to our protective instincts, but she can also be judgmental and rash. She does make significant progress in this novel, but there’s still a long way to go.
I loved how (slowly) the romance was developed in this book. At the beginning, Harlow was too afraid of her own kind to even think about trusting Augustine, who is so obviously fae. But as she learns more about the different kinds of fae and their abilities, and as Augustine keeps proving again and again how very dependable he is, her attitude starts to change until she is just as attracted to him as he is to her. There two dance a very slow dance, a playful, entertaining negotiation of sorts. Something is always between them, but the obstacles are genuine and not something fabricated to keep them apart. Trust is incredibly important between them – once things finally align, I have a feeling their romance will be epic.
This is a series I cannot recommend highly enough. Painter has already successfully concluded one UF series, and her experience is clear from everything she writes. Even though I loved House of Comarré, this story is obviously more controlled, and I have no doubt there are plently more fabulous things to come.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, montary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.