Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review: Garden of Dreams and Desires

Garden of Dreams and Desires (Crescent City, #3)
Author: Kristen Painter
Series: Crescent City, #3
Released: April 5th 2015
Publisher: Orbit
Length: 368 pages
Source: Bought
Buy: Amazon

Tourists are disappearing at an alarming rate. While Augustine and his lieutenants attempt to find them, Harlow and the evil spirit possessing her remain Augustine's true focus. Freeing her from the spirit's grasp is all he can think about, especially with no real solution on the horizon.
Then he discovers the tourists are disappearing because the witches are stealing souls to cast a dangerous chaos spell. Before he can stop them, Harlow becomes their victim. Now he must race the clock to set her free and end the witches' machinations before the chaos spell strips every fae in New Orleans of their power and bring fae rule to an end.

It is so hard to say goodbye to favorites, worlds and characters we’ve grown to love and admire. Garden of Dreams and Desires is a worthy conclusion to a beloved trilogy, despite being far from perfect. Painter continues in her usual style, with multiple perspectives and several plotlines, but she pushes it a bit farther in this book, unintentionally alienating us from our two heroes.

Being familiar with her work, I always expect wonderful, nuanced villains from Kristen Painter, but she’s really outdone herself with Giselle. I’m rarely truly afraid of what a villain might do and how it might affect the heroes, but Painter achieves this easily. What I didn’t expect, though, were so many chapters from her point of view. It seemed as though she was the true protagonist of this book and I constantly wished for more time with Augustine and Harlow.

Augustine and Harlow don’t spend much time together, but they persistently fight for each other. Harlow’s battle happens mostly inside her body, where she struggles for dominance with the spirit of her dead sister, Ava Mae. Buried so deep beneath Ava Mae’s consciousness, Harlow can do very little to save herself, and the internal battle becomes life-changing. Once she gains the upper hand, Harlow is a changed woman, which is good considering how annoying her condescension had been in the past. She is finally ready to accept her fae heritage, which makes her a formidable opponent and a true partner to Augie.

The plot in this final book is very focused and well executed, with only a few minor secondary plotlines meant to relieve some of the pressure. Augustine and Harlow fight the battle of their lives against the witches. They unite with other paranormals against a common enemy, but even then their future is uncertain. They also have to defend the lightning tree without revealing its existence to the others, which is extremely hard to do. With the help of several trusted friends and Augustine’s lieutenants, they make plans and do what they can for the city of New Orleans.

I’m very sad to say goodbye to this series. I feel as though this world had so much more to give, but Painter seems to have moved on to paranormal romance, which is a pity. Nevertheless, House of Comarre and Crescent City are memorable series and I will undoubtedly reread them at some point.


  1. It's always hard to say good-bye to a beloved series. I love a when we get a villains POV, but it does stink when you want more of the other characters. Maybe the author will revisit the world in the future. Lovely review, Maja!

  2. It really is hard to say goodbye. Glad this ended so well for you though, I love it when that happens.

  3. It's hard to say goodbye to a series you've loved, and it's also a bit hard to digest spending so much time in the villains' POV when you want to spend time with the main heroes!

  4. I haven't heard much about this series--I don't think?--but the cover design seems familiar enough that I'm sure I've seen the prequels around. Anyhow, I'm thrilled that this series was one you loved from start to finish, Maja! It's so hard to find a series that doesn't disappoint at some point, so I'll have to check this one out for sure! :)

  5. It's always very sad to say bye to a beloved series and beloved characters. This sounds like a terrific series conclusion. Interesting how you get to see the villain's POV too. I always think it adds an extra edge.
    Great review, Maja!

  6. This sounds really creepy - what with the invasion of a dead sister's soul. I've never heard of this series before, sadly, but I'm glad it ended as it should.

    Great review, Maja!

  7. I know I have some Kristen Painter books but I'm not sure if it's this series or another. I definitely want to read her books though, they sound amazing!

  8. I still need to read the last book in the "House of Comarre". *sigh* I so want to start this series and now that you have told me the ending book is good, it is now higher on my list. This sounds well plotted which doesn't surprise me. Yea, you reminded me why I need this series. :)

  9. I have wondered about these...


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