Author: Kristen PainterSeries: Crescent City, #3
Released: April 5th 2015
Length: 368 pages
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.