Title: Unexpected Bargain: The Missing Shield Episode 2

Author: L.L. Thomsen

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Bargain-Missing-Shield-Episode-ebook/dp/B07CKS9T3C

Summary

Princess Iambre of Ostravah is everything a royal heiress should be; she is the one everyone wants to be, or be with. Everyone, that is, except Iambre herself!
Dark thoughts rule her life for she has a secret that her heart is not keen to let go of and it has made her an impossible version of herself – something that her friend and bodyguard, Solancei, knows only too well and has done her utmost to cover and deflect.

However, as Solancei disappears under mysterious circumstances during their visit to the main seat of a dubious ally, Iambre is suddenly left with bigger issues than her own rebellious heart or what to wear for the next banquet. Fears for her friend’s life unfounded, nevertheless Iambre senses something rotten at play – but without concrete evidence, could she simply be deluding herself into seeing things that are not there?

Elsewhere, Malandar – jaded Spell-Weaver and Commander of the once-all-powerful Guardians who protect the Veils of Time against an ancient, mad enemy – has awoken to a world that still bears the now almost 1000 years–old scars from the betrayal of a fellow Guardian.

Magic lies sundered and useless, the ancient astrolabe designed to restore the Veils is missing, and so are the twins who hold the power to wield it, and with the Veils now fading, Malandar must travel like a mere mortal, in effort to find the twins before the enemies of Chaos.

But in Ostravah, nothing is what it was. Danger stirs and darkness is gathering. With the future of Life itself at stake, Malandar knows he cannot afford even a single misstep – for should the Veils fail, so will the world see the return of the war that once cost him everything. The odds of success seem poor indeed, yet one thing exists that could help turn the tides: a weapon of magic so powerful that it could destroy everything unless harnessed, but dare he seek it out? And has he even the luxury of choice if faced with the alternative?

Facing dark decisions, Malandar has little idea that fate is about to change his existence once again; nor does Iambre realise how deep she’ll soon have to dig into her reserves of fortitude as her world slowly spins her on a journey of danger, discovery and truth.

As the story weaves and thickens, meanwhile, Solancei awakens and finds herself imprisoned in a dark dungeon. Seemingly caught somewhere between nightmare and reality, she has yet to discover that her trials have just begun in a game of smoke and mirrors that could cost her everything – including her own life, and Iambre’s…

A deeply visual, character-driven read – in ‘Unexpected Bargain’ continues a sweeping, epic series that explores the limits of friendship and duty, romance and darkness. Come along on a quest across nine realms; discover the concept, unravel the lyrical prose; whatever your preference – this missing person’s story is inspired by multiple genres, and is underpinned by superb world building, deep intrigue, and surprisingly gritty events.

This is all about the journey, so follow the cast down the rabbit hole… if you dare.

My Review

4/5 Stars

Book Two of the Missing Shield series is told in multiple points of view ranging from Guardian Malandar, to Princess Iambre and Bilandro, and to Solancei. Each of these characters are very flawed, just as the things they are facing, and that makes the story feel more real. The characters, for all their flaws, overcome them, and the way that the author writes their POVs make the transformations that much more striking.

I like the focus on Solencei and the better explanation of that portion of the story. The language used in a lot of this book was beautiful and flowing, giving a great background for the characters.

Definitely a great installment of the series!