Sons of Destiny

Reviews of The Cat

Jean Johnson - Sons of Destiny: The Cat

Review by: Just Jeanette

May 8, 2008

She knew she was destined to rule, to be a queen. She was wrong. The Gods had another destiny planned for her.

The Cat is the 5th book in Jean Johnson’s Sons Of Destiny Series and we’ve met, and fallen in love with, the men of Nightfall; eight brothers, strong, independent, and destined to marry. Trevan, the fifth son remembers a woman’s touch from before they were exiled, and he misses the soft touch of woman’s hand, a shared laugh, a night’s embrace. So he’s waiting, impatiently, for his destined bride to finally make an appearance. When she finally does, though, she doesn’t come alone, and for that reason Trevan will have to woo her carefully.

Here is where we see Jean’s skill as a story teller. The heroine is strong, slightly flawed, and just what Trevan needs to keep him home. The back-story, necessary to the believable characters, is there but doesn’t overwhelm or distract from the plot. The clashes, personal and cultural, add depth to the characters. The romance is slow to build but well worth the wait; after all, a slow seduction leads to brighter burning passions.

In terms of the book as a whole, I’m just glad Jean asked me to read it… I dove in and didn’t come up for air until I’d finished, then I went back and started reading it again. I’m fairly certain you will too.

Now if she’d just get the rest onto the bookstore shelves... : )

Review by: Purrzah

June 16, 2008

Once again, I have waited with great anticipation for the release of a new novel by Jean Johnson, and The Cat has proven to be worth the wait. With great eagerness I cracked the spine of the book that focuses on Trevan, the fifth-born of the Sons of Destiny. I wanted to read the story of the man who shares my nickname!

In the forward, Ms. Johnson warns the reader - this book and the one to follow, The Storm, share a parallel time-frame. She points out that two people, having experienced the same thing, will tell two different stories because of perspective. This intrigued me; how would she separate these two stories sufficiently enough to leave surprises for The Storm?

Let me reassure any uncertain fans or new readers. Rydan, the sixth-born, is reclusive enough that an entirely separate set of novels about his life could be written to parallel the rest of the Sons of Destiny books and never fail to be fresh. Yes, we know who he's courting (or being courted by?), but we've also known all along whom Morganen is courting! The key there, will be HOW it happens.

Enough about the book that isn't published though. We're talking about The Cat. Purrrrrrrr.

In The Cat, we find that all is not well with at least two of the unattached brothers. Trevan, being one of them, has gone from Feast to Famine in the terms of a ladies man. And he's feeling the inevitable aches and pains of the exile of the eight brothers. Nothing he and his pyrotechnically-challenged brother, Koranen, can work up provides a satisfactory relief.

In the meantime, we are introduced to representatives of another country and race. The Shifterai are natural shapechangers, as opposed to the specialized magic both Trevan and Wolfer enjoy. Amara and Arora, having fled their homeland and forced to abandon their promising futures, have arrived on the island. A great mystery surrounds Arora, and Amara has sworn to protect her twin sister from the multitude of greedy mages that would steal away with Arora for what she is. Much to Amara's horror, they've arrived on an odd island nation that seems populated with nothing more than mages!

Worse, she feels abandoned by the gods and, after meeting Trevan and having learned she is his "destined" wife, she cannot accept that! She can't trust him or his brothers, and Kelly – oh, don't get her started on Kelly! A completely powerless, outworlder upstart that DARES call herself a Queen!

While musing on this review, I've considered the balances of each of the brothers. Saber, the eldest, is tempered like the steel he favors. Oh, he has a temper, but he's the solid backbone of the family. He's ordered and disciplined. Wolfer, his twin, is wilder, more prone to acting on instinct, based on emotional response. Like a wild creature.

Dominor, third-born, is strong-willed and proud. He is, after all, The Master! He is a leader, though he defers to Saber. His twin, Evanor, on the other hand, is more laid-back, domestic, and willing to be equal or subordinate. The song, after all, needs harmony as well as melody.

Trevan is all about people. Women, mostly, of course, but he is a people person. His charm has been carefully studied. His twin, Rydan, is all about secrecy and seclusion. It seems mysteries are Rydan's way, though it's hard to say, he's such a mystery!

Koranen, the pyromancer, is the epitome of magic out of control. One lapse of concentration on Koranen's part and POOF! Up in flames. Well, not he himself, though that may be a possibility, but much of his surroundings would suffer – especially any potential romantic interest! On the other hand is his twin, Morganen, who embodies the most powerful of magics and the wit and wisdom to use them. It's often been said that Morganen may possibly be the most powerful mage ever known. I have no doubts!

At any rate, The Cat proves to be a delightful read, dealing not only with Trevan's challenge of wooing a proud princess who struggles to allow trust back into her life, but the ongoing challenges of the incipient kingdom of Nightfall. Even Queen Kelly has lessons to be learned in this latest chapter of the Sons of Destiny, and not entirely dealing with establishing the kingdom. We also get an enjoyable (at least for me), inside view of the plans for the building of Nightfall, as well as the arrival of the first non-curse-related citizens.

We only have three more installments of this delightful tale! I eagerly await them all… but on the same hand I dread the day when I close a book and realize that there will be no more forthcoming. Of course, Ms. Johnson very likely will have many new stories to come. Perhaps not of the same world, but she holds a vast Universe of possibilities within her imagination.

Other Reviews

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Click here for a review by Kathy Boswell of Fresh Fiction

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Click here for a review by Robin Snodgrass of Romance Junkies

Click here for a review by Vi Janaway of Romance Reviewer Today