Title: A Throne of Ruin
Author: K.F. Breene
Genre: Fantasy, Romance.
What’s It About: Finley leaves her home in search if Nyfain, knowing that he’s gotten a several hour head-start on her. She manages to track him by the blood, seeing that he’s still defending the villages in his very precarious condition–she manages to follow the blood all the way to the edge of the forest around a different village, where she encounters two individuals speaking about Nyfain and how badly he is hurt. She ultimately finds her way back to the castle, and helps Nyfain with his healing. She also tells Nyfain that her father has been cured from the sickness thanks to the crowded everlass.
She returns to living in the village, and continues to go to the everlass field, sharing stories with Nyfain through a letter, until a situation with some villagers makes her go back to Nyfain for safety.
Nyfain asks Finley to help him heal the other villages from the sickness, and she agrees to help him; however, he adds that they have to play their parts. First, she is going to have to appear dead to the village in order to protect her from some villagers. While she had been back at home, she had encountered Jedrek–another villager, who wants to marry her, and who said that he will speak with the demons to get her under a spell to marry him–and he alongside his pals had been harassing her. And secondly, Finley will have to play the part of someone who is kidnapped and forced to be in the castle, to give an explanation as to why she’s in the castle. She agrees, and Nyfain takes her in his beast form to the edge of the forest, and roars.
They continue to work together, and Finley devises a method of storing the everlass mixture in dried form to be then sent to the villagers in order for them to add the water and maximize it’s potency. Soon, the villagers are making a lot of requests for the everlass drink and healing. In the meantime, Finley and Nyfain grow closer, and she continues to get aroused by him. She also realizes that he is a Syflora–a person with a talent for singing to the plants that gets them to grow quickly. This helps speed up the process of growing the plants and making them healthy for what they need. In the meantime, Finley also gets her garden worked on by Hadriel and two other individuals and they are unable to heal the roses, which is when Finley realizes that Nyfain had been coming into the garden and singing to the flowers–missing his mom. She tells him to stop.
One afternoon, a young girl runs to the castle and asks for the prince, asking for them to save her mom. Finley, Nyfain, and Hadriel ride into the village, and while Nyfain goes to deal with the council and the wealthy, Finley goes to check in on the girl’s mom. She finds that they live in the poorer side of the town, and the girl tells her that there hasn’t been any of the potion left to give to the poorest members. This angers Finley because she had been creating these potions to give freely to everyone in the kingdom so that they can help each other heal, not for the information to be hoarded to only the rich members of the society. As she checks on the rest of the poorest members of the village, she realizes that there are a few that are still okay, but certainly one that is on death’s doorstep. Asking around, she also finds out that one member of the area has a cauldron and fire that will allow them to make the required potions and she also has the everlass. Finley takes over her house and helps the woman learn how to do the potion, so that between the two of them they are able to create enough potion. Finley specifically creates a crowded everlass potion and administers it to the person on death’s door.
After that she goes with the girl to the council meeting where Nyfain has been sitting and speaking with the council members, and basically threatens them for keeping the cure to themselves. She tells them that she will teach them all how to do it and if she will see someone hogging the information for personal gain, they will face dire consequences. Nyfain backs her up by telling them that they are dealing with the Royal Healer and whatever she says, goes. Over the next several weeks, Nyfain visits the other villages and finds the same situation in the other villages–where the richest people had access to the cures, while the poorest did not, which is a grim forecast in his opinion. The same message is given to the other villages, and with Hannon’s help, they manage to cure the sickest of members, and heal the others. There is also a minor freak-out because Finley hadn’t been taking the protective tea, while they had been having sex, and Nyfain did not want her to get pregnant.
A bit more time passes, and Nyfain finds out that the Demon King, Dolion, will come to visit them, and he might get interested in Finley, wanting him for himself. While Nyfain and Finley are hanging out together, Dolion comes to speak with Nyfain and ask him about Finley. In his anger, Nyfain grabs hold of Dolion, scaring him with his power. Dolion does fight back, but Finley steps into the fray before he can do any further damage to Nyfain. He talks to Finley and tells her that she hadn’t been out at night alone, and he would like to see her alone at night. They haggle it out an agreement in which she will show up alone at night without Nyfain and keep him in check during Dolion’s stay, but that she can kill any demon that touches her tonight without consent. Dolion agrees to it.
Finley goes to the parties at night, and sure enough some demons try to touch her without consent, and she ends up killing many of them, as they do not affect her in the slightest. This infuriates Dolion to an extent, but he does nothing per their agreement. She also speaks with Hadriel, who tells her that there is probably a different plan that Dolion is trying to go for, and they put the plan together while waiting for more demons to come to her. The next night, Dolion calls for a dinner with Nyfain and Finley, which they both attend, only to find four seats.
The fourth seat is for Jedrek, who has met with the Demon King after speaking with some of the lesser demons about getting Finley to marry him in exchange for his firstborn, but Dolion has little use for the first born. Dolion suggests to have her forced to marry Jedrek and have her carry his children, which makes Nyfain flip out. Finley brings him back under control with her will. She takes Nyfain to a separate room and tells him to let her go; that he has been preparing her for this the whole time, and that now is the time for her to make the deal. She argues with him that she cares for him and that she is his no matter what, and will find her way back. Nyfain, heartbroken, agrees. She returns to the room alone and tells Dolion that she will marry Jedrek in exchange for Dolion to stop the demon magic that is hurting the people and also to stop suppressing the shifter’s magic. After some more back and forth, in which he gets to take her to his castle, Dolion agrees to the deal.
She returns to Nyfain later in the evening, and they talk about the deal–Nyfain tells her that Dolion will not have her marry Jedrek because once she does, she fulfills the deal and can go back to creating trouble. Instead, Nyfain tells her that Dolion is most likely trying to torture her by playing caregiver to Jedrek, someone whom she hates. Finley tells him that Dolion has underestimated her then because she would much rather keep Jedrek alive than marry him, and it will be the perfect vengeance on Jedrek. Nyfain is incredulous, and then tells her that he hasn’t claimed her even though he had wanted to because he was worried that the smell would make it hard for Dolion to stomach her. But now he cannot go with her to physically protect her and all he can offer is the mark of an alpha that would make others recoil from her, giving her some space intimately from others. The only way that it could be taken off is if she is mated by another powerful alpha through a challenge, which would present a challenge if she escapes Dolion’s castle and wants to find a place to live. She smacks him and then they have sex, during which he marks her. She asks if she should mark him too, but he tells her that he does not want them taking a chance on imprinting. He tells her that she’s the only one he’s loved since the curse, and Finley goes to tell him that she loves him back, but he shakes his head–he doesn’t want to hear it for fear it would be harder to bear their separation.
In the end, Finley and Jedrek got carried by demons through the portal to the Demon realm. Then they had to take a boat to get to the castle during which Finely reads a letter from Nyfain that she got from him during their goodbyes. She had reminded Hadriel that he promised to get Nyfain to do the tasks of pulling up the animals inside the shifters so that when she came back, they could be prepared to deal with Dolion. Besides the clothes that she wore belonging to him, she also had the sword that he gave her from his mother.
In the letter, Nyfain tells her that Dolion had removed his magical gag, but she needs to know the truth. Finley is his true mate; he wondered about it when he saw her at fourteen, and was certain a few years later. He then waited until she was 18 to see her again, and since then had kept his distance while checking in on her. He had planned to wait until she turned 25 to meet her, but the kingdom was dying and so he enchanted the birch to alert him when she was at the everlass field, while also having his valet (an owl shifter) to watch her. He then tells her that dragons do purr, even if they are temperamental, and that everlass springs up around when there are dragons–the field that she visits of everlass has been growing ever since she had been going there. So she is a dragon. He also reveals to her that he lied about something else–with her healing powers, her dragon, she would have become a member of his court, and considering that she is his true mate, his father would have no other choice than to let them be together. He tells her that in order to break the curse, they need to claim each other and imprint. He surmises that his father had a moment of clarity in his deal with Dolion, and made it so that the people who were inside the castle could not age, while the ones outside the castle could, giving Nyfain forever to find his true mate to break the curse. He ends the note telling her that he will love her forever, but that he wants her to find happiness and peace.
My Thoughts: Absolutely loved this story in the series, and the more I read it, the more I love Nyfain and Finley. The world building and storytelling is well thought out, and also I just love the little details that bring them ever closer. I mean, of course I knew that Finley and Nyfain did not have a chance but to fall in love from the first book (it is a romance after all), but I do love the little things that makes them perfect for each other. And my heart breaks that Nyfain is willing to live in misery but let her go so that her life can be better.