Dying Wish by Shannon K. Butcher – a Review
Dying Wish is the sixth book in Shannon Butcher’s Sentinel Wars series. Before I do my review, in case you don’t know what the Sentinels are, here is brief description direct from Butcher’s site.
They are the Sentinels. Three races descended from ancient guardians of mankind, each possessing unique abilities in their battle to protect humanity against their eternal foes — the Synestryn. Now, a beautiful but damaged Sentinel may be a warrior’s last hope…
Jackie Patton is the heroine in Dying Wish. Jackie herself has been a captive and tortured by the evil Synestryns, since we have met Jackie previously, when she was rescued by the Theronai warriors. We find Jackie living in the compound run by the Theronai’s, where they all live, as well as many of the humans, who have survived attacks from the Synestryns.
Jackie wants nothing but to be left alone, she is still badly traumatized, and plans to run away from everyone. She is determined to rebuild her life, and become the strong person she once was. Helen, the first of the Theronai women to be found, is Jackie’s sister. But no one can get through to Jackie that living outside of compound is dangerous, as the Synestryn’s will always find her. But Jackie can’t take living there, where she feels she has escaped one prison for another. Especially with all the warriors constantly trying to push Jackie to choose one of them as her mate, since she is a potential match for the desperate Theronai men, who need a woman to literally save their lives.
Iain is one of the Theronai men who are close to death, and is one of their strongest and best warriors, but he is very cold hearted, and only looks to kill the enemy. Iain has lost all his leaves on his lifemark tree, that all Theronai men have. He secretly manages to hold on to life, as he is in constant pain, but only a select few who are in the same boat as Iain, know that he is soulless, which is a automatic death sentence. Iain is the only one of the Theronai who is not interested in Jackie, he feels it too late for him. He wants her to choose any of his ‘brothers’, who have a chance at life.
Jackie unable to escape is forced to choose one of the men, and of course, she chooses Iain. Jackie feels safe and in peace when she is near Iain, and she senses that he doesn’t care, and will let her go free, when they leave the compound.
Early on, Jackie despite her torture, comes across as unfeeling and selfish. But once she leaves the compound with Iain, everything begins to change. Iain stays with Jackie in her attempt to return to her former life, but they do not get very far. The Synestryn’s always seem to find them. Jackie must take Iain’s lucera, to help him fight the demons. The lucera allows her to be able to use his powers, and Jackie learns how to make them her own. While they fight for their lives, Iain is badly hurt, and Jackie has to use her newfound powers to save him. But she must return to the compound once again to ensure that Iain is saved.
Both Jackie and Iain have become very attracted to one another, and each fights this off. But after they go on a mission (Jackie unable to not to help find a child kidnapped by the demons), their attraction becomes a sizzling romance. The monster that resides in Iain, causes him to lose control, but Jackie finds a way to keep in control of his monster.
This was truly a great story, with a lot of action. It was great to see Iain, beginning to have feelings once again. For Jackie to allow herself to open up and to care for Iain, and to fight to help and save him. There are many added stories, with other characters that add so well into the story….Torr and Grace, will they ever be together; Tory, will she come whole; Cain, one of Iain’s ‘brothers”, whom Iain tries to pass Jackie off to; Serena, the long dead lover of Iain, who turns up alive 200 years later; Samson, the young child saved by Jackie during her captivity, is growing rapidly, with the jury still out if he will be human or synestryn, just to name a few.
It was an exciting ending, with Jackie becoming a very powerful Theronai to help save Iain, who had been discovered as being Soulless. She forces him to escape with her to stop him from being executed, as the soulless are totally beyond control. But they end up on rescue mission for another young girl who had been with Jackie, and was recaptured. Iain, whose dying wish is to die in battle, begins to give up on life. But it is Jackie’s powers that keep him alive, as she has her own agenda for Iain. With an unbelievable twist, where Jackie makes a deal with a monster to save Iain.
Some more interesting twists, such as two of the women are now pregnant, something that was a curse and never could have happened. The future of the Sentinels is with hope, though still very much in danger. This was a great read, right from the start. Shannon Butcher does such a wonderful job hooking you into the story, into the lives of the men and women in this fantastic world. I loved Dying Wish, and the entire Sentinel Wars series, and love Shannon Butchers storytelling and how she writes. If you have not started this series, please do not miss it.
Reviewed by Barb