A while ago Lesley did a post on the over 40 heroine. It’s not something you read often in romance novels, but Cenda the heroine of The Flame and the Shadow is forty one. She’s recovering from the loss of her child and trying to get a grasp on her fire magic—not always successfully.
It was really nice to read about a woman who has lived (although seemed to have limited experience with men) instead of the shy virgin that so many fantasy novels have.
But it was the hero (heroes?) who stole the show. A man with a sentient shadow called Shad who he hated. Imagine being tied to someone you couldn’t stand. Ugh. That said neither can exist without the other and it is with Cenda that Gray and Shad are able to finally reconcile (their tragedy is woven through the story bit by bit and it is awful what happened to Gray).
This is erotic fantasy, but there is magic, and technology and space travel all melded together as people off different culture bring what they have to the table. Not everybody believes in magic, others don’t trust science then there is the dark magic. I had already read book 2 in the series (Thief of Light) so I knew where some of this was going. I can’t wait to read book 3, The Lone Warrior.