Noli and her true love V fear the worst if the Staff of Eris—a potent Otherworld relic—falls into the wrong hands. Broken into pieces and hidden in the mortal realm long ago, the staff bestows vast powers on whoever possesses it. Ciarán, the dark king, is trying to rebuild the staff, intending to use it to install a new queen.
In a desperate effort to keep the Otherworld from falling into darkness, Noli and V plot the daring theft of a jewel Ciarán needs to complete the staff. But Ciarán is not so easily defeated. Through his devious machinations, he has set a plan in motion for a final showdown that will decide who rules the Otherworld once and for all.
The Aether Chronicles continues with Fragile Destiny the third novel in the series. Since this story picks up right where Charmed Vengeance left off, I don't recommend that future readers jump in at this point or try to understand all the plots and twists that have already taken place.
The Aether Chronicles centers around Magnolia (Noli) Braddock, and Steven Darrow, but there are plenty of others that you can't just ignore and expect to enjoy the series. The Aether Chronicles is set in an Steampunk based reality and is thick with intrigue and danger. Stories take place in Los Angeles, Boston, and the Otherworld, aka The Faerie Realm.
Fragile Destiny has some interesting plot elements including an eye popping twist on Noli's part, a bit of romance, surprising reunions, weddings, and adorable new characters that just make you grin from ear to ear. It also has some unusual Fae politics, potential new alliance between so called enemies, an unknown factor that isn't truly revealed, and second chances for some diabolical characters who you love to hate.
Noli's development as a character takes a huge leap forward with some surprising actions, abilities, and choices that she makes. I like the way Noli was written as a society trained girl who was much happier building machines, or flying on her hoverboard, than being around spiteful people who look down their noses at others. I like that she's never once given up on finding her father who disappeared Seven years ago and was presumed to be dead by her mother, and brother Jeff. While still sharing a body with a sprite thanks to a bargain gone bad, she still focuses on finding pieces of the Staff of Iris before they can fall into the wrong hands. I don't like perfect characters who have no faults or weaknesses. I like a character who tries to remain true to themselves, but ultimately chooses to accept that nothing is ever easy, or written in stone, and decides to make their own choices instead.
While Noli does what she does, Steven does a complete 180 as a character, and becomes someone I don't recognize. I understand Steven's issues, to a point, however, he makes too much out of absolutely nothing. Unlike Noli or even his brother James, Steven refuses to see the possible good in people, or the need for alliances with other factions in the Otherworld. He continually moans, and groans, and complains when things aren't done the way he wants them to be. While he obviously adores and loves Noli, he really needs to allow her to learn from her own mistakes.
So, while Steven is being a brutal asstard most of the time, James has become one of my favorite characters. He's still mourning the loss of his love, and now his father, but his optimism carries the day. It is James that gives Noli the push she needs to trudge ahead. It is James who kicks Steven in the head and tells him to cease being a brat. It is James that I hope finds true love even if it is with a air pirate named Hattie, who he met on a quest.
I do believe that the appearance of young Elise Darrow to this story, is one of the more pleasant and enjoyable reasons why you should read Fragile Destiny. I adore her, her bravery, and her wonderful friendship with Aodhan, who has his own interesting story to tell. I liked their little adventures, and the fact that she finally understands the new reality she is now expected to be a part of partially because Noli refused to lie to her any longer. Apparently, Elise has a destiny all her own, and it will be interesting to see how Lazear gets there, and if Aodhan plays any role in it.
There is a mystery voice that plays a pivotal role in what happens to Noli, and what the future holds for the characters. With just enough of a teaser at the end, Lazear has ensured that when she does release the fourth novel in the series, I will be along for the ride.
I liked seeing a different side to Kevigh Silver-Tongue in this story. Understandably, he hasn't been one of my most endearing characters because of past actions, especially when it came to Noli. However, it's nice to see that he can be affectionate, loyal, and admit to the fact that he's made plenty of mistakes in the past. I also found the friendship/relationship between Kevigh and the Dark King Ciaran to be interesting, but not in a sexual way.
Some readers will most likely comment on the wedding that takes place in Fragile Destiny. But, if you know anything about American history or culture, this is not at all surprising. This story still takes place in an era where societies young women were expected to marry early by their families for benefits and rewards. I dare say, that perhaps it might have been excluded during the editing period, but it is what it is.
Author - Suzanne Lazear
Title - Fragile Destiny
Series - The Aether Chronicles # 3
Published by Flux
Releases: August 8, 2014
Format: EBook 432 pages