Tristan Satorin, once Admiral of his Majesty’s North Fleet, has accepted the command of a private submersible venture on a mission to recover the treasures buried in the sunken Temple of the Oracle. When the floundering sub is swept into an underwater cave system, he quickly discovers that the sacred temple remains intact, and the beautiful woman sent to meet him has a mission of her own.My Thoughts: I am really digging this series. The novellas aren't terribly long (they're not terribly short, either) but I never felt like the length of the story shorted us on plot or character development. Morgan Karpiel has crafted an intricate world and filled it with interesting men and women who are wonderfully broken.
Jia has never seen an outsider. Like all of the Oracle's psychic ‘daughters’, she expects to venture into the modern world and choose a mate for the rite of procreation. She does not expect to have that mate chosen for her by the Oracle herself, or for him to appear in the island’s watery caves as a broad-shouldered veteran of war, still reeling from the tragedies of his past. To save his life, she will betray her own people. To save his soul, she will match his fierce passion with her own.
Note: This novella delivers an exciting, emotionally intense adventure, complete with ancient temples, dark sages, watery caverns, jeweled treasure and sizzling hot altar scenes.
Speaking of broken, Tristan is a mess. While he's going through the motions of living, he's all but given up on life. His story is terribly sad and as his past unfolds you can feel the guilt and pain eating away at him. Jia stirs something inside of him that he thought was long dead and he really doesn't know what to do about it. I did love how he made Jia question her blind obedience to the way of life she and the other daughters have been forced into.
One thing I always enjoy is when events from past books put in an appearance. In this case, the submersible Tristan is commanding is the one that Ian made reference to in book 1. In fact, it was mentioned that Ian would have been aboard if he hadn't fallen madly in love with his new wife and couldn't be torn away from her side. I don't know why stuff like that always tickles my fancy. Possibly it's because it makes the world feel larger and more complete.
Fantasies of New Europa is quickly proving itself to be a fun, steamy series that pushes all my steampunk buttons.
Other reviews in this series:
Book 1: The Inventor
More books by Morgan Karpiel
Reading challenges: The E-book Challenge, The Morbid Romantica Challenge, The Steampunk Challenge