Three Sybils form one of the triads in New York, protecting it from the Legion/Asmordai and other paranormal phenomenons. Each bear a mark of the Dark Goddess, Riana is the Mortar and holds the triad together, Cynda is the Pestle and Merilee the Broom.
When the ritualistic murder of a child is discovered Occult Crimes Unit (OCU) cop Andy introduces her partner Creed to these women. Immediately Riana and her Sybil sisters sense something `other' in him and will not rest until they've identified that part. From this point on it signals a new period in Sybil history as Riana and Creed create some new boundaries.
With new discoveries in the case something is laid bare that will rock the Sybil community to its core...
I realized upon closing Bound By Shadow that I could welcome Anna Windsor among my most treasured author's and their novels. Reading the first few chapters I was swiftly captivated by her group of Sybils and OCU partners Creed and Andy. It was the interplay of these characters that was bold, inviting and boosted with a good dose of humor and I readied myself for a prime-time reading session.
I don't think many will not fall for Riana with her down-to-earth nature but also with a playful sensuous side. Cynda with her fiery personality, Merilee wit her inquisitive side and they each seem to fit together like a glove. Something that only happens when one has known each other for many years and has experienced many dire situations together. I relished in their personalities of eating sundae hot fudge one minute discussing male cuties and the next readying themselves to fight the Asmordai's. If these three didn't get my attention then Andy with her larger-than-life personality did and I felt that whenever she entered a room, she just filled it with a life force all on her own. The dynamics between the women were incredible, they were bonded as sister's, bickered like one's too and for me a joy to read.
Now throw a spectacular man in the mix like Creed, with his mysterious `other' half, and I could absolutely relate to Merilee and Cynda enjoying the eye candy as Riana went all uber female on him. Creed is a cop at OCU, only he never truly witnessed paranormal powers and wonders if he ever will. He is easy going in nature yet complicated as well with a side that he doesn't even truly understands and he's more than a competent cop. There's no denying in the attraction he feels for Riana, his body makes it more than evident! Now he has to face his 'other' half while also discovering an whole new world, with new rules to play by and inhabited by feisty women.
The self reflection of both Creed and Riana is full of questions about their own actions and laced with emotion. The first is always to cut the path and insecurity, responsibility toward others and newly discovered emotions make it a rocky road for both Riana and Creed. It is with the first half of the story that I totally fell for each character, the strong world building and the mysteriousness of the case and Creed's 'other' half. The thing that had to grow on me was Creed and Riana in their love story. Now, don't start thinking that there wasn't any attraction because they light up the pages with a scorching passion. But It was the balance between the physical and emotional need that was sometimes missed. All I can say is that in the second half of the story - where anguish of whether they could have a relationship - turns into acknowledgement of their feelings. Realizing at the same time that it will be a hard journey, at that moment I felt the click of connecting, of feeling both their physical and emotional desires that grabbed me by the gut. Also the silent communication between them as a couple added to the image of two people connecting on every level that is important. From that moment on everything starts to spiral into one singular motion, as if every separate thread comes together driving it to such a conclusion that had me crying, leaving me in wonder and knowing I would read Bound By Flame and Bound By Light very shortly.
While Anna Windsor lets me explore her world of Sybil's and Motherhouses it is with the case of a ritualistic murdered child that made the ending of the plot such an enthralling one. At first it seems loosely related but in the end it is the well thought out ingenuity of the author that makes it so much more than I initially would've guessed. With bated breath I flipped the last 150 pages or so, wondering what was going one, why everything happened the way it did. The action is at times heart pounding sensational with Sybil's that use their elemental magic but also their use of weaponry is impressive. I loved how the frustrations of both Andy and Creed where portrayed as they do not have apparant magical abilities. It made them all the more real to me and speaks of a need to participate and be of use in the battle at hand and those coming.
As truths are uncovered, mysteries are solved and romance stirs to greater heights I felt that every aspect of this novel bears intensity. With Bound By Shadow I got a mere taste of what is to come and I'm hooked, for this novel transported me into an alternate world and one I can't wait to return to! Especially how things were left, with new characters to get to know and what about the enemy? Many questions arise and I can't wait to find the answers!
It is with a strong cast of characters and a distinctive own voice that this author gives romance, suspense, action and elemental magic a new home for us to devour. Anna Windsor has started the Dark Crescent Sisterhood series with a bang and I can rave even longer about many aspects of Bound By Shadow but all I can say is go out, buy the three books, and dive into the awesome world of the Sybils.