Trammel

Title: Trammel
Author: Anah Crow and Dianne Fox
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Buy Link: Buy Link Trammel
Genre: M/M fantasy romance
Length: Novel
Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

A guest review by Jenre

Summary Review:
This second in the Foundations of Magic series proved to be as complex and compelling as the first.

THE BLURB

Neither love nor magic comes without cost.

Foundations of Magic, Book 2

In the relative security of Atlantic City, Lindsay feels safe for the first time in his life. He and Dane even sneak away from their mage “family” for the occasional date.

All that ends with the arrival of Noah, whose magic is a pure, wild fire fueled by terrible grief over the loss of his wife. To Lindsay’s great surprise, he is assigned to be Noah’s mentor, protector and healer. Of course, his efforts to help Noah master his immense power aren’t without a few fiery slip-ups.

Just as Lindsay is rising to the challenge, word comes that Moore, the scientist who once imprisoned Lindsay, holds a young girl who has manifested a powerful new magic. The desperate mission to free her leaves Noah severely wounded, Dane captured…and Lindsay in charge of those who remain.

The fate of Dane and the lives of the family rest on Lindsay’s untested shoulders. He must trust in himself and his growing connection to Noah to save his lover, his friends, and everyone else who will suffer if Moore’s plans go unchecked.

THE REVIEW

I greatly enjoyed the first book in this series Tatterdemalion, which I reviewed here, and I was really looking forward to reading this next book. It’s been a whole year since I read Tatterdemalion and I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to remember the characters. As it is my worries proved to be groundless as I easily slipped back into the fantasy world created by the authors.

The story begins closely after the end of the previous book. Lindsay, who is a mage with the ability to create elaborate illusions, is enjoying his time of training with Dane, a shifter, who as well as being in charge of Lindsay, is his lover. Into the group of mages, led by Cyrus, comes Noah, who as a fire mage has come into his powers relatively late and who has been sent by his family to Cyrus to be healed and trained.  Cyrus gives Noah to Lindsay, changing the dynamic of his and Dane’s relationship slightly. When evil scientist, Moore, captures a newly turned female mage, Dane, Lindsay, Noah and the other mages are charged with saving her from Moore, a task which changes things for ever for the group of mages.

The main thread of plot which runs through this story is that of Noah and Lindsay. Lindsay is at first tasked with training Noah into his new powers, but this leads to much more as an attraction builds between them. As such the book becomes a sort of triangle between Lindsay, Dane and Noah and as the book progresses the shifts and changes in the relationship between these three are explored. For me this was the most interesting part of the book, especially because we see Lindsay grow in confidence and move from what was quite a passive character in the first book into someone who knows he is strong and can take charge. At one point in the book, Lindsay inadvertently becomes the leader of a small group of mages and I found it delightful to see how, after a certain amount of resistance to the idea, he was able to flourish in that role.

Dane is missing for quite a lot of the book and so the main romantic pairing is Lindsay and Noah for quite a number of pages. Their relationship is so different to that of Lindsay and Dane, that I wasn’t at all put off by the fact that the two grow close. In fact, the way that the three men all bring different facets to the relationship made me feel optimistic as to their success. It helped that themes such as Noah’s isolation, his recovery from the death of his wife and his jealousy were given space in the book just as much as the growing affection he has for Lindsay, so that when the two men finally make a move on each other it feels realistic. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this relationship develops into the next book. One thing to note, this isn’t an m/m/m book as such because there is no romantic or sexual scenes involving Dane and Noah, just separately between Lindsay and the two men.

Other parts which worked for me were in the exciting action sequences which take place during the daring rescue scenes. I also liked the way that the little band of mages form together, and the tensions that causes. Each character was given enough to come across as three dimensional, and all had a part to contribute to the story. The book is structured with tightly written action followed by more fluid and slow moving sections and if I have any complaints its that these slower sections lost focus a little. However, I could understand that the authors were using the slower sections to build characterisation so it didn’t bother me too much. Besides, these slower sections were then followed by tense scenes involving Moore and her laboratory, or faster paced scenes, making the plot varied and exciting to read.

Overall those who liked Tatterdemalion will be very pleased with this sequel. If you haven’t read that first book then I do feel you ought to read it before this one as although you can still understand the action and characters in this book, much of the relationship between Dane and Linsday is built within that first book. Personally I can’t wait for the next in the series as this book was an absorbing read with fascinating characters and a intriguing magical world which sits alongside our own, yet hidden from view. Marvellous and recommended!

HelenMac
Hmmm. can’t lie, I’m a little torn here. LOVED the first book, in no small part because of Dane and his journey. And I have this /thing/ about characters individually becoming involved with others outside of the main pairing, once said pairing has been established. A thing which can be overcome, depending on the details, and how it is handled by the author(s). Like, I could deal with and enjoy Fleury in Erastes’ Standish (his self sacrifice at the end helped), and the Ranger/Morelli thing in the Stephanie Plum novels (although NGL, I can’t understand how anyone really expects her… Read more »
jayhjay

I bought this book the other day so I am glad to hear you liked it. As with others, I am a bit anxious about the changing/addition of partners, but I will give it a chance since it sounds like you read and enjoyed both books. Thanks for the review!

Nanna

Dammit! I pre-ordered the book because I loved Tatterdemalion so much but if I had known something like this was going to happen, I would’ve given it a pass. Now I’m wondering whether to read the book. I probably will at some point but only because I already paid for it and I’m cheap.

I wish the blurb had been clearer on the love triangle. :wallbash:

lisa s c

I’m also going to have to agree with everyone else here. I liked Dane and Lindsay. In the blurb I read previously there was no mention of a possible romantic interest between Lindsey and Noah. I’m really glad I read this before buying it. Thanks for the detailed review! I will admit I’m rather disappointed.

Lasha

I guess I am going to agree with everyone else as I really do not want to read about another guy coming between Lindsay and Dane. For me, this series ends with Tatterdemalion. Which is too bad because Noah sounds like an interesting character, it’s too bad he couldn’t have gotten his own love interest outside of Lindsay. 🙁

Kassa
Unfortunately I had the opposite reaction to the book as you did. I felt the relationship between Noah and Lindsey really diluted and invalidated the relationship between Dane and Lindsey. They are very different but it’s not really a menage either. It’s Lindsey with two lovers on the side, not really choosing or preferring one or the other. I also felt the lack of Dane really hurt the book. He’s such a dynamic and forceful character that I really missed seeing him. I do think the world building is wonderful but I was disappointed that the questions raised in the… Read more »
Catana

I don’t normally read books involving magic because it’s such a ridiculous concept. If I’d realized, when I started reading Tatterdemalion, that magic was central to the book, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with it. But I got sucked in by the characters and the excellent writing. I’m still not a convert,but Trammel will go on my to-buy list.

LadyM

I’m still on the fence about this one. I liked Tatterdemalion a lot and I was really looking forward to reading the sequel, but I also liked Dane so much that having the third man introduced in Lindsay’s and his relationship literally makes my skin crawl. After reading your review, I’m more inclined to skip it, but still not completely sure. Decisions, decisions. 😕

Sirius

Jen, could you please let me know if Lindsay stays with Dane or Noah at the end? I would much rather have m/m/m even though takes a lot to convince me, rather than see Dane left behind and Lindsay stay with new love interest. I realize it is a spoiler, could you email me privately please? If he stays with Noah, I just may pass on sequel after all. Thanks so much.

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