As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.
To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened.
I would say going into this story I was of two minds: Aryal isn't my favorite character so her having her own book so soon kind of threw me, but at the same time I trusted Harrison to make a book starring these two people make sense and damn if she doesn't do it. Neither Quentin or Aryal are willing to trust when the book starts. They have real and deeply heartfelt reasons for why they come to blows pretty much every time they see each other, and when finally forced out to Numenlaur it was clear that working together at all was going to be an issue.
And yet somehow they do it. Well....to be completely honest they also spend some of that time planning out ways to kill each other that would look like an accident, but after that they find a balance and ways to lean on each other. Journeying across Numenlaur is no easy task - not only are there monsters and things they have to watch out for, the consequences of the God Machines are still being felt. Even though some of the things they face are obviously the necessary complications of taking over people's will and forcing them to do another's bidding (& I won't go into much detail for fear of spoilers) it was still hard to read.
Finally I would say that by the end of the book I believed in the connection between Aryal and Quentin. If there's too much going on around the two main characters, sometimes being Mates can be used as an avenue to gloss over the emotional road building that results in a HEA. Harrison does none of that as these two are constantly pushing each other's boundaries, physically and emotionally, and when the crowd at Dragos's Tower screams for Aryal so does the reader for the two of them together.
Overall Feeling - A
Series - ... 4) Oracle's Moon 5) Lords Fall 6) Kinked