On the Emperor's orders, Source and Shield Pair Shintaro Karish and Dunleavy Mallorough have been sent to Taro's backwater home, Flown Raven. Knowing that Taro spent a hellish childhood in Flown Raven, Lee isn't exactly thrilled with forcing him to face those painful memories all over again. Or facing his dragon of a mother, the Dowager Duchess, who lives just down the road and makes your average villainess look positively sweet. Until recently, Flown Raven had never experienced the natural disasters usually associated with the posting of a Pair but recent occurrences have proved otherwise. After Taro gave up his right to rule his ancestral home (much to his mother's fury), the townspeople of Flown Raven have endured a string of bad luck which they believe is solely the fault of their newest titleholder, Taro's cousin Fiona. Things aren't looking much better once our favorite Pair actually arrive, quickly followed by a group of Imperial Guards, who nobody wants around.
So let's see, technically Lee and Taro have been posted in a city they shouldn't be in, by someone who should have no power over them (the Emperor). Their bosses, the Triple S Council, are breathing down their necks for a detailed accounting of their past deeds (which they can't divulge). While they are constantly plagued by Taro's awful mother and her schemes to break them up and to return control of Flown Raven to Taro (which he does not want). And to top it off, the Pair are having trouble channeling - something that should not be happening. Nothing ever is easy for these two, is it?
As always, Moria J. Moore delivers quite a story. As I've come to expect from her previous Hero books, Taro and Lee always wind up in the craziest circumstances - usually ones way beyond their control - with the barest amount of information and Heroes Return is no different. In a series that has such uniquely brilliant world building and stunning characters, I can only say these books are fast becoming more layered and developed with each installment. The author tempts you with glimpses of political maneuverings and tidbits of historical context that leave you clamoring for more. I just know this series is heading for some major developments as Lee and Taro seemed a bit more out of their league than usually. Which is saying a lot really.
Most importantly, after the crazy (good crazy - mind you) events of Heroes at Risk, I was so sure Taro and Lee had finally taken that first crucial step in learning how to function as a couple but sadly, no. Once again Heroes Return is crammed full with Taro and Lee's inability to communicate effectively. [insert my long-suffering sigh here]. I don't know what it will take for these two to finally figure things out (how many books do we even have left Ms. Moore?!?) but I just want to gather them both into a giant hug and just make everything all right. Because they are perfect for each other. Absolutely perfect. Aside from all the misunderstandings, Taro and Lee two trust each other implicitly. They crave the other's good opinion. And most importantly, they would do anything for each other. Really, anything. That's why I think I have such a hard time with all the frustrations in between since it is obvious how much they mean to one another. And to this reader.
series reading order:
~ Resenting the Hero
~ The Hero Strikes Back
~ Heroes Adrift
~ Heroes at Risk - my review
~ Heroes Return
Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
The Book Smugglers review
Skunk Cat Book Reviews
book source: my local library