D.G.’s Rating: 5 stars = A
Fans of the Psy-Changeling series have been waiting for this book for a long time and I’m glad to report it was worth the wait. Heart of Obsidian was simply amazing. The romantic component was emotionally powerful and the overall conflict that has been brewing in the series came to a head. Even though I should have known it was coming, I was still in shock at the end. It moved me so much that I woke up in the middle of the night thinking of the Psy and found my face full of tears.
As you can see from the blurb, Nalini Singh was very covert about the identity of the couple in this book. Obviously I cannot do a review without revealing details about the couple so I’m assuming that if you’re reading, you want to know my thoughts. No spoilers, I promise.
Heart of Obsidian was different than previous books in the series. It featured the first Psy couple – the powerful Kaleb Krychek and Sahara Kyriakus – and as such, the first part was very focused on them, alone by themselves. This set up was very true to the characters, specially Kaleb who has always been so alone – it highlighted his level of isolation in a way I’ve rarely seen in the series. I’ve been used to Silent Psy whose family ties show they are not really lost (like Judd) or those that are having so much problems with their Silence that underneath, they are feeling a great deal. However, Kaleb’s Silence is the strongest I’ve seen among all Psy leads. His Silence has a big crack (Sahara, the heroine), but in most aspects of his life, he’s logical, calculating and the reader only sees his vulnerability in later chapters. For a good chunk of the book I really didn’t trust him and was afraid of his ultimate goal.
Sahara is his salvation and the only reason he’s not a monster (his words.) Her Silence is broken and that allowed the possibility for intimacy to develop – a courtship between two Silent Psy would have been impossible. If you remember from previous books, Kaleb had been searching for someone and she’s the one. The reasons why he wants her are not clear at first – she has a unique psychic gift that could be very useful to a person of Kaleb’s ambition but after a while you realize that their tie is emotional.
It took me until the last part of the book to really connect with this couple, maybe because we knew so little of Kaleb’s feelings and Sahara bounced back a bit too quickly from her ordeal for my taste. But towards the end, there were so many beautiful moments between them that were subtle and compelling. Ms. Singh was really true to her characters in that Kaleb remained very dark. His relationship with Sahara was believable and within the realm of possibility given who he was. I didn’t particularly care for his possessiveness – there were lots of Mine! interspersed in the narrative – and his tendency to grab her lightly by the throat, because they seem too much like Changeling traits to me. However, I understand that this neanderthal behavior was the author’s way of having Kaleb express some feeling that didn’t seem mawkish and out of character. Alpha males are supposed to be possessive no matter their race after all. 🙂
The second half of the book dealt with the unrest among the different Psy factions. Here is where you also realize that Kaleb is not as alone as he originally seemed – he even has a couple of friends! As usual, the political ramifications and strategies made complete sense. As this conflict was more global in nature, we saw some characters from past books and there was tons of cooperation among the races. However, don’t think they all became BFFs. They worked with a goal in mind but they still distrusted each other. As it is in the real world!
The end was just…WOW! I teared up several times: when Kaleb sees himself in his enemy, when Aden realized there was hope for the Arrows, when Sahara teaches Kaleb (I won’t tell you what she teaches him because it was very romantic), the reaction of the Psy at Kaleb’s announcement. That last few pages pack a great emotional punch!
The best part is that this is not of the end of the series. There’s still lots of work to do and great stories to tell: the Arrows (of course!), the people from the PsyNet Beacon (I don’t know why I get the impression that the person in charge will be a future heroine) and more. I don’t know how many books are left in the series but it’s clear that Ms. Singh has some steam left.
So if you were afraid this book wouldn’t live up to expectations, you can now rest assured. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
1. Slave to Sensation
2. Visions of Heat
3. Caressed By Ice
4. Mine to Possess
5. Hostage to Pleasure
6. Branded by Fire
7. Blaze of Memory
8. Bonds of Justice
9. Play of Passion
10. Kiss of Snow
11. Tangle of Need
12. Heart of Obsidian
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