Warrior Reborn (Warrior #2)

Warrior Reborn (Warrior #2) - Melissa Mayhue I *hate* waiting, waiting, waiting for a book - anticipating it's release, then not being able to put it down, and suddenly - it's OVER!!! OK, I'm not sure why, but the ending of this book caught me up short. And it ticked me off, because I didn't want the book to end. And I *hate* being left on the cliff, dangling just over the edge...To be fair to the author, I get the cliff-hangers. They're all the rage in series, because they keep us, the readers, coming back. But Book 1 Warrior's Redemption didn't end with such a terrific cliff-hanger; there was *some* resolution - at least the main relationship and several of the pieces of the story resolved in a way that one could wait for the BIG BATTLE. In Book 1.5 Warrior's Last Gift, we again had some resolution between the main characters, and the definite feeling as though we'd just met another major character; but we can still wait for the BIG BATTLE. In this book (Book 2), while we get the idea that it's settled between Chase Noble and Christiana, romantically, the book just felt like it ended a chapter or so too soon. I wanted a WEDDING! Or something more about Torquil... or what Halldor might be - why he knows all that he knows. (He seemed to know a lot about Jeanne and Eric in Book 1.5, too.) I wanted some indication of what's been going on between Danielle and Malcolm and Patrick and Elesyria (Syrie). Guess I'll have to wait another year... ugh!The story that IS here is wonderful... Chase Noble, brother to Leah and Destiny, who had their own books in this author's Highlander series - A Highlander's Destiny and A HIghlander's Homecoming. We left Leah in 1293, with Robert MacQuarrie's parents; Malcolm knows of Leah, he met her as part of Robert & Isabella's story. (Syrie is Isabella's mother, a Fae.) ANYWAY, I was hoping for a reunion between Leah and Chase, since both think the other is lost. Chase left home one day and never returned; unbeknownst to his sisters, he joined the military and was fighting. Chase knows he's where he belongs now, thanks to Syrie and Christiana (and perhaps Chase's Fae father); but neither Leah nor Chase knows the other is in this particular time in history.But this is the story of how Christiana MacDowylt is freed from her evil half-brother Torquil's clutches. It's the story of how Chase, who wanted nothing other than to be in the time and place that he really belongs in to do what he's been born to do and to meet his true love. And how Christiana, who saw Chase's eyes in her Visions and knows that Chase is the one to save her from Torquil and get her back to her brothers, Malcolm and Patrick. It's their story - Chase's and Christiana's... how they meet and fall in love.But it's also Halldor's story... what and who is Halldor? When Chase "falls" into 1294, he happens to fall near Halldor, who takes him in, helps him, and calls him brother. Halldor and Chase are hired as mercenary fighters for Torquil, who's amassing an army to fight in the Spring against his half-brother Malcolm. Torquil is angered that Malcolm, Patrick, and even Christiana are the spawn of his father and step-mother, Deandra, who was part Fae. Their father is of Viking descent and can trace his roots back to Odin, himself. All of their father's children possess some "gift" from the Norse gods - Malcolm has been branded a Warrior of Odin and has a protective mark over his heart. Christiana has Visions and can see the past, present, and future; she can only keep her gift by telling the truth, although she's learned how to carefully word her replies so that she tells the absolute truth. Patrick... he, too, has a mark/tattoo, but we've yet to learn which Norse god it's from and what his "gift" is.We find out more about Torquil's evil and black magic. It's source seems to come from the Sword of the Ancients and the Elven Scrolls of Niflheim - hallows of the Norse gods. But even Syrie, a Fae, knows what they are. Hall (now dubbed Hall by Chase) knows what these are, too - he's the one who tells Malcolm and company that they've been in Torquil's possession. Syrie says that's what she sensed - there's more to Torquil's black magic than even she could discern; now she knows it has to do with Torquil attempting to master the magic of the scrolls.We've seen in the previous book how Torquil can magic his soul into a great owl and a huge wolf. In this book, we learn that there's a "beast" inside him, aching to get out; when it does, it literally rips its victims apart and does other horrifying things. Hall and others catch a glimpse of red eyes in Torquil's when he's losing control, and a new character, Bridget daughter of Hamud whom Torquil had hanged, along with Eymer and another man who accompanied Danielle and Elesyria to Torquil's castle to ransom back Malcolm. Bridget is determined to avenge her father's death, thinking that Malcolm isn't interested in doing so; she's simply too impatient and hot-headed to see that Malcolm has every intention of fighting Torquil, but only when he's got his own army and ready to fight. Bridget sneaks off and travels with our infamous Tinklers, who are accompanied by 3 minstrels. The minstrels are rather greedy, trying to get as much silver as possible, even if means stealing. In discovering Bridget stowing away in their wagon, the gal minstrel flees the wagon and hurts her ankle and face, making it impossible to dance at Torquil's castle; so Bridget takes her place - and tries to assassinate Torquil in the process.Hall saves Bridget's life. In exchange, Bridget tells him what she witnessed the night before - Torquil lying naked in his chambers as if dead... the scrolls and sword, which seemed to call out to her... the burning when she tried to touch Torquil... the great owl that returned to the room just before Torquil awoke. Hall puts the pieces together, but we, the readers, don't quite know what they mean until Hall tells the tale to Malcolm. We're still left with just the pieces, though... but even Syrie knows that now Torquil can only be killed with the Sword of the Ancients.And Hall... he suspects that Torquil is possessed by Fenrir, the Norse god that assumes the guise of a great wolf. Fenrir is a monster, son of Loki, who is prophesied to kill Odin, but who will be killed by Odin's son. Hmmm... how does that relate to this particular story? Torquil has already murdered his own father, who, as I said earlier, is supposed to be directly from Odin's line. Does that make his father Odin and Malcolm or Patrick Odin's son in this tale? Food for thought as to how/where the next book and this series might go, and the HEA resolution that's bound to follow.Very clever of Ms. Mayhue to foray into the world of the Norse gods, since there's a lot more wiggle room there AND because the Vikings did have a huge impact on Scotland, and eventually become part of the Scot bloodlines.So much to love... so many new characters and new information... but still, that darned feeling of being dropped at the not-quite-end at the end. *sigh*