I thought this series was a trilogy but apparently another book is on the way. After reading this one, that's good news.
It picks up about a year & a half after the last book. Marsh is still a wraith, wandering the netherworld while Elle tries to piece together their life. She's never stopped looking for a way they can be together, expanding her search by accepting dangerous jobs no other pilot dares.
Meanwhile, the traitorous Patrice Chevalier has been transformed. In a literal deal with the devil, he's become a powerful warlock & seeks to take over their council as the Shadow Master. Job one? That would be bringing Elle, the reluctant Oracle, to heel.
Elle couldn't be less interested in the traditional role as power source for the Council. She continues flying the Water Lily, taking greater risks until one day her luck runs out. Pirates...worse still, one she recognizes.
Enter Capt. Logan Dashwood, a ruthless pirate & con man with a grudge to settle. Oh, and he's a bit of a hottie.
'Nuff said about the plot. It's a rollicking tale full of adventure, danger, magic & the cool gadgets & creatures you expect from this genre. The author has a keen imagination & the Shadow World feels as real as the World of Light. Many of the regulars are back including Jack, a mischievous resident of the shadow forest & personal favourite.
The only let down was the lack of resolution regarding the two main characters. Marsh has always been an intriguing guy. In the first book, his strength, intelligence & wisdom made him the perfect foil for the much younger & spirited Elle. He plays only a minor role here & I missed his presence.
As for Elle, I was hoping for some personal growth & a reemergence of the traits that made her so entertaining in book #1. After their marriage, for some reason she began channelling the personality of a self centred & petulant child. Unfortunately that continues here.
She knows very well why Marsh stays away (if he touches her she'll die...a fairly EXCELLENT reason in my opinion) but mopes & repeatedly rails against him as if it's his choice. Also, she's presented as an intelligent woman but never learns from past disasters. Time & again she acts impulsively, believing she knows better & only regrets her actions after the dust settles & they're taking a body count. I desperately wanted her to grow up & accept responsibility for her situation.
So now I'm holding out hope for book #4. The ending leaves their relationship up in the air (no pun intended) with hints of a big complication. If things aren't wrapped up in the next instalment, I don't know that I'll have the patience for a fifth one.