Series: Rise of the Warlords #3
Published by HQN on February 7, 2023
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with The Phantom, the third book in her pulse-pounding Rise of the Warlords series, featuring a vengeful harpy and a callous torture master locked in a battle to the death.
As the son of a war god, Roux Pyroesis has suffered unending pain—he’s caused it, too, dispatching his foes with alarming ease. Now he’s tasked with cutting out the heart of a powerful queen who rules an ancient prison realm inhabited by the most vicious immortal females in existence.
Blythe the Undoing is a decorated harpy warrior determined to annihilate Roux, the invader who killed her beloved consort. Nothing will stop her. Even if she must trap herself for eternity by sneaking into the brutal realm and taking the crown, pitting herself against the merciless male she’s sworn to despise.
Having never known desire, Roux is ill prepared for the stunning beauty who challenges him at every turn. For the survival of his army, duty comes first. Always. But what happens when the flames of Blythe’s hatred burn out and she craves him, too…but only one of them can live?
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The Rise of the Warlords series features the Astra Planeta who have sort of taken over Harpina. We know the harpies from the Lords of the Underworld series. They are amazing. They are blood thirsty and funny. Does that make me strange that I find a harpy happily decapitating an enemy hilarious??
The Astra are completing tasks to try and defeat Erebus, keep him from ascending and keeping them from having to hide away for 500 years. In The Phantom, we kind of look back at first to relive the day the Astra took over Harpina and progress from Blythe the Undoing’s POV. Blythe is mother to Isla, sister to Taliyah and daughter to Erebus. She has a big hate on for Roux for something he did when they first invaded, but he became obsessed with her. In Blythe’s haze of hate, she gets tricked by Erebus and sent to the prison realm of Ation where there is no way out and is filled with outcasts. As soon as Blythe arrives she is immediately grabbed by Penelope the wraith. So much for helping daddy. He just threw her under the bus. I have to say, she should have expected it from him, but her hatred for Roux clouded her judgement.
Then Roux finds out his task and is taken to Ation to complete it. He gets swarmed by the woman of the realm and they are all after the sausage man. And on this realm is where we get the tale of a romance of enemies to lovers.
It is so much fun to see the romance progress and at the same time have Blythe competing in a competition to the death for the role of queen. Like I said, harpies are bloodthirsty, and this group of various beings are going to feel Blythe’s wrath. The council of the realm is tricky. They have plans. So this is no ordinary competition. I love harpies kicking ass. Especially when the harpy is half phantom. Makes the fight scenes so much fun!
My heart hurt desperately as we uncover Roux’s life. How he grew up and all the other struggles that made him the killer he is now. I wanted him to get everything in the world he wanted. Well, I also wanted him.
I got to a place where I thought, aww that was a great ending. Then looked down to realize I still had quite a percentage to go. Like what could happen now! Like anything Erebus does, he goes over the top and unexpected. I am so in love with Roux that I was shredded! Damn Erebus!
As with the other tasks, the deed to finish was a huge struggle of emotions. I think I held my breath, and I couldn’t read fast enough. After all this couple endured, I wanted my happy ending but I was on the verge, wondering if THIS time things were going to go my way.
I would say you would be ok to read this as a standalone, if you had to. Of course I’m going to recommend the first two because, well they are great, and this is Gena Showalter we’re talking here. You will not be disappointed!