Preina is the second book in the Cassiea series by Megan Lane. Cassiea, “Cass”, is a woman who doesn’t know a whole lot about herself. This doesn’t mean that she’s going to therapy to discover herself. No, things are that easy for her. You see, Cass is the keeper of an evil witch’s magic. And this witch died years ago. Many, many, many years ago. Not only does Cass discover that she now possesses magical powers, but she also learns about the Elvains, a race who have been residing on earth unbeknownst to humans.
The start of the book is a little confusing for those who haven’t read the first book in the series. Then again, the main character is befuddled so the reader’s puzzlement may mirror Cassiea’s confusion about what’s going on.
Shuron, the Elvain’s Lord, asks Cass to join him for a meeting with the elders. As it turns out, they need Cass to help locate the Sighyn stone, a powerful item that’s known to give someone immortality. Shuron and the elders fear that if Norus, an evil sorcerer, gets his hands on this stone, no one will be able to defeat him.
Shuron wants to travel back in time to stop Norus and in order to do so, Cass has to assist. Cass isn’t comfortable with her magical powers and still struggles using and controlling them. But she doesn’t want to refuse her aid. However, something goes wrong, and Cass is sent back in time instead of the Elvain Lord. That’s not the only hitch. Her magic has mysteriously disappeared. How can she stop Norus from finding the Sighyn stone in a time period she knows nothing about without her magical powers? Will the Elvains from the past come to her assistance even though they aren’t aware of her mission and they don’t know her?
The action of this novel switches gears constantly keeping readers on their toes. Some moments are filled with suspense and it’s hard to catch your breath. Then the author slows it down and lets the reader get to know the characters. This mixture works well for the story. Too much action and no character development can leave some readers feeling adrift. And too little action in a fantasy novel would be a huge disappointment. There are a few instances when one scene ends and Lane hurls the reader into a new scenario without enough explanation of how the reader got from A to B.
To spice things up, Lane has thrown in a bit of romance. Sometimes I was puzzled about the placement of the romantic rendezvous between Cass and her love interest. They would fall into bed when their lives were in danger and it seemed wiser that they should focus on the matter at hand. However, love hardly ever makes sense, so who am I to judge?
Megan Lane’s creativity is impressive and her world building is subtle. She avoids the massive information dumping trap that some fantasy authors fall right into. Near the end she sends her lovers on a mission that ends up being extremely short and may puzzle some readers. Why is it necessary? Is Lane setting up a new plot twist for a future novel in the series or referring to something that happened in the previous book?
Overall, this book is a fun and quick read. It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here.