Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly Barton
Series: Raintree #3
Also in this series: Raintree: Inferno
Publication Date: July 1st 2007
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy
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War with their archrival, the evil Ansara clan, is unavoidable. For Mercy Raintree, a war means she must assume her position as guardian of the Sanctuary—the sacred Raintree home place deep in the Smoky Mountains. But doing so threatens to disclose her most prized secret—one Mercy has kept to herself for six years.
As the solstice looms and the battle heats up, Dranir Judah Ansara gathers his forces, intending to wipe every Raintree from the face of the land. Including Mercy, whom he's claimed as his to kill. Then he comes face-to-face with her—and with her daughter, Eve. Will Mercy's closely guarded secret change not only the outcome of the battle—but also Judah's own bitter heart?
This is the third and final chapter of the three author Raintree Trilogy and my first ever read by Beverly Barton. I’d say she did a fairly credible job of wrapping the series up.
I tried writing a summary of this book, but it just came out jumbled and confused sounding, so I’m going to take the lazy way out and link Casee’s review of it instead. Go check out her summary and then come back and read my thoughts. 🙂 (Thanks Casee!)
Alright, here we go:
The action was good. I really enjoyed the final battle between the Ansara and the Raintree, and learning more about the Ansara, whom were were led to believe were evil from the previous two books, was enlightening.
I thought the characters were interesting, but I found some of their actions to be highly annoying. Judah has vowed to kill Mercy. Even after he finds out they have a daughter together, he still plans to kill her when the time is right. He especially wants her dead so he can take his daughter home with him. While I understood his reasons – and Mercy’s for wanting to kill him – I think Barton took it a bit too far. I would say at least once a page (when we were reading from Judah’s POV) it was mentioned he was going to kill her.
It was the same for Mercy. She loved him, she hated him. She wanted him, she vowed to kill him. As a mother, I can understand her need to protect her daughter, no matter what the cost. But she waffled back and forth so much I wanted to scream!
I also had a major issue with a certain scene in the book. I think I’m going to go ahead and spoil it, so beware.
Spoilers AheadView Spoiler »The first sex scene of the book between Judah and Mercy was similar to a forced seduction. She kept telling him no and trying to fight him off, but he overpowered her and ripped her clothes off. Still she fought him. It wasn’t one of those “Power struggles” either. It was truly her fighting him because she didn’t want to have sex with him. Yes, until that point she’d been on again off again about wanting him, but that was all internal. Every time he tried to make a pass at her, or to seduce her, she fought him off. This time was no different.
Except, once he ripped her clothes off and forced her to the ground, she gave in. There were no “If you make me do this I’ll hate you forever” scenes that would send this straight into the “rape” category for me. Meaning, once she gave in she gave in completely and truly wanted it as much as he did. But the beginning of the scene left a bad taste in my mouth and I had a hard time coming back from it. It’s entirely possible that one scene tainted the rest of the story for me, because I really had a hard time reading it after that. « Hide Spoiler
Eve was an interesting character. She acted extremely grown up for a six year old, which I know bothered Casee. But since my own child is extremely bright (I’m not just saying that, I swear) I didn’t think Eve’s behavior was odd. Especially since she was very powerful and seemed to have talents no other Raintree or Ansara possessed. As the story progressed and we found out more about her and what her role would be with both clans, I found myself on the fence about her, however. We’re told she was born to save her Father’s people, which seemed like a rather large responsibility for a child to have to carry. I don’t think Mercy or Judah spent enough time worrying about the toll it would take on Eve. As a mother that would have been my first concern, but it wasn’t ever mentioned. I found that rather frustrating.
I was also highly annoyed with Lorna and Hope, the heroines from the previous two novels. Towards the end of this book, Lorna decides to chase after Dante (who left her rather abruptly at the end of Inferno). I can understand this to a point. Lorna was rather powerful herself, even if she hadn’t learned to harness or control her powers yet. And the way Dante left would leave me, if I were in Lorna’s position, ready to chase after him as well.
Anyway, she takes Dante’s address book and calls Gideon (the hero from the second novel, which I never reviewed). Only he isn’t home and a woman answers for him. Lorna has no knowledge of who this woman is, but without asking any questions tells her “I’m coming to get you. We have to help our men. I’ll be there in 6 hours.” Hope says, “Ok, I’ll be waiting” and that was that.
This bothers me on several levels. One, Lorna knew secrecy was a major thing for the Raintree in general and Dante and Gideon in particular. A strange woman answers the phone and you go, “Hey. Wanna go save my man with me?” I don’t think so. But whatever, that’s not even the part that bothered me the most. What really irked me was that Gideon begged Hope to stay home, because he needed all his energy focused on the coming battle and didn’t want to have to worry about her. She’s completely mortal with no powers at all, so it made perfect sense. But in true TSTL fashion, she rushed after him, certain she could “save” him. WTF? Who does that?!?! Ugh. Then, naturally, she almost gets him killed, because she rushes right into the middle of a battle. See, shit like that pisses me off.
Deep breath Moving on now…
Despite my issues with it (and now that I’ve typed this out I see they were numerous) I still enjoyed it. My moments of annoyance were brief (with the exception of that part I spoiled..I’m still salty over that) and I was able to get past them. I think Barton wrapped the trilogy up nicely and really tied up all the loose ends left by LH and LWJ.
I would recommend the trilogy, but don’t go into it thinking this is going to be AMAZING, because IMO, it wasn’t. But it was good.
3 out of 5
The series is at follows: