I just had this edition of the The Bargainer series to my collection, the cover is gorgeous and I love that I have all of the books in one place.
Here are my thoughts on the first book to prevent spoilers to anyone new to the series.
I was overdue for a reread of this incredible series, and I was so glad I could fit in a reread before I read the last book Dark Harmony. Rhapsodic is an amazing start to what has proved to be truly epic series. The main character Callie is a siren and she is so wonderfully written, sassy and strong, vulnerable and unique, she capture my heart from the very beginning.
We follow Callie as The Bargainer enters her life after disappearing for 7 years. There is a shattered timeline following current events, and the events of seven years before, when Callie and Des first meet and as their friendship (and the number of beads Callie owes Des) grows. It’s wonderfully constructed and strikes the perfect balance between plot, world-building and character development.
The characters are all so well written and unique, they seem almost real. As well as Callie, I love Desmond Flynn (how could I resist!) and Temper. There are a range of Supernatural characters, including, sirens, Fae, a sorceress and even a werewolf. There is a richness to the worlds of The Bargainer Series – the ‘real world’ in which magical beings coexist with normal humans (who are blissfully unaware of the magic around them) as well as the Fae Otherworld. The world-building is truly incredible (and really comes in to it’s own in later books when we get to spend more time in the Otherworld.)
The relationship between Callie and Des is so enjoyable to read, they are such strong personalities. I love that the clash so much, I have yet to find an author who writes banter as well as Laura Thalassa. There is such fire in their relationship it is impossible not to be swept up in it – but there is also a tenderness between them too. As Callie struggles with the return of Des, she realises “he stuck around when I was least loveable.” and this is how she knows she is making the right decision.
Des is just as unique and vivid as Callie – I must confess I love everything about him. From the way he is with Callie, (I adore that he calls her ‘cherub’) to the fact that he is so inherently Fae. There is a darkness to him which he embraces, and he sees that same darkness in Callie and loves her all the more for it. There are so many incredible quotes from both Callie and Des to each other woven throughout the book. “And the mountains may rise and fall, and the sun might wither away, and the sea may claim the land and swallow the sky. But you will always be mine. And the stars might fall from the heavens, and night might cloak the earth, but until darkness dies, I will always be yours.” as well as these gorgeous declarations, the banter between Callie and Des is truly incredible. Laura Thalassa writes to most incredibly sarky characters and with Callie and Des she has created a wonderful meeting of equals.
As well as such a wonderful example of a pairing of equals, Laura Thalassa also gives us a rather thought-provoking example of a toxic masculinity and a relationship tainted by it – Callie’s relationship with Eli, which she breaks off early in the book. We are there as Callie realises that her relationship with Eli is not what she needs it, or wants it to be. “I blink through the haze of dominance he’s been throwing around since he swept me up in his arms , I just hadn’t noticed it then.” and even our bold and strong siren struggles to end thing with Eli “Wait. What am I saying? This isn’t a negotiation. There’s nothing to talk about. When you end a relationship, you don’t owe the other person an explanation, crappy though that may be.” There is such stark contrast between Eli’s Callie and Des’s Callie – and only after Callie is free to be herself do we really see her.
Callie’s character is so complex, as well as her innate strength and her siren’s darkness, we also get to witness her vulnerability – not just in those flashbacks to when she was a teenager but also in the present. Callie is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and I think that her struggle with those memories and feelings is written really well, and sensitively dealt with… “I’m forever banished to watch people live out their lives, while I wait for mine to begin”. We watch as Des helps Callie to piece herself back together “People like us are not victims. We’re someone’s nightmare.” is what Des tells Callie, something which I think it very much shown to be true over the course of this series.
Rhapsodic is an incredible start to a wonderfully dark and enchanting series and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy. I do not say this lightly but it is one of my all time favourite books – and now that I have read the finally book in the series, I can honestly say that The Bargainer is one of my favourite series of books.
The Bargainer: The Complete Series Pocketbok – 16 Oktober 2020
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- ASIN : B08L5XXLJP
- Utgivare : Independently Published (16 Oktober 2020)
- Språk : Engelska
- Pocketbok : 742 sidor
- ISBN-13 : 979-8698734734
- Rangordning för bästsäljare: #3,333 i Böcker (Visa Topp 100 i Böcker)
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One of the best fantasy romance series out there! 🔥🌶Granskad i Storbritannien den 9 maj 2021
I LOVE this series. Read them all on kindle but I loved them so so much, I needed a hard copy! It’s a must-read if you’re into romance, with a plot, and especially if you like the fantasy genre!
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Just brilliantGranskad i Storbritannien den 19 februari 2021
I love this series. After reading A Court of Thorns and Roses (and loving it) nothing else was quite hitting the spot but I think I love The Bargainer more. I laughed, I cried, etc. I cannot recommend highly enough.
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