Amazon Blurb:

Lovers. Warriors. Enemies. Legends.

Damien and Sari. Their union became pivotal in Irin history. But to understand their ending, you must go back to the beginning. A young singer and a hardened warrior meet and mate, but their life is torn apart by violence, betrayal, and grief.

Yet no matter how much pain and anger stain their lives, bonds in the Irin race cannot be abandoned. Damien and Sari will never truly leave each other, because those who are destined cannot be ignored.

The Staff and the Blade is a novel in four parts. It is the fourth book in the Irin Chronicles.

“She hates me as she loves me. Wholly and completely. Sari never does anything by halves.”

Quote:

“I can wander the world for the rest of my life. The only home I need is you.”

Review:

A standalone book in the Irin Chronicles, this takes us through the life of Damien and Sari. About half of this book take place prior to the original trilogy. If you have plans to read the rest of the series, this should still be read after, because of the spoilers in the last two stories. You’d ruin the amazing reveal if you read this first.

I liked this, despite my always wanting more at the end of each story. I always have that trouble with novellas, wanting more from them. These were all snapshots in a life that I wanted to know more of. Hopefully, I’ll get to see more of them in the books to come. I love the life they have lived, but am also want to know their future, too.

I may get too emotionally invested in the people I become when reading.

Dreams

Damien is weary from centuries of fighting, and hiding in Scottish islands. Sari is sent to Orkney to help the Irin living there grow food better. When they meet, Damien’s soul calls out to Sari “Reshon”. 

This is Damian and Sari’s meeting story. I really liked it, but I’m a sucker for a “big, good, strong guy is actually a mess inside” story. I eat them up. I feel like their relationship moved so fast, but that is the nature of mate bonds and novellas. Also in the nature of being a greedy individual who always wants more of things they love!

The biggest thing about this first novella is just how different Damien and Sari are from where we met them in their future. This novella mostly takes place in the late 1500s, they’ve had 400 years to grow into themselves and their relationship. They’ve changed over time. I’m looking forward to the rest of these novellas to see how the change occured. Silly me, I wasn’t actually expecting Sari to be so young, or Damian to be so broken.

Ghosts

Sari and Damien have been together a few hundred years now. It is the early 1800s, and the Irina are increasingly shuffled into retreats for their own protection. Damien is now a Watcher, and Sari fights at his side. They’re being moved to Paris, where Sari’s sister, Tala, and her sister’s mate, Gabriel, are stationed. It is a happy time.

If you have read the series to date, you know what is going to happen. If not, I sure as hell ain’t going to spoil it for you! Even though you know what is going to happen, you don’t know how, you haven’t lived it until now.

I think the most important part of this novella was just how Hunter conveyed the level of confusion in the moment. How it took weeks to figure out everything that happened. How there was so much division in the ranks before it even happened. I know we have been told all of this before. Again and again in fact, as we learned what was going on through the series. However, it is so much better to be shown.

Memories

Damien has to take a new Irina, Ava, to his mate for training. Ava is a danger to herself and still grieving, and Damien and Sari have been estranged for centuries. Damien is going to use this chance to take his mate back.

This is the story we have seen the most of prior to actually reading it. Most of the events here were shown during the trilogy, now we’re just seeing it from Damien and Sari’s perspective. It is really powerful from their perspective, because of all the pain of years and years past. Their reunification is…a balm for the soul.

Visions

We’re caught up to modern day, and Damien’s mother has called upon them to visit her. Katalan has never done that before, and Damien and Sari have been mated for centuries. They go, despite knowing that it is more than just a visit, to see what she really wants from them.

In this novella, we have caught up to the present day, just after the events of On a Clear Winter Night. I enjoyed this one the most because it was all new. Their world has changed around them. Hell, they’re the ones that have helped change their world. Now they’re finding out where they are as mates again, now that it is peaceful. They’re trying to figure out what to do with themselves now that their world has changed. They’ve found their answers. It is so good.

To read more reviews for this series, check out the Irin Chronicles series page!