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The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Immortal Highlander
Highlander #6

Karen Marie Moning
Contemporary/Fantasy/Paranormal
Published in 2004

H/h - Adam Black (Amadan Dubh), the Last Prince of DJai/Gabrielle OCallaghan
Setting: USA/The Highlands, Scotland, the present day.

Read in Aug, 2011.
My rating:


                                                                       [spoiler alert]

At last, our Amadan gets his own book, I got more than I hoped for and damn, I love his real name, Amadan Dubh...
Damn, it’s good to be me.
    -ADAM BLACK, ON BEING ADAM BLACK

Yep, pretty much sums up the Adam I read in the 1st few book in this series. And, DAMN he was IRRITATING! Oops, oh did I say it out loud? Sorry, couldn’t help it. I just wanted to strangle him in a few of them and kick his vainglorious Fey butt in the others but boy, he surprised me in his own book! Yah, as I mentioned in my review of The Dark Highlander, Adam has gone soft and... left me sighing more than once and calling Gabby a ‘lucky b*tch’ (nothing new, Chloe and Gwen both were the same to me!). No no, I actually liked Gabrielle a lot (and the way Adam called her Gah-bry-yil... ooh, wonder how he’ll pronounce my name *fans herself*). Anyway, this book has no time travel but has a lot of Tuatha Dé Danaan, with Drustan and Dageus with their family present.

The story starts immediately after The Dark Highlander, where the fight between Dageus and the Draghar men took place and Chloe was helpless to do anything. Adam won his argument with the Fey queen Aoibheal and her council to save Dagues from dying. Oh Adam has definitely gone soft after so many millennia spending (or should I say meddling) with the humans. Adam saved Dague’s life, as he was almost dead, with his own life essence. After that, as his punishment for disagreeing her decision, the queen sends Adam in the mortal realm, as a mortal, because to an all powerful Fey, it’s the worst sort of existence. They can meddle with the human lives, they can f*ck human female and do whatever the hell they like but oh, being a human is the most despicable thing to be! Talk about f*cking arrogance! Anyway, Adam soon finds out even though he doesn’t have most of his powers (except short distance shifting), he’s so cloaked with féth fiada (a magical mist that makes the Fey invisible to the human eye, except the Sidhe-seers, people who are ‘gifted’ to see through it) that no one can see him. I mean NO ONE! He’s like a ghost, without any existence at all. Adam rages and rants into nothingness, calling the queen to take it back. He’s the favorite prince (I thought he was the court jester but it’s revealed later that he’s the last prince of D’Jai) of her court, her favorite too, so Adam was sure the queen will listen to him. And, he keeps waiting, in his disgusting human form (because all powerful Fey aren’t only immortal, they don’t have to eat, drink, sleep or piss, never get tired or sick etc etc). Time passes by but the queen doesn’t show up and Adam is really pissed at the moment.

Gabby is a law student and lives alone. Her ‘gift’ of a Sidhe-seer is anything but a gift to her. She has to hide it because no human with sane mind would believe that she can see the fairies! Her bloodline from her mother’s side is thus a sort of a curse to her. I didn’t like the way her mother left her (not all the O’Callaghan women are born with visions; sometimes it skips, her mother was one of them) with her grandmother because she deemed she can’t deal with this and married someone else, living with her step-children. Gabby doesn’t see her often and I can’t blame her for it. Her grandmother was also a Sidhe-seer, who didn’t get married and after becoming pregnant never let the father know about it. Well, the long and short of it, whereas in the ancient age Sidhe-seers were seen as treasures, in this time around they’d be seen as freaks. They have to social life, no love life in that sense. Gabby’s the same. Her last boyfriend left her thinking she’s nuts, when she tried to be honest and talk to him about her ability. She knows all about the O’Callaghan book of Fey, knows that she has to save herself from them because they’re soulless, cold bastards who would take her (as many like her before) and she’d suffer a violent death, at the least it’d be enslavement. The Fey think there aren’t anymore Sidhe-seers alive but they were so wrong. Gabby managed to save herself for the most of her life, until now. On that ‘fateful’ day, she’d just blown the greatest job offer in a fabulous law firm because of the numerous Fey now walk the streets, making her edgy and nervous. Then, she goes to the law firm she works in now (and hates every moment of it) when she sees this gorgeous Fey male lying in a stone bench. Oh, it was some introduction to Adam (who was rubbing himself, few months of forced celibacy can do that to a Fey, seeing the hot blonde thinking she can’t see him... but she saw it all, the tall, dark and hunky, ALL! *blinks eyes*), Gabby had no idea who he... er, ‘it’ was. Fey are ‘it’ since they don’t have a soul and all that (according to the O’Callaghan book). Gabby runs for her life, as she understands he knew she can see him, goes to her house to figure out what she just saw. The Book of Sin Siriche Du horrified her, as she now knows it’s the famous blackest of the fairy she just met and her life, most assuredly, is now at stakes. Gabby has to draw out her ‘fairies?-run-for-your-life!’ fund by her grandmother soon and as per her instruction; just run and don’t look behind. But, hell, the fairy finds her out when she was going out at dawn. Trust me; this was another very good introduction number two between these two. Adam was sure this female would just fall for his gorgeousness as millions other did throughout thousands of years, instead he gets a bang on his face with her bag. Adam is speechless. Gabby tries almost everything to get away but the Fey can shift through space in the blink of an eye so no way she could manage. And, when he caught her, he’s so shamelessly talking about a good f*ck... oh, she already knew what the Sin Siriche Du is like; his first attempt would be to seduce her and... just let me quote, so hilarious!
She'd found the creature she'd seen tonight: Adam Black. The earliest accounts of it were sketchy, descriptions of its various glamours, warnings about its deviltry, cautions about its insatiable sexuality and penchant for mortal women ("so sates a lass, that she is oft incapable of speech, her wits muddled for a fortnight or more." Oh, please. Gabby thought, was that the medieval equivalent of screwing her brains out?), but by the approach of the first millennium, the accounts became more detailed.

I was snorting reading this. Yes, Adam was enjoyable but I wasn’t very impressed, just like Gabby. When Adam finally manages to tie her up, he gets to the business, even though his ‘immortal erection’ was killing him (his thoughts on human ‘c*ck’ was so freakin’ hilarious!) and he was pretty determined to experience sex in human form. Lord, I didn’t know how to react to his thoughts. Gabby drives a hard bargain but Adam, with mild threats (and slow seduction in mind) worn her out and she agrees; on terms, that she won’t endanger herself by exposing herself to more Fey than necessary and in return, when Adam gets back his Fey powers, he’d do everything to see her safe and a life without troubles. With this, she takes him to a place where she’d seen a lot of Fey recently.

Meanwhile, the high Elder of the Tuatha Dé, Darroc was planning to kill Adam with the Unseelie hunters, who were also used to capture the Sidhe-seers in ancient times. Darroc send some of them to find out where Adam was, then decides to follow him out there with the hunters. When Gabby took Adam to look for the Fey, even tried talking to a Few (but, they kinda ignored him) is when Darroc’s hunters attacks them; with a machine gun! Ya, Darroc planned to kill Adam’s human form in a human way so that the queen suspects nothing. Afterwards, he’d throw her out, break the Compact that hinders their invasion in the human land with the Unseelie and rule the world... what a moron! Apparently, once he and Adam were best of buddies, doing exactly what I earlier mentioned about the Fey; all together. But, whereas Adam changed, even managed to love a human female (I’ll come to that but if you’ve read A Highlander’s Touch, you already know the story) Darroc never did. It all started with a human female too, whom Adam wanted for himself but Darroc took her, broke her with his brutality and finally, killed the poor woman. This and many other things about Adam’s life as a Tuatha Dé is revealed throughout the story, showing what kind of a thing he was and how he’d transformed as each century passed by.

Adam thought of looking for Circenn aka Cin too. Cin is his son, by that human female he loved a thousand years ago. I won’t go into Cin’s story, only that though he hated Adam most his life and for good reasons, they amended their differences and that Cin has some magical power as a half-Fey. Cin’s now living with Lisa and their family, traveling between his own century, the 14th and present day. It was Adam’s first plan, to find Cin through Gabby but when he understood the danger they were in, Adam changed his plan. He’d already (with the help of féth fiada) helped Gabby by giving her a BMW, helped her with her court assignments. Adam dresses from the designer outlets, eats in the same manner; all posh restaurants which he graciously shares with Gabby. He’s also an uninvited guest in Gabby’s house now (to Gabby’s utter vexation and a little bit of attraction, something she can do without!) and doing everything for his plan to subtly seduce of his Sidhe-seer. So, after Darroc’s attack, he shifts her through places, towns, spending nights in hotels but Darroc finds them again. Adam then decides he HAS to do something drastic to get Aoibheal’s attention. For that, he’s have to go to the Kelter land, which is magically warded by the queen so that no Fey can ever enter (no problem for him since he’s human now) and ask them not to do the rituals of Lughnasadh, the day when the veil between the Fey and the Human world thins. Without the rituals done by the Kelter druids, it’s going to be a mess and Aoibheal can’t ignore it in anyway. Oh, and he’d revise the damned book of Sin Siriche Du in Gabby’s library, which has impugned him really bad (and Adam Black doesn’t stand anything like that) so he’d write the truth down himself. Damn he loves himself, our Adam! ;)

In the meantime, Gabby doesn’t know a lot of the things or Adam’s plans. But, when he explained a few things, they’re on their ‘way’ (without charge of course) to Scotland. In the rental car, the scene was intense. Somewhere in the middle, he slips that Cin is his son and Gabby is a wee bit jealous of the woman and irritated by this revelation. She tries gleaning more information about this woman, Morganna but whatever he says, he never answers why Morganna didn’t want to be immortal. Here, we see Adam’s musing about Morganna and his time with her, and their baby (kinda weird when I think of Cin as his son). I knew the woman was married but it seems Adam was seeing her from a very young age and stayed with her til the day she died. Then, he went on a rampage, in grief and a little bit of vulnerability that she denied him after he said ILU to her. She somehow knew Adam really didn’t love her but Adam thought since he’s a fey and thus soulless, she didn’t wanna be with him forever.

In the Kelter Castle of Drustan and Dageus, the couples are tremendously happy. Gwen just had her twin daughters and Chloe is expecting (lucky b*tches, sorry I can’t help it from coming :/). Their introduction to an invisible Adam and semi-invisible Gabby (when Adam touches anything, it’s invisible too) was funny. Adam wasn’t sure if Dageus remembered him but it seems he does. And the MacKelters welcome them in their home. They get down to the discussion but before it all, Adam asks Dageus if he remembers the dark druids’ spells (story in The Dark Highlander), so that he can cure him of his annoying invisibility. Dagues does that. I really loved how Drustan was so concerned about Dageus before performing the spell. Drustan is still a big, bear of a sweet pea! And oh, when Adam finally is visible, Gwen and Chloe’s reaction along with Dageus and Drustan’s scowls ... oh boy, HILARIOUS! :p So was the fussing maids, who’d “provide aught, aught at all Mr. Black might desire”, much to Gabby’s irritation. Just read her thoughts:
And if that hadn't been enough, the castle cat, obviously female and obviously in heat, had sashayed in, tail straight up and perkily curved at the tip, and wound her furry little self sinuously around Adam's ankles, purring herself into a state of drooling, slanty-eyed bliss. Mr. Black, my ass, she'd wanted to snap (and she liked cats, really she did; she'd certainly never wanted to kick one before, but please— even cats?), he's a fairy and I found him, so that makes him my fairy. Back off.

My stomach hurts from laughing! And she does something more hilarious, which I won’t reveal, later on, about the ‘maid situation’. But, even though Adam likes this fussing around and was used to with it, he still wanted his Sidhe-seer. I LOVED the way he said, You're not falling for me, are you, Irish? to Gabby from the beginning ‘til the end because every time he did, he fell a little for her and wanted to know what she thought of it... it was too sweet for words. But soon, he convinces Gabby to give into his seductions, to ‘accept him’ as he is. I loved the love scene but I also wished there were more of it. Knowing Adam’s prowess as a lover, I was disappointed that there weren’t more, except by mention, argh! And, before Lughnasadh and his careful plans with the MacKelter brothers (they’ve pledged to one another to watch out for their backs), he’d take whatever he can from his petite Sidhe-seer. Gabby, meanwhile was drowning too, in Adam, just as she was afraid she will. But Adam said nothing of a future so she kept quite. He explained her about his plans to bring Aoibheal to him.

When the day arrived, Aoibheal is angry with Adam and the MacKelters. It seems like her favored prince has done it again and she’s left to take care of the mess. She didn’t want to punish Adam but with his interference in human lives, she had to do it as her counsel pressed her to do. Aoibheal finally decides to pay Adam a visit. BTW: Darroc’s army of hunters already found out Adam’s whereabouts but for the magical ward, they backed off to wait for a chance. Now, as Adam waits with Gabby. Dageus and Drustan were secretly hiding, even though Adam insisted that they leave. Adam and Gabby explain it all to the queen, who asks Adam to take Gabby and set a trap. Adam would have to go back being invisible. If he can prove it all, the queen would see to Adam’s demands. On their way back to USA, Gabby and Adam had a fight; she was feeling vulnerable that Adam might leave him after it’s all done as he’s not spoken of any future and Adam was pissed that it’s always about the bloody ‘soul’ to them, that he might have to watch another woman he cared for, die. Gabby again asks him about Morganna and immortality, Adam answers that immortality and immortal soul doesn’t go together. After a time, the immortal soul would diminish, leaving the person unfeeling. Eitherway Adam is very angry, so when Gabby (with Gwen and Chloe’s influence) tries to take ‘a leap of faith’ and tell him ILU, Adam misunderstands and acts like a jerk; the rude, cold and arrogant Fey that everyone think of him. Gabby can’t believe it, her Fey prince is not like that but still, she’s hurt and gets out of the car. They were already out of the Kelter land, so Darroc’s hunters find them and shoots at Adam. Seeing the pain in his eyes, Gabby faints...

Days pass by turning into month, without any sign of Adam. Gabby, after hours of wait that Adam would surface, flies back to USA. She drowns herself into work and a very disconnected life, thinking either the queen didn’t save Adam or the worse; Adam used her for his purpose. She just couldn’t think any of it. While on the other hand, Adam is enraged because the queen has locked him and then forced him to seat in front of the court for the hearing and Darroc’s punishment when all Adam wants is to go back to Gabby and explain her everything. When, after he chose Darroc’s punishment and got back his immortality, Adam rushes back to Gabby to make her immortal somehow, only to find her crying all over his book (sadly, she saw some lines Adam wrote there regarding him and mortal females, which made her think he’s gone for good). Here, lots of revelations about Adam just open your eyes about a man (because he thinks just like one madly in love) whom I’d never known existed; a man secretly hungered for acceptance and the warmth of love and passion, something only a mortal female can give him. He wanted it all and he wanted it with Gabby. Now. Then he makes a decision, I didn’t see it coming but should’ve. I just never thought Adam Black is capable of such sacrifice but he had me there. He also does something to help Cin and Lisa with their immortality...

The epilogue was sweet. New Sidhe-seers in the family, talking about pretty fairy queens and all. Then boom! Another thing, oh it was just too much but hell, I guess Adam deserves something great, seeing the way Gabby loves him and vice versa. I really adored the ending, so it’s going to be a 4.5 star. I wasn’t sure what to rate it before this, was hovering at 4 but Amadan Dubh, damn you stole my heart babe and I wish I was your lover! *cough cough* ;)

PS: Professor Black, it seems like I’ve taken a liking to all things historical... ermm, can I have your schedule for the next sem? *bats eye lashes with her most beauteous smile* :D


Favorite Quote:
Life was rich and full.
She couldn't have asked for more.
Well... actually... she amended with a little inner flinch, she could have.
Though most of the time she looked at Adam and just felt awed and humbled that this big, wonderful man had given up so much to love her, sometimes she hated that he didn't have a soul, and sometimes she wanted to hate God.
And she had a dream, a silly dream perhaps, but a dream to which she clung.
They would live to be a hundred, until long after their children and grandchildren were grown, and one day they would go to bed and lie down facing each other, and die like that, at the same moment, in each other's arms.
And this was her dream: that maybe, just maybe, if she loved him hard enough and true enough and deep enough, and if she held on to him tightly enough as they died, she could take him with her wherever it was that souls went.
And there she would do what was in her blood, what she now knew she'd been born for; she would stand before God, a brehon, and she would argue the greatest, the most important case of her life.
And she would win.


Right! I've been looking for a picture of Adam, any artwork but sadly, found nothing that caught my attention. So, here is something sexy and oh, yess, more please... *fans herself*


Oh, Yes!!

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Punya
I'm a simple girl. I love to read in my spare time and do reviews the books I read. I also write, mostly songs/poems, though I'm not published. I love music and traveling. Sometimes, I wish I could live inside a book, having my own HEA. :)
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