Unbidden – Shayla Morgansen


Sometimes we evade the darkness. Other times it comes to us unbidden.

In the wake of a direct political strike, the battered White Elm is left virtually powerless to act against their former brother Lisandro, the man now armed with their most formidable weapon, the Elm Stone. Matters are complicated by a history of resentment surrounding the council’s elitist stance on ‘wild’ forms of magic, and compromises must be made in order to move forward.

Conflicted by the truth of their pasts but bound together by recent events, Aristea and Renatus commit themselves to understanding their unruly connection and its roots in a time long before theirs. But when Aristea is burdened with a secret too heavy to share with her ally and mentor, an unexpected darkness begins to shadow her, and in her new role as Renatus’s apprentice she is a reluctant player in a game started half a century before…


My Rating: 4.5 Stars

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

 Alright, so this is what I need you do to if you’re reading my review, if you haven’t already read this entire series, I need you to go purchase it, speed read through it, and call me so that we can gush about THAT ENDING! I need to talk to someone about it, help a girl out please!

As expected, I loved almost everything about this book. The author really has a gift with words – I felt like I was watching every scene in the book unfold in person. Throughout the series, we as readers have been lucky enough to watch Aristea grow as a character. She has already been through a lot and is handling it as best she can. What I really liked though, was the fact that while Aristea has grown greatly as a character, she is still a 17 year old girl (18 by the end of the book) trying to grasp the enormity of the things being asked of her. She has very teenage emotions, and I think Morgansen does a great job of writing that.

Renatus still remains my favorite character and I loved that he again played such a prominent role in this book. I thought it was really clever and original that as Aristea and Renatus’ connection grows, they each begin to take on the other’s characteristics. What I liked the most throughout the book was the private communication between the two characters – Aristea and Renatus checking in with each other throughout each day, sensing one another’s moods, speaking in their minds when they don’t want to be overheard, etc.

This book will absolutely keep you guessing from page one. After reading all 3 books, I can honestly say that I have no idea what Lissandro is plotting – as a frequent reader, I can usually at least GUESS at motives, but I am completely in the dark. The ending took me completely by surprise and I loved the looks into the past. I thought it was great that Morgansen was able to tie events from 50+ years ago into the current plot of the book seamlessly.

While I did like this book, I did only rate it 4.5 stars, my lowest rating thus far in the series. This was because, for me, the book dragged in some places. I found myself putting the book down at certain points because I was having a hard time staying interested. I think this is because Morgansen spent a lot of Unbidden setting up for the next book in the series. Although I do understand the necessity of this, I wish the book had been a bit more fast paced. That being said, I greatly look forward to the release of the next book in this series, and definitely consider it a favorite!

My Takeaway: Unbidden was not as fast paced as Scarred, but was filled with information necessary for the progression of the series. While Unbidden is not my favorite book in this series thus far, I did enjoy it and look forward to the next book! Warning: this book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger!

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