Enchanted Again by Robin D. Owens
Series: Mystic Circle #2
Source: Personal shelf
Magic has a price—and for Amber Sarga it’s days and years off her life. Each curse she breaks ages her—and the bigger the curse the bigger the cost, and not only to her. That’s why she hides away and has vowed not to get involved again That’s why she hates looking in a mirror
And then an ill-fated stranger arrives. Rafe Davail doesn’t believe in curses—not even knowing that in his family every first son dies young. Amber offers guidance but she won’t break the curse. Still, as she grows closer to Rafe and discovers the secrets of their pasts, she wonders if for this time, this man, she should risk it all .
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I reviewed the first Mystic Circle book, ENCHANTED NO MORE, on Tynga’s Reviews last year. I was captivated by the world that Owens created, and the shine hasn’t worn off! I really enjoyed ENCHANTED AGAIN, though not quite as much as ENCHANTED NO MORE, something I attribute entirely to the shift in focus.
In ENCHANTED AGAIN, we’re introduced to Amber Sarga, a human cursebreaker who lives on Mystic Circle. She meets Rafe Devail when Rafe’s friend Conrad comes to her for help with his curse. Unfortunately for Amber, breaking curses has a physical cost and she ages, the number of months/years depending on the strength of the curse she breaks. To help Conrad or Rafe would cost her everything so she’s understandably reluctant to help either of them.
The idea of curses and how they behave isn’t particularly new but Owens executes it well. I love the balance that cursing and cursebreaking require and think it adds a nice element to the Mystic Circle mythology. Plus, the Dark ones are still around and they become involved in Amber and Rafe’s lives, which also draws in Eight Corp and other residents of the Circle. I really liked this aspect of ENCHANTED AGAIN because I love Jenni and Aric and was happy to see them appear on stage again. But ENCHANTED AGAIN is Amber and Rafe’s story and although it’s generally a good story, it didn’t suck me in quite as much as Jenni and Aric’s. There’s still lots of action and the plot is well constructed and executed but there was that little something special lacking for me. I’m pretty sure it’s because Rafe’s very self-involved. He lives his life as he chooses because of the curse that he doesn’t fully believe in, and it’s made him selfish. He slowly grows out of his less desirable behaviours but I didn’t find him terribly charming. I’d be interested to know if there are folks out there who feel the same.
Despite this, I really liked the conclusion of the novel. The resolution is very satisfying because both characters have grown as individuals and as a couple. I still prefer Amber and her squishy self over Rafe but they each show development, which always makes a story meatier and better.
If you haven’t read the first book in the series, I would strongly suggest picking that one up before you try ENCHANTED AGAIN. Owens lays out the groundwork for the series in ENCHANTED NO MORE; you can probably understand everything if you jump right into ENCHANTED AGAIN but you’ll definitely get more out of the story if you have ENCHANTED NO MORE under your belt.