Title: Protector of the Flight
Author: Robin D. Owens
Series: The Summoning #3
Calli Torcher used to ride rodeo—until a bad fall broke her pelvis in three places and left her unable to compete. Now her dreams of having a ranch and training horses seems just shy of impossible. Then the Summons draws her to Lladrana, where she is to be the bridge between the Chevaliers and the Marshalls, as well as helping out the voltrans (flying horses). But it isn’t always easy getting everything you ever wanted . . .
This is both better and worse than the first book. The main reason it’s worse is how insanely crunched everything is. Calli talks about getting a routine, and then mentions it’s only a couple of days. Bonding with family, friends, even husband—very, very compacted. The story worked a lot better for me when I ignored the actual timeframe and just pretended everything took about four times as long (because learning a language in two weeks? or having a handful of days to spend with kids?). Not to mention Calli actually does choose to go through the ceremony to get married after being in Lladrana all of one day. Get married first, get to know your husband later . . .
Well, for all that, her relationship with Marrec was a lot better than Bastien and Alexa. Mostly because it was worse. She and Marrec have an insta-love bond helping them out, but that isn’t enough to make everything constantly happy. Calli’s need to please undermines her more than once. They have very similar priorities but different opinions about how things ought to be done, which leads to conflict in the relationship. And Calli, unlike Alexa, isn’t being pushed into fighting as much because her role is seen as more of a support function. I also liked how Marrec was a lot closer to common than Bastien. Having not been at the top his entire life, he has a cynicism about the upper ranks and how the society is structured to favor certain groups above others, and certain people within groups.
I missed the second book because I don’t have it and neither does the library, but that wasn’t a problem (mostly because it appears the second book did little to advance the actual war against the baddies). Overall this probably isn’t worth picking up if you haven’t read at least one of the prior books (and liked them), but it could stand alone. I rate this book Neutral.