The third novel in the Pack of Dawn and Destiny trilogy dropped about a month ago and I snatched it up as a treat after a very hard week of challenges. K. M. Shea did not disappoint in the least. Her urban fantasy Magiford series (Hall of Blood and Mercy, Court of Midnight and Deception, and now Pack of Dawn and Destiny) have been bright lights in the urban fantasy landscape in recent years. Taking tropes classic to the genre, she has added her own spin and plenty of humor. The combination makes them healthier and much more enjoyable for her readers.
The heroine, Pip, doesn’t feel like she fits in with the pack despite growing up with them. As a hunter, her skills are traditionally focused on hunting and bringing down werewolves. But as an adopted member of the pack, she does the exact opposite of this, except for during training sessions when she takes the role of adversary and prey. I love how Pip holds her own without being vicious or vindictive. And the way she grows gradually into the role she eventually takes is so beautifully done that I can’t help appreciating the journey.
Unlike the trend in this genre, Greyson’s role as the alpha does not involve fighting for preeminence in his pack. Instead, his role as alpha involves mostly taking care of the pack, training them, providing for them, and defending them. Which also affects how he approaches his fated mate bond with Pip. He is respectful of the fact she needs to make her own choice about whether to accept the bond not. Working hard not to pressure her, he gives her space while still seeking her out and supporting her needs.
I love Shea’s books because they are frequently about finding belonging. Working through our roles in life is a vital process that we can all relate to. The journey to find a sense of belonging that almost all of us traverse is integral to many of her books. The Pack of Dawn and Destiny trilogy beautifully presents that theme. It also focuses on Pip’s found family, how finding one’s place and role can lead to personal growth. And all of that is in addition to a sweet romance as Greyson finds his fated mate and she learns to accept his trust and care. Throw in action, plots against the pack, and plenty of humor, and this series becomes one of K. M. Shea’s best works. I can’t wait for the next one.