Layla and Roth fans will be happy to know they make a sizable appearance here, but, as it should be, Storm and Fury gave me all the Zayne-y goodness I’ve been craving since the beginning.
I should probably start this review by saying, if you haven’t read the Dark Elements series, you’re going to want to do that before you dive into Storm and Fury. You could probably enjoy this book as is, but there’s so much history between Zayne, his fellow Wardens, Roth and Layla from the earlier series that you’ll want the whole story before you dive into this one.
This book picks up a little while after the end of Every Last Breath. And it all starts with a new perspective: Trinity. She’s been holed up in a Warden compound for most of her life, trying to stay safely hidden from, well, just about everyone. It’s not clear why until it’s… well, clear. Like, as crystal.
When Zayne and a couple other representatives from the DC clan arrive at her compound, it’s most certainly clear that something is changing, and fast. Her clan almost never takes requests to help outside the compound. And they never invite anyone from neighboring clans to stay. So, Trinity may be a little more than curious about these newcomers and why one of them is most particularly alluring.
Let me just start by saying: I. Love. This. Book. I am so excited for Zayne’s story to continue after the events of the Dark Elements series. I never let myself hope that Jen had big plans for him, simply because I didn’t know if I would survive if his story never surfaced. But it has most definitely begun with Storm and Fury, and what a hell of a beginning it is.
When the readers got a chance to choose the ending of Every Last Breath, I will admit to being a little bit devastated. I had fallen hook, line, and sinker for this troubled, terse little gargoyle-man, and I could not accept that Layla wasn’t the girl for him. I just wanted him to have a happy ever after so badly. But I knew that readers had fallen in love with Roth and Layla, and for good reason. They are perfect for each other, and while I had trouble accepting that at the time, I knew, logically, it was the right way to go for the Dark Elements series. Even if I did put off reading Every Last Breath for a long while because of it. I just didn’t want to see my precious Zayne heartbroken and alone.
But, I must admit, it was most definitely worth every agonizing second of the wait for Storm and Fury. This book made all the heartsick pangs I felt for Zayne worth it. Because this book takes us deeper into his psyche. We get to see behind the curtain of the Warden lifestyle. We learn a hell of a lot about their training, their ceremonies, and their code from Trinity and her community.
And we learn why Layla and Zayne maybe weren’t meant to be. It’s so hard to see Zayne trying to make peace with the fact that the girl he grew up with chose someone else, but watching him and Trinity progress from strangers to friends to allies to more is so satisfyingly cathartic. Something just feels right about them, moreso than it ever felt between him and Layla.
So, I’m fully on board for this Harbinger series. I know Jen is going to have a crazy road for these two to travel, and that it will probably have a few casualties along the way, but somehow, someway, we’re going to make it. I am here for every twist and every turn.
I’m beyond grateful that Jen felt compelled to write a story for Zayne, but Trinity quickly steals the show from my beloved Warden. I bonded with her so fast, looking back at the chapters, I realize I was fully invested in Trinity Marrow before I had finished chapter two. She’s such a powerhouse character, taking her weaknesses in stride and never letting her limitations get the best of her. Knowing that this character shares a vision impairment with our author lady makes her that much more precious to me.
Being able to walk for a little while in Trinity’s shoes and experience the highs and lows that come when your vision has been compromised allows us all a chance to empathize and, hopefully, understand that not all disabilities come with a clear signal to the outside world. And sometimes, those people will need help. Sometimes, they won’t. It’s never unkind or patronizing to be aware that such disabilities exist in the world, and to offer help when it appears that someone may need it. I may never be able to be a “seeing-eye-gargoyle” like Zayne, but I’d be happy to lend a helping hand to someone who could use it.
All in all, Storm and Fury is such a wonderful way to continue telling stories in the universe Jen Armentrout so deftly built for the Dark Elements series. I am absolutely in for all the Warden history and lore, for all the possibilities and struggles that this forboding ‘harbinger’ will bring. I am fully invested in both Trinity and Zayne, and am desperate to see what lies ahead for them. So, I promise to try and be patient for the next chapter of this saga, but I know I will breathe a sigh of relief when the next title is released, when the next cover is revealed, and when the next story arrives on my doorstep. Until then, I shall sing the song of the Wardens to any and all who will listen, because I truly love this book.