Often times companion novels that give you a glimpse into a non-POV character’s POV end up being a disappointment for me. But this? This was great! It had been over a year and a half since I finished the series, but I was able to sink right back into it, reliving the scenes without any problem (though it probably helped that I read the summaries I have of all the books before reading this).
And Ash’s and Lyre’s POVs were so interesting! Not only was it cool getting to see their thoughts, there were also little bits of information about them and sometimes things going on that Piper didn’t know about. Lyre especially is just… wow. He’s so interesting and skilled and intense. I loved his POV the best, and I loved seeing him in action in the fight/battle scenes, and I’m normally not a big fan of fight scenes. But I loved his emotional moments too.
I also loved getting to see Ash and Lyre’s friendship more. They were, apparently, always so much more in tune with each other than I realized. Like, they were always exchanging glances and sensing things about each other and working together. They knew each other, probably more than anyone else did, and were loyal to each other.
This book also brought home the point that the daemons aren’t human. Lyre and Ash kept trying to explain that to Piper, but I can understand why she didn’t understand that since apparently I didn’t either. Actually experiencing the shading, the instinct, the animalistic rage, the possessiveness, etc. from the POVs of Ash and Lyre was entirely different from just seeing them shade from Piper’s POV. It was interesting. Also interesting was getting to know more about the real Ash and Lyre—the sides of themselves they didn’t readily show to Piper. Like, even when not shaded, those two are fucking deadly.
And of course I loved the stuff about Zwi, haha. I never really thought about what the dragonets might be like when they communicated with the Draconians, and it was adorable/hilarious. Zwi is the best. I love how much Ash loves her and she him.
There was other funny stuff too, *SPOILER* like when Ash needed to distract Miysis and the Ra daemons while Zwi stole the Sahar, but he hadn’t planned anything, so he just punched Miysis in the face, and then, when Miysis confusedly asked why he did that, Ash just said some vague, cryptic things about how Miysis knew what that was for (even though there literally was no reason). Or the way the water dragons befriended Ash and he ended up having a big dragon slumber party with them. *END SPOILER*
This book also made me sad though. *SPOILER* After finishing the final book, I felt like the ending was bittersweet not just because of how Piper and Ash were separating temporarily but because of how Lyre was going off on his own too. I wondered if Lyre had other friends, and I felt like he seemed to have a lonely life. This book, somewhat unfortunately, confirmed that I was right—he is lonely. I always liked Lyre, and he only grew on me more and more as the series went on, so I feel bad for him. *END SPOILER* This isn’t a complaint about the book/series though—it’s realistic, I don’t think everything in books needs to be happy, and the fact that I feel for a character this much means he was well-written.
So overall this was fun, funny, interesting, emotional, and absolutely worthwhile addition to the series!
Fans of Books 1-5 in Annette Marie's Steel & Stone series. Anyone who likes action-packed, YA urban fantasy with kickass heroines with equally kickass supernatural creatures by her side.
More Books in the Series:
Steel & Stone Companion Collection — 12 stories from the Steel & Stone series, narrated by Ash and Lyre
From her first fateful glimpse of the Sahar Stone in Chase the Dark, to the explosive battle in Asphodel in Unleash the Storm, Piper fought with Ash and Lyre beside her. A draconian and an incubus—an unlikely friendship of two skilled warriors, deadly in very different ways, both hiding dark secrets and dangerous pasts.
Now, return to the Steel & Stone world—this time through their eyes. In this collection of short stories set on the same timeline as the original series, Ash and Lyre reveal a whole new side to the trials they faced—both familiar scenes and never-before-seen adventures. Discover Ash’s first impression of Piper, their fight in the Styx ring, Lyre’s secret role in the escape from Asphodel, and more.
The collection includes 3 stories from Chase the Dark, 2 stories each from Bind the Soul, Yield the Night, and Reap the Shadows, and 3 stories from Unleash the Storm. And exclusively in this edition, read the first chapter of The Night Realm (Spell Weaver: Book 1), a new series set in the Steel & Stone universe.