I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Last Guard (Psy-Changeling Trinity, #5; Psy-Changeling, #20) by Nalini Singh
Published by Berkley on July 20, 2021
FINAL DECISION: Singh does “damaged” heroes and heroines better than almost anyone. How two people who to the world (and themselves) appear different find the person who brings wholeness and acceptance to one another. Combining the ongoing drama of the overarching storyline with the deeply personal connection between these two made this an immensely satisfying read.
THE STORY: Canto Mercant, mysterious and fiercely loyal, approaches the cold and dangerous Payal Rao about the collapse of the PsyNet. In joining forces, the two also confront their own pasts and the weaknesses of mind and body. Canto has remained a hidden part of the Mercant family, rejected by his own father, as his spinal injury communicated imperfection and weakness during Silence. Now that Silence has fallen, the “imperfect” must be brought out of the shadows.
OPINION: The inclusiveness of Singh’s Psy-Changeling world always takes my breath away — optimistic and never heavy-handed, the world is deeply imperfect but there are good people working to correct the flaws. (At the same time, there are plenty of evil forces out to create chaos).
I loved the sweet and fierce relationship between Canto and Payal. The deep acceptance between them. While there have been similar relationships between “broken” people, this one has its own unique qualities that have echoes of other stories but is also quite different. Different challenges, different personalities. Each couple approaches their challenges in different ways which keep these stories fresh and interesting.
The story builds upon the prior stories in the Psy-Changeling universe in new ways raising new challenges to the world. At this point in the series, I wonder how Singh will possibly be able to resolve all these issues, but I have faith because Singh so beautifully gathered the strands in the first “season” of the Psy-Changeling world.
Canto is one of my favorite heroes now. He’s got his own quirks, but his intense loyalty to Payal and his willingness to serve as Payal’s “knight” and let her shine may be a precursor of the female “alphas” whose stories are yet to be told.
WORTH MENTIONING: Lots of cameos from characters from the Psy-Changeling & Trinity series.
CONNECTED BOOKS: LAST GUARD is the fifth book in the Psy-Changeling Trinity series. The Trinity series is a direct spin-off of the Psy-Changeling series and thus this book can also be considered the twentieth book in that series. The romance here is self-contained, but the overarching plot is a continuation of the story in the Trinity series and is much better when read at least as part of the Trinity series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.