During her ordeal with the Sect, Estelle Bailey dreamt of escaping back into the arms of the sea—and Azariah. But freedom came at a price, and though she’s back with the Sachael who’s stolen her heart, she’s also land-bound until the next full moon. And with the threat of Orontes looming ever larger behind them, Azariah, Estelle, and Michael—her once-captor turned rescuer and friend—are on the run.
Following Michael’s lead, they seek sanctuary amidst the natural beauty of the Orkney and Shetland Islands until Estelle can complete her next submergence ritual and Azariah can whisk her away to the safety of Saicean.
Secrets, betrayals, and old enemies await them, though, and as events spiral out of control, Azariah makes a decision that puts all their lives at risk, forcing Estelle to face a journey she never wanted to take. With time running out and tempers running high, her only hope to save the man she loves lies in a reconciliation between two kingdoms who despise each other.
Book Two in the Mine Series, Sachael Desires further expands on the intricate underwater world of the Sachaels, and the hostility and isolation of not belonging.
Picking up where Sachael Dreams left off, Sachael Desires is exactly what you hope for in a sequel, suffering none of the sophomore-book blues that plague so many other series. Everything we loved about the original is back — the setting, the characters, the romance — but paired with all the excitement of something new.
One of my favorite aspects, apart from seeing the cast again, was the attention Winter paid to the world-building. We finally get to see the mythical Saicean, but even more importantly, we get to see the underwater world of the Sachaels and Oceanids in all its brutality. Richly described and realistic, Winter paints a portrait that is both fantastically imaginative and thought-provoking, providing subtle commentary on things like human nature, identity, sexism, ableism, and racial profiling within the fabric of Estelle’s journey.
Filled with twists and turns (and several pretty notable revelations about some of the characters that I won’t spoil), Sachael Desires is much more action driven than its predecessor.
The first book featured a plot that felt like romantic suspense with fantasy elements, but this one feels like an action-adventure blockbuster, with sweeping settings, beautifully crafted and well-imagined worlds, and an epic battle just waiting to be interpreted on the silver screen. And Winter manages to do all of this while still developing her characters and their relationships, peeling back the layers of their lives piece by piece to give us carefully timed glimpses of the whole.
While entirely satisfying as a follow-up, it is clear that there is much more still to be discovered in this world and series. And I, for one, cannot wait to see what happens next.