Crucible of Fate by Mary Calmes

crucibleTitle: Crucible of Fate

Series: Change Of Heart 04

Author: Mary Calmes

Genre: Paranormal, Shifters

Length: Novel (234pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (21st November 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: In the secret city of Sobek, Domin Thorne is making his way as the newly chosen semel-aten, the leader of the werepanther world. He aspires to make sweeping changes—he’s set goals for himself and the people he chose to bring with him, modeling his reign after that of his friend, Logan Church. But Domin may have set too lofty a goal: his normal leadership style isn’t working.

While juggling a homesick Crane, a moody Mikhail, a bullwhip-wielding Taj, servants with murderous intentions, a visiting ex, and a mate on a dangerous goodwill mission, Domin has to figure out his new role alone. He also must determine how to deal with a conspiracy, all the while falling hard for a man who, for the first time in Domin’s life, reciprocates that love. Whether Domin is ready or not, Fate has stepped in to teach him a lesson: internal threats are just as dangerous as external ones.

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Review: This story is part of a series and must be read in order. Domin is now semel-aten and living in Sobek, Egypt.  He is trying to change the werepanther world for the better, but he finds himself struggling to cope with the pressure and it doesn’t help that his mate, Yuri, is off on a peace keeping mission between two tribes. Domin also has dissent in his ranks; people determined to take him down and conspirators who want him dead. Domin learns that he needs those that he trusts most around him and that he can be the leader that is needed even when he sometimes doubts himself.

This book brings us the story of Domin and Yuri as they settle into their new life in Sobek. Domin is struggling to bring about the changes he wants and is being overwhelmed by his new responsibilities.  Even with the support of Crane, Mikhail, Taj and Yuri he is failing to make the impact he wanted. Domin soon learns that he has to trust those closest to him to do their jobs, he has to learn to treat his mate as a mate and he has to learn to have faith in himself. Yuri and Crane both face challenges while Mikhail and Taj have to assert their authority over the tribe.

This story is all from Domin’s POV, so we get a really great feeling for everything that he experiences, from his doubts, his fears and his hopes to the danger he finds himself and those he cares about in, all the way until he becomes the man he wants to be without even realizing it. Domin and Yuri make a great couple, although Yuri doesn’t know the true depth of Domin’s feelings, and Koren *grrr* makes an appearance sniffing around Domin again *grrr*, there are many different dangers that Domin and his friends face and one of those dangers brings Jin to the rescue, and where Jin goes his mate finally follows (when Logan discovers Jin’s whereabouts) which also brings interesting family members to be introduced. There is a hell of a lot of assassination attempts, other dangers, sneaking about and back stabbing going on that I won’t go into but there is no lack of excitement.

Domin really comes into his own in this book; he isn’t overshadowed by either Logan or Jin (who both make an appearance).  Domin really does grab this story by the throat and makes it his, he shines through when he stops trying to copy Logan’s rule and begins his own. When he has his own confidence and stops second guessing himself, he puts Logan’s rule to shame and shows the whole werepanther nation just why he is semel-aten. I must admit that it was strange seeing all these characters from a different character’s POV and although Domin does question himself a lot it was nothing like Jin’s rough rambling lol.

I have to recommend this to those who love shifters, brutal justice, conspiracy, attempted assassinations, hot sex, finding your place in the world and getting your happy ever after.