The Crescent City trilogy comes to a close in Garden of Dreams and Desires by Kristen Painter. Though it lacked the finality one would expect from a closing novel, it was an entertaining ride. Painter brings the charm and amusement that she has become known for with her own dash of romance.
Harlow is a ghost in her own body. She has no control, no power — all she can do is watch as her twin sister Ava Mae lives recklessly and foolishly, slowly destroying everything Harlow has worked so hard for.
Augustine needs to focus on his new role as Guardian of New Orleans, as tourists mysteriously disappear off the streets, but all he can think of is rescuing Harlow — Keeping his family safe.
As the Coven grows more powerful, control of the city hangs in the balance and if the witches prevail, no fae will survive.
I will start things off by stating that I didn’t realize this was the final book in the trilogy until sitting down to write this review. Much of that is because the storyline is adventure focused. Many things are resolved and it’s the most action centric book of the series. This was a big bonus for me and as such, I didn’t even mind the extra bit of romance. Well, not too much.
I really liked the direction that Painter chose to go with the established cast. Evil was thwarted and there were some nice moments of inner conflict. It was great to see the protagonist’s powers evolve. I will say that there were grittier themes in Garden of Dreams and Desire. I really enjoyed this and hope that Painter decides to maintain this edgy element in the future.
Overall, it is a really entertaining story for fans of Painter or urban fantasy as a whole. I wouldn’t read it on its own as the characters are so developed at this point in the story. I was a bit annoyed that Painter’s characters always seem to get settled down. I feel like it lacks a bit of diversity and as the Urban Fantasy genre is already swamped with that version of ‘happily ever after’, I hope she changes it up. Luckily, the end is such that leaves a possibility for Painter to revisit these fascinating characters. It has been a pleasure to see Painter grow as a writer and I can’t wait to see what stellar story she brings us next.