Zodiac Academy: Fated Throne
by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti
Self - Published
Book 6 in the Bullies and Beasts series
Fate has torn us apart and sometimes I believe the stars have given up on us altogether.
Without my sister, the world seems darker than ever before and the shadows loom thicker, rising up to answer the call of the Shadow Princess and changing the face of Solaria for good.
Now Lionel Acrux has the strength to make a move for the throne, I’m not sure how much time we have left to stop him.
Our only hope is to find the Imperial Star before he does. We made the sacrifice the stars called for and we’re paying the price for that decision so it can’t be for nothing. But with the stars turning against us at every move, and the last light in the world seeming to fade, I’m afraid we’re almost out of time. Hope is a dangerous thing. It’s the key to us fighting on. But it could be what destroys us in the end.
One thing is for certain, I won’t stop until I have been reunited with my other half and together we will fight to take our crowns.
A war is coming.
The throne is calling for a new monarch. And someone must answer its call.
Zodiac Academy: Fated Thrones by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti is the sixth book in their Zodiac Academy series, and picks up months after the events of the fifth book. The Vega sisters are split up. Lionel has forced Tory to be his bonded Guardian, and has made her succumb to the shadows, and he is closer than ever to securing the throne for himself. Darcy, and the Heirs refuse to give up though. Darcy will stop at nothing to get stronger, get her sister back, and fight for their crowns, and Darius will not let anything - even the stars - keep him from the woman he loves. Their only hope of getting in the way of Lionel's plans is finding the Imperial Star before him. No matter what happens, war is coming ...
WOAH! Where did this come from? I was literally groaning when I saw the length of this book. Don't get me wrong - I like a girthy (heh.) book - but I try pretty hard to get a review out every other day, and with the length of this book, I didn't think I could get it done. But holy shit. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. And I have thoughts. So many thoughts. And because SO MUCH happens in this book, I gotta split up. Spoilers will be hidden for those of you who haven't read this book, but I will try to give a general, non spoilery blurb.
Tory - In the past others, including myself, have complained that Tory felt a little one dimensional, and there wasn't a whole lot of growth. This book changes that. Her storyline is dark, and some parts are hard to read, but in true Tory fashion, she finds a way turn it around and make something positive for herself. ---------spoiler --------> In so many ways too. She becomes stronger in her magic, and controlling the shadows after Darcy and the Heirs help pull her out. She learns to control herself and her anger. In the past, she NEVER would have been able to pretend and work undercover. She learns to forgive. Forgive Darius, and herself. Forgive the Heirs and Orion. She forgives but doesn't forget. She won't be steamrolled, and she won't let anyone get away with shit. Hence, Orion's daily dick kicks. lol. Can we celebrate the moment Tory's tore off Lionel's hand, and then burnt it to ash before he could get it back to heal himself. FUCK YES GIRL!<----------------------
Darcy - Darcy is a sweet twin. The easily loveable twin. But that girl has been scorned, and its SO good to see her grow from the experience. Orion broke her heart, but she doesn't give up on life, even if she wants to spend the day in bed. She becomes this kick ass girl who literally sneaks out with the Heirs and goes killing Nymphs - and she's good at it. She plots and fights to get her sister back. And -----------spoiler -------> she doesn't forgive Orion right away. Don't get me wrong. I fucking love Orion and I love these two together. But good for her for making him work for her forgiveness. What he did was totally understandable, but he broke her trust, and he needed to build that foundation again. And can I just say, her friendships with the Heirs are fucking amazing. I love her and Seth's friendship, and I love that Darius and her have a brother/sister thing going on. I'm supper concerned about the curse placed on her. I wonder what it means <------------------
Darius - I am both equally happy with Darius's growth, and frustrated. We know he loves Tory. And he doesn't give up on getting her back from his father's clutches. But ... -----------spoiler-----------> He STILL wants the throne for himself and the Heirs! What the fuck? This is like 1 step forward, 2 steps back. He acknowledges in the last book that his desire for power cost him the most important thing in his life - love with Tory, his Elysian Mate. One would assume that he would be willing to step back for the sake of the woman he says he will do anything for. But no. UGH! Aside from that ... hiccup ... I genuinely feel his love for Tory. Obviously. He goes through with the wedding with "Mildred" - Gabriel was hilarious here, by the way - to save Tory's life. His sacrifice in the end is fucking brutal, and I hope it's a test from the stars, and it doesn't actually mean his death. Maybe because their star crossed, if they want a second chance, the tests are harder? <----------------.
Seth and Caleb - While Caleb has always been a bit better towards the Vega's, Seth had a lot to make up for, and his arc has been fabulous in this book. His friendship with Darcy is WONDERFUL, and the way he tries to make it up to her for what he did to her and Orion, while a little out of the box, was hilarious and wonderful at the same time. ------------spoiler-------> That. Threesome. OH MY GAWD, it was hot, and not because of Rosalie. The sexual tension between Caleb and Seth is SO HOT and I am in NEED for these two to get together. Xavier, why did you have to interrupt? Whyyyyy? I can picture Seth and Darcy talking it over in explicit detail too. <-----------------
Max and Geraldine - I just need these two together. I do. I'm putting money down on it now. They're Elysian Mates. He can't resist her buttery bagels. And what Max does for Tory in this book - true friend right there.
Orion - This poor guy can't catch a break, but I liked his arc in this book. And judging my the prophecy, his story is very important. ---------spoiler-------> Being in prison sucked, and I was really happy when he ended up on house arrest, and we got some Orion and Darcy scenes. But damn ... just as he and Darcy are finally getting a moment, and they are both succumbing to their feelings for one another ... BOOM. Stupid Lionel crashes the party. I wanted a steamy scene with these two. I miss them. Add it to the list of reasons I want Lionel killed. I did appreciate finishing the storyline with his sister. He got a proper goodbye, and while it didn't end the way he hoped, it was the best outcome. <----------------
Lionel/Shadow Bitch - They need to die. Like, right away. Horrifically, brutally DIE.
Xavier/Sophie - DIJAZZLING!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
This book was a whirlwind of emotions. I was laughing, and crying, and I had a genuine book hangover. This isn't just a bully romance for the sake of it anymore. We have new adults acting their age, growing as characters, building lifelong bonds. We have a thick, meaty plot, that is moving along quickly, which after the first three books being super slow, was needed. Caroline and Susanne's writing has visibly improved in style (I need them to work on the misspelling of words though. Although it could be a geographical thing.) Anyways, I hate to leave it here. I wish the seventh book was out already. Crossing fingers it comes out earlier than December, because I NEEDS IT.
Seth and Darcy talking about Seth's crush
Gabriel giving Darcy clothes so Orion "Eats his heart out"
The hot threesome with Caleb, Seth and Rosalie
Seth interrupting Darcy's shower to tell her about the threesome
Darcy and Seth wrestling while Gabriel casually appears and throws stardust to transport them to where Orion is.
Tory is free!
Tory and Orion hugging because they were both partially free ... but she still kicked him in the balls
Darius and Tory's date to the human realm
Seth texting Orion pictures of him and Darcy
Orion walking in on Geraldine, Darcy, Caleb, Seth and Max wrestling
Orion and Darcy's kiss
Love that Darius bought Tory her own special mug
Tory and Darius stealing a moment from the stars, and the tattoos!
Seth admitting to Darcy what he has been doing to make Orion jealous
Caleb helping Darcy escape Highspell - no questions asked
Seth, Caleb and Xavier freeing the prisoners
Orion and Darcy's make out at Gabriel's house
Gabriel's reveal to Darius
Orion freeing Clara
Tory tearing off Lionel's hand and burning it to ash so he couldn't heal it back on
Seth: “It’s kind of a big deal.”
Darcy: “Every crush you have is a big deal, you had a crush on a cookie the other day and didn’t eat it for like eight hours.”
Seth: “The chocolate chips were arranged into the shape of a dick!” Seth: “We won’t die. We’re the Heirs and the Savage Princess. Darcy and the dudebros. Wolfman, Bitey C, Fish Fury, Dragzilla, and the Phoen Dream.” I might have been broken, hurt, and ruined by destroying us. But the sacrifice had been worth it. She was becoming the queen she was always meant to be. It was just hard to accept that I was never going to be her king. Darius: “Pinching my ass, Gwen?”
Darcy: “Gross. And don’t call me Gwen.”
Seth: “Why’s that gross?”
Seth asked as he woke, yawning broadly as he sat up and nuzzled into my neck in his Wolfish way. He did that shit so often these days, I didn’t even notice it half the time.
Seth: “Darius has a lovely peachy ass.”
Darcy: “Because he’s in love with my sister which makes him about as appealing to me as a three day old tuna sandwich – no offence,”
Darius: “You’re an old tuna sandwich to me too, Gwen,” Gabriel: “He’s going to eat his heart out,”
he murmured and I rolled my eyes.
Gabriel: “I hope he does by the way. I’m still pissed he hurt my little sister. Kick him in the dick for me, okay?”
I chuckled as I headed to the window, pushing it open and feeling him drop the silencing bubble.
Darcy: “Can you see a dick kick in his future?”
Darcy: “Love you, Gabriel,” Darcy: “Why are you smirking?”
I narrowed my eyes at him and he shrugged innocently.
Darius: “This is just my normal face,”
he said, trying to flatten his smirk and failing. Darcy: “No, your normal face suggests you’re deciding whether or not to eat the Fae in front of you. You only smirk when you’ve decided you’re actually going to do it.”
He released a low laugh.
Darius: “Maybe I’m hungry.”
Darcy: “Well maybe you should have brought a snack.”
Darius: “Maybe I did.”
He gnashed his teeth at me and I snorted.
Darcy: “I’d cook your ass if you tried it.”
Darius: “Hmm, that’s a point. How will I fry you up if you don’t burn?”
he mused and I laughed.
Darcy: “Sucks to suck, Darius. I’m uncookable.” I hated being tactile with anyone. Anyone except Darcy. Alright, and Darius. Apparently I only liked the D. I looked down at the water concealing the scissors and cursed the stars. And Gabriel a bit too. Fucking pube scissors, Noxy?? Darcy: “You need to speak to him.” Seth: “Yeah, I mean I kind of tried to.”
He hung his head, whining softly.
Seth: “I mentioned how good it had been seeing his dick driving in and out of Rosalie and I was about to say how much I’d wanted to put his dick in my mouth too, but-”
Darcy: “You could just try saying, ‘hey Caleb, I think you’re hot, maybe we could go on a date sometime,’”
I said with a laugh.
Darcy: “You don’t need to go from nought to blowjob.”
Seth: “Right…yeah, that makes sense. I just get so excited.”
Darcy: “It’s good you’re excited. But you kinda need to figure out if he’s on the same page as you before you try to suck his dick.”
Orion: “We haven’t been able to really fulfil the needs of the Guardian bond in a long time.”
Seth: “Oh, I see. Say no more.”
Seth winked, strolling casually over to me and slinging his arm around my shoulders. He turned his head, whispering in my ear.
Seth; “Butt sex.”
Darcy: “Seth,” I batted him off absentmindedly, working to focus on the diary and nothing else as my eyes kept skipping over to Orion and the taut muscles of his stomach. I mean seriously, could someone just put a shirt on that man?
You’re not distracted by Darius going around all shirtless and shit.
Well he’s a tuna sandwich dammit. Geraldine: “Merely a ditty to appease the stars on this – the night of the great A.S.S. ramming.”
Angelica: “Are you certain you want to stick with that name?”
Angelica asked, that dubious tone to her voice which she kept using when I brought this up.
Geraldine: “Angelica, dear. Are we or are we not about to meet in a clandestine, Order mixing, law flouting, gathering of the biggest A.S.S.es you know?”
Angelica: “Well, yes, but-”
Geraldine: “And are we, or are we not about to ram our truth down the throats of those vile K.U.N.T.s?”
Angelica: “Yes. But-”
Geraldine: “So are we A.S.S. ramming or are we ramming the K.U.N.T.s? Because so help me, Angelica, I can’t think of a simpler way to phrase our noble work.”
Geraldine: "Oh magical muscles, look at the size of that six pack!"
Geraldine gasped as she looked at me.
Geraldine: "You truly are one beastly specimen of a man, Darius Acrux. No wonder my lady Tory is so enamored with your swollen banana. I did sometimes wonder if she'd been drinking at the moose juice when she kept falling under your spell, but getting a close up look at your man-parcel really has me all of a dither-" Max: "Stop looking at his fucking man-parcel,"
Max snarled, moving up behind her and slapping a hand over her eyes as I snorted a surprised laugh. That girl was seriously off her fucking bagels but there was something about her that was growing on me. The beastly specimen comment probably helped.
Geraldine: "Do not tell a goose where to gander, you overgrown seahorse!"
Geraldine cried, scrambling to get out of Max's arms as he glared at me like this was somehow my fault.
Max: "Put your fucking shirt back on, man,"
Darius: "I'm about to shift,"
I replied, shaking my head as Caleb laughed his ass off and Seth looked like he was a popcorn bucket shy of settling in for a show.
Geraldine: "Unhand me you slippery sea urchin!"
Geraldine shouted, throwing a hand into Max's stomach and knocking him off of her with a slap of water magic.
Max: "Well stop staring at Darius's dick then,"
Geraldine: "Excuse you, sir, but I am doing no such thing! For one, the delicious Dragon has not revealed his man ham for the room to peruse at leisure, so I was only appreciating the powerful physique which he uses to please my lady! And for two, I would never lay so much as a chin whisker upon the flesh of the man my lady is destined to love by all the stars in the sky! I am merely expressing my approval for his ability to pleasure her physically, even if his personality has left a lot to be desired-"
Darcy: "She's got a point."
Caleb: I heard he's got a hot sister who graduated before we came here. I could bang her and make a sex tape. His family wouldn't seem like such amazing Royalists if everyone knew she'd been sucking Heir cock."
Seth: "Let's not do anything too hasty,"
Seth laughed kinda aggressively as he slapped Cal on the shoulder harder than necessary.
Seth: "No need to go whoring yourself out, Cal, let's just fuck the guy up and threaten his balls until he agrees to break it off. No cock sucking required."
Caleb agreed, blowing out a laugh as he glanced at Seth then looked to me quickly.
Seth: "Not by the Masters chick anyway."
Seth smirked at him and Max groaned loudly.
Max: "Stop flirting, you two, you're just making me feel worse about my shit."
I balked, glancing at Seth as he shrugged innocently.
Seth: "I can't help it if all of my friends are stupidly hot and I like to suck the odd dick from time to time. But if you guys ever wanna ditch the girl drama and build a sausage heavy harem then I wouldn't take a whole lot of convincing,"
he said, his gaze falling to my bare chest for a moment before he looked at Cal again and winked.
Caleb: "Right. Well, as much as I like brunettes, I'm currently hooked on one who needs us to chase her into a cage and drug her, so shall we get on with that?" Max: "I hate fighting with you, Gerry,"
I breathed as I moved my hands into her hair, letting some of my heartache slip away and worshipping her with every movement of my mouth against hers. Everything just felt better when I was with her. She could fight away the worst demons in my mind and keep them at bay if only she'd stay here.
Geraldine: "Then stop talking. We only argue when you open your flapper trap." I relented, hugging him tight for a moment as we just took a second to appreciate the fact that we were both half free of our shackles, then I huffed out a frustrated breath and kneed him in the balls as hard as I could. Orion wheezed out a cough laced with a surprised curse and I gave him a shove so he fell back onto the couch beside us as he cupped his junk.
Tory: "That's for breaking my sister's heart, asshole,"
I snarled, pointing a finger at him and glaring. On the one hand, I was seriously pleased to have him back, but on the other, Darcy was my one and only priority in the world and as her big sister - by a few minutes, but whatever - it was my duty to give him a hard time. And that knee to the balls had been a long time coming.
Orion: "Fuck, Tory, why do you always go for the balls?"
he groaned, cupping his crotch with his eyes half closed against the pain.
Tory: "You're lucky I left them attached to your body. You're on my shit list, douchebag, and don't you forget it. Orion: "You know, your sister is a lot nicer than you are,"
Tory: "No shit, Sherlock. That's why I'm kicking your ass on her behalf. She's too good to go for the balls but I swear to you now, if you hurt her again then I'm coming for yours with a fist full of Phoenix fire. Got it?"
Orion: "You're a fucking animal,"
he said, shielding his junk protectively and giving me a look that told me he knew I meant it.
Tory: “Yeah. And don't you forget it. Tory: “Now you’ve just gotta decide, do you go with another sweatpants, t-shirt combo? Fancy it up to jeans? Or go all out with a suit and try to casually pretend you forgot she was coming and just happened to be wearing your fanciest shit,”
I joked and his face fell.
Orion: “Fuck you. I wasn’t even thinking about that until you said it. Next time you’re meeting up with Darius I’m gonna get in your head over outfit choices too.”
Tory: “Good luck with that. Unlike you, I don’t give a shit what I wear. We’re not all so vain, you know?” Orion: “We’re all at least a little fucked up, Tory. But the people who love us don’t give a shit about that. Better still – they love us even more for it.”
My gaze snagged on the friendship bracelet I’d made for him all those months ago and my heart felt full as I smiled at him.
Tory: “I missed you, asshole,”
Orion: “Missed you too, savage.” Having Orion’s new number was a treat in itself. I sent him daily photographs of me and Darcy together with captions like #sheaintblueoveryounomore and