RENEGADE by Nancy Northcott
Renegade by Nancy Northcott
The Protectors, Book 1
Grand Central Publishing
Reviewed by Jo
Valeria Banning is the top sheriff of the Collegium Council, a group who train mages to protect both other mages and mundanes (normal humans) from rogue mages and dark magic, for the southeastern region of the United States. Valeria takes her job very seriously, so when she wakes up from being hurt and finds herself being cared for by the very man she replaced – a mage who went rouge in the Council’s very chambers, Valeria is forced to make a choice. Does she take try and take in Griffin or does she search for the answers on why a rouge mage would help the woman who replaced him and is sworn to bring him down?
Griffin Dare will admit to going after one of the Council members in their chambers and then being on the run from the Council and its top forces – well some of them anyway. However, when he came across Valeria after some ghouls had grievously harmed her, he couldn’t turn his back on her and used his contacts to help her heal. Griffin knew that when she woke up it would take some fancy footwork to keep his identity hidden. Some might consider Griffin rouge, but he had reasons for what he did and he is working with an underground to find the answers on what is going on within the Council and the college.
Valeria knows there is something wrong with what she has been told about Griffin and what her eyes are telling her. The killer mage would not risk his life for mundanes or her and yet Valeria has watched Griffin do this time and again. When attacks brings even more questions to Valeria about what is going on within the Council, Valeria joins with Griffin and his underground and is amazed at just who else is part of this group. Both Valeria and Griffin know that in order to get their final answers, they will need to clear Griffin of the serious charges against him. Knowing the risks, they start the formal process when Griffin is captured by the Council and is about to be sentenced without the chance to defend himself. Valeria brings in the big guns to help prove the deceit and betrayal that has invaded the Council and the college. Mages everywhere are going to be affected by the results of this hearing for a long time. It will also determine if the love that Valeria and Griffin have will ever be given the chance to bloom.
Lies, betrayals and deceit bring two top fighters together only to discover that love can appear anywhere and at any time. Renegade has fast twists and changes that kept me on the edge from the minute I opened it up. I loved how both Valeria and Griffin didn’t just believe what they had been told about the other but also paid attention to the actions the other did. While I wasn’t surprised that these two strong people fell in love, I was amazed at how they could risk everything to protect the innocent and each other. I also loved how fresh this plot was with mages and ghouls and mundanes and fighting magic with magic. Renegade is a paranormal without the normal standbys to lean on and I found it to be a quick paced and action packed love story with two lead characters that I fell for over and over again. I can’t wait for the next book in this series to come out and what surprises it will bring.