Picking up the story about a month after Blood Lines, Night Season continues with Cullen and Cynna in the spotlight and the former demon Gan playing a significant role. Cynna has been in denial about being pregnant with Cullen's child as a result of a one night stand in the last book but reality has triumphed and she and Cullen have a lot to talk about. But when an envoy from the world of Edge arrives seeking Cynna's help as a Finder to locate an important magical object, serious discussions are put on hold as Cullen, Cynna, Gan, and a small group of humans soon find themselves essentially shanghaied and dropped through a 'gate' to Edge --where magic rules instead of technology and humans are at the bottom of the species hierachy. There Cynna is coerced by the truth challenged Gnome leaders into a quest to `find' the missing talisman. Though Cynna is an expert Finder, this will be no easy task as other powerful factions seeking the talisman send assassins to keep Cynna from reaching it first. It will take more than Cullen's skill as Lupi and sorcerer to protect Cynna and his unborn child. But fortunately some powerful mysterious allies are in place to ensure that Cullen and Cynna survive the quest.
Gorgeous and incredibly powerful Lupi sorcerer Cullen Seaborne is now one of my favorite characters in this series. Cullen is no longer the lone wolf ostracized from his pack for refusing the impossible demand to give up the magical powers that were considered obscene to the Lupi but were so much a part of Cullen that it was like asking him to remove his own skin. Since then he's been adopted by the Nickloi clan and the acceptance of his adopted clan has made his wolf very happy. Now despite the nightmares of abandonment and the emotional scars that he still carries, the man too has a chance to experience true joy. Cullen's going to be a father, an occurrence that is so rare for Lupi that Cullen had given up hope of it ever happening to him. The thought of a having a child of his own is even more precious to Cullen given all his years of loneliness. Now his only fear is that once Cynna stops denying that she's pregnant, a fact the his Lupi gift has known from the second it happened, she may not wish to carry the child to term or allow him to be as fully involved in the child's life as he hopes and needs to be.
Cynna's religious beliefs mean that she will keep the child, though she too has shunned permanent ties. Cynna is every bit as damaged as Cullen. Having been abandoned by both parents as a child -- she lost her mother to drugs, alcohol and then death when she was just a teen, and though she now knows that her father's disappearance when she was a toddler was beyond his control, she spent years suffering from his absence -- she too shares Cullen's anger born of deep loneliness. Shared pain draws Cynna to Cullen, even as she knows she must not lose her heart to him being quite aware of the Lupi stance on exclusive relationships. Much to her dismay, Cynna comes to depend more and more on Cullen. But what Cynna doesn't realize is that Cullen, having been an outsider for so much of his life is less bound by clan rules than others of his species and is more willing to color outside the lines, so things may not be as hopeless as they seem.
Night Season pulls together a lot of threads from the previous books, using the cast, the Lupi culture, and the magical world that Wilks has created to weave depth into the characters and the story that would be difficult to achieve in a single book. While this is wonderful for fans like me that have read all three of the other novels and the 3 connected short stories, there are many nuances and details in Night Season that someone new to the series may not understand. And even you've read all of other Lupi novels, if you missed the short "Inhuman" from anthology On the Prowl where Kai, Nathan and Dell were introduced, you are going to wonder who and what they are even after the hints and a brief explanation that comes near the end of the book. So to established Wilks fans, it might be worth the effort to hunt down a copy of On The Prowl and read "Inhuman" because I suspect that we'll see this trio again in future books. And to newcomers to the series, go back to the beginning and start with Tempting Danger so that you get full advantage of the wonderful world that Wilks has developed. This is one of my favorite contemporary fantasy/urban fantasy series it has a good combination of mythos, magic, mystery, interesting well drawn characters and a touch of romance. I rarely read a book more than once, but this series is one of my keepers.
Here are the books in the World of the Lupi series in reading order:
Tempting Danger (The World of the Lupi, Book 1) - Introduces Rule, Lily, Cullen, Grandmother, Ruben and the Lupi culture and elements of the Magical world
Cravings (The World of the Lupi Novella "Originally Human) - Molly and Michael, who appear off screen in Tempting Danger, Wilks plans on bringing them in to the series main line in the future
Mortal Danger (The World of the Lupi, Book 2) - Rule, Lily, Cullen, introduces Cynna, Gan and the dragons
Blood Lines (The World of the Lupi, Book 3) - Cynna and Cullen are the focus
On the Prowl ("Inhuman") - Introduces Kai, Nathan and Dell who appear in Night Season
This book Night Season - Cynna, Cullen and Gan are the focus
and coming soon Mortal Sins
Also there is the story "Only Human" in anthology Lover Bewarewhich was the inspiration for the series and rewritten as Tempting Danger.