Title: Heart of Obsidian
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Nalini's Psy/Changling series has reached the point where I love every book just because I get to spend time in that world again. Heart of Obsidian was awesome for that reason and because I finally got to find out more about Kaleb Krychek.
Kaleb Krychek has been the Psy equivalent of Hawke for me - a mysterious presence that we slowly learned more about, book by book. At first he seemed to be another Psy villian, but gradually he became more and more grey until it was clear to me that as dark as he was, he was only a few steps away from being a hero.
Sahara Nightstar was an unknown entity before Heart of Obsidian, but in a testament to Singh's writing, I forgot about that after a few chapters. Sahara ranks up there with Sienna and Indigo as one of my favorite heroines.
Singh's greatest strength in this story is the fine line she walks with Kaleb. She manages to construct a believable love story around a Psy who has no choice but to stay silent. Kaleb never loses his violent, volatile instincts because of his love for Sahara. It would have been so easy for Singh to turn Kaleb into a shadow of his former self, soften or "cured" by love.
Instead, she sticks with who Kaleb is, wisely knowing that the experiences that turned him into the ruthless Psy that he is, can't be "fixed" with the love of a good woman. Certain wounds can't be healed - at least not in the span of one novel.
Sahara is just as interesting as a heroine. She's nowhere near as physically or psychically strong as Kaleb, but her strength of character is fantastic. Sahara manages to be a character who needs to be protected because of her physiology, but she's nothing like my least favorite heroine of the Psy-Changling series - Katya - who seemed like the type who'd blow away in a strong wind.
In terms of plot, Heart of Obsidian brings the Pure Psy war to an end, while hinting that there's still more story to be told with Ming and his obsession with Sienna.
Sahara and Kaleb are a brilliant pair and I hope that we get to see more of them in the future Psy-Changling novels.