tl;dr: a totally satisfying conclusion but i selfishly want more
The final full-length novel in the Original Sinners series is just as haunting as all the ones that precede it. After engaging in an public display of affection, Nora wants to confess to Søren about two times that she nearly came back to him during the time they were separated, since she has realized from his behavior as of late that he is likely not going to be a priest much longer.
The Queen takes us through her training by Kingsley to be the city’s most notorious Dominatrix, and navigating her joy at freedom and her pain at being without Søren, whom she still loves deeply. Eleanor is reborn as Nora, and has to prove herself when their entire kink community knows her as being the submissive of the priest. There’s even a villain, another dominatrix that uses her knowledge of the kink community as a weapon, trying to keep everyone afraid of her.
There’s a minor time jump in the middle of the book so it’s split into two plot threads. The first is where Eleanor decides to become Nora, and about her training. The second involves her finally unmasking the other domme who has tried to exploit a mutual acquaintance to dig up dirt on her. Nora has become lonely and is looking for companionship, and is about to go back to Søren when she sees Wesley for the first time, as has been alluded to in many of the previous books. It really brings the narrative full circle, especially since we find out why Søren is so severe in the first book.
The wedding preparations that served as the framing device for the previous novel move forward to the actual wedding in this one, and we open the story with the ceremony. Afterward, as guests disperse to the festivities, Nora and Søren retreat to a chapel, where he hears her confession and she hears his.
The ending is nearly perfect. I do wonder if Søren does lose his priesthood, and there’s a chance that this is covered in one of the novellas that the author has written. But the scenes with him meeting his biological son for the first time are wonderful.
What else is there to say except this series of books is truly amazing and wonderful? There’s a lot of kink and scenes that are uncomfortable, but I feel like they are in no way gratuitous or only meant to shock. Each scene furthers the development of these characters in a reverent way, and the story unfolds slowly, each petal after the next.
I don’t re-read books very often. I might re-read a scene here or there, but to sit down and re-read an entire book from cover to cover is not something I make a habit of. Why? Because there are soooo many great books out there to be discovered. If you stick with your old favorites, you might miss out on something amazing. But these books, I can definitely see starting over with The Siren and reading them all through again. I think I would pick up so much more, enjoy them even more, after having made it through all 8.
I can’t recommend these books enough. Yes, there’s debauchery and kink and titillation, but they are so much more than that. Seriously amazing.