“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Whether we mean to or not, we all have certain expectations for our children. Gideon and Lee, from 'Third Solstice' by Harper Fox, know all too well the issues that come up from being “different”, so they try to influence Tamsyn's behavior so she is safe, accepted, and within what society deems normal. At the same time they expect to accomplish this without stifling their child's creativity and individuality. When Tamsyn starts dangling Christmas ornaments in midair and tossing balls across the room without touching them, it's obvious that Tamsyn is anything but “ordinary”.
Gideon is amazed with his little girl's abilities, but, at the same time, fears for her safety as well. She's too young to know how to control such abilities and acting on them could prove to be dangerous. He and Lee talk about how to handle the situation. Lee suggests that Gideon use his abilities and connect mentally with Tamsyn with the same approach he uses for anything else he wants her not to do, i.e., not pulling the dog’s tail. Gideon decides to try and ends up upsetting both of them and abandons the effort. They are going to have to think of another way. While doing so, they get a very unusual visitor, Granny Rag wen, whom everyone calls the witch of Dark. She said she “smelled” magic and came to investigate. Being able to detect that it's the baby who is wielding the power, Granny is delighted. When they show concern, Granny reminds them of their “magical” backgrounds, basically saying how could she be otherwise. As soon as politely possible, they urge Granny out the door, not quite knowing what to think, but accepting that their daughter's telekinetic tricks are no longer a secret.
Gideon is supposed to be on vacation, especially with Tamsyn’s first birthday being on Yule; but most of the police force are sick with the flu leaving them short-handed. Gideon is recruited to help with a big Pagan celebration that tends to get quite rowdy. Lee decides he and Tamsyn need to attend as well. Gideon balks, but when Lee insists that they be there, he gives in. They go off to the festivities and Gideon goes about handling the trouble which, this year, involves delinquents torching the town and another encounter with Granny Ragwen. When the problems are under control, Gideon is frantic to find his way back to Lee and their baby. He's just in time to witness what most people think is the 'fire dance', a part of the Monton celebration, but what Gideon and Lee realize is a foreshadowing of even bigger and better events in the future and there's nothing they can or even want to prevent.
It is great to visit with Gideon, Lee, Tamsyn, and the rest of their eclectic, mysterious family and to catch up on their accomplishments. Harper's vivid descriptions along with her picturesque examples, add color, mystery, and drama to the already exciting tale. It's good to see Gideon accepting and acting upon the gifts he has tried to deny for so many years and to see Lee's pride in his husband's accomplishments. There are many more revelations, surprises, and changes coming up, but even hinting at them will be saying too much. Fans of the series will love this story and, to those of you who have not had the pleasure of reading it, I would encourage you to start at the beginning and read all the other books in the series. You are missing a real treat if you don’t. Thank you, Harper, for another mysterious, frightful, interesting, and lovable Gideon and Lee story.