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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Fated Origins by May Freighter is the fourth book in the Helena Hawthorn series. Since Lucious wiped her memories of him, Helena has returned to the United States with her parents, started college, and has desperately been trying to rebel against her parents' sudden overprotective attitude. She feels something is missing in her life, but doesn't know what it is until mysterious friends from her past show up. After they remove the memory block from her mind, she's desperate to find Lucious, but Lilia's presence is taking over her body and Helena is slowly losing the fight to keep her away. Meanwhile, Lucious is facing problems of his own as he struggles to deal with the Council and the sudden arrival of the Royals, who insist on bringing back their creator, Arthemis, whose arrival could be a death sentence for them all.
There's a significant difference from the previous Helena Hawthorn books as Fated Origins dips into the origins of the vampires and the past of the gods by exploring a brewing war through the eyes of two other characters. May Freighter maintains the same tone and everything you love about the first books, while also adding new twists and complexity to the vampire lore. Lilia returns as the prominent antagonist against Helena as she takes over Helena's body, but getting to see her memories and her motivations allows for a chance to understand her as more than just a simple antagonist. Both Lilia and Arthemis are complex and diabolical characters who have very specific reasons for what they're doing, which directly causes tension between them. Their dysfunctional relationship is a foil for Helena and Lucious, who are kept apart because fate has led them to being these vessels for a feud that's been going on since way before they were born. It's also interesting to see antagonistic characters through their own eyes, because they believe what they're doing has a greater purpose. Their perspectives add a whole other layer to their every motivation and decision.
I enjoyed the dynamics between the Royals because Freighter showed them as a family divided by their views, which either follows Arthemis or goes against him. They're not wholly bad or good, but, like the other characters, are complex in their motives. They have relationships, friction, and intense backgrounds, which make it understandable why they have remained loyal to Arthemis for so long. They have distinct personalities that made me want to know more about the Royals. Fated Origins slips away slightly from the romance between Lucious and Helena, delving more into the history and origins of the vampires, but their love is still at the heart of the story and is a key in how everything unfolds. Freighter explores fate and history in this story of family, love, and loyalty.