Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Far Haven Treasury by Aleksandra Layland is A Windflower Saga Collection. In the novel Far Haven, Keridwen had it all, a loving husband and a happy life, but a few years later she's left as a widow and adoptive mother. She agrees to help Loris Kennet to heal and get his life together after he's stripped of his rank. As she helps him recover, they build a marriage in name only that slowly becomes more as their friendship evolves into romance. As Loris sets out to prove himself honorable, he assists in a search for pirates charged with slavery and murder. The collection also includes the novellas titled Albina, which follows the the life of Albina as she embarks on a journey of romance and growing up, and Courage of Ansgar, which follows Kerys as she's invited to be a part of events at the palace that could change her life; and the second half of Swords of Ansgar.
Aleksandra Layland has a way with details, creating a stunning world with a rich background, and characters whose voices bring to life to every moment of the journey. At the heart of the story, it's about people with much of the plot being character driven and rooted in an emotional place. Every character feels connected as each ties back together. Keridwen has a wonder about her that's sincere and compassionate. Her story begins as she takes a chance at love by revealing her feelings to Justin and their life is almost how she imagined love to be. She's quickly accepted into his family and by his children, but their happy story has realistic sad moments as they fail to have kids of their own, giving the story a melancholy tone. She gets a second chance at love in the most unexpected way, which takes a lovely turn as Loris goes through his own journey and the two slowly begin a romance. He starts off in a dark place, being sick and stripped of his former life, but she sparks a change in him that encourages him to improve himself.
Layland also delves into the topic of human trafficking as Loris teams up with other characters to deal with pirates trafficking women and children. Layland tackles the subject with grace and a genuine voice, sparking an emotional and thought-provoking reaction. The novellas are paired well with Far Haven, telling the stories of characters that are related to Far Haven and broaden the world that Layland has created. The Far Haven Treasury explores love and relationships, life and death through adventures in this stunning world.