The Golden Mirage

The Underworld Book 3

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
353 Pages
Reviewed on 03/14/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

In The Golden Mirage by Penn Fawn, a group guided by witches Hespatia and Shae journey through the underworld to find sanctuary in the haven, ruled by Lilith. Despite warnings about the haven's true nature, they accept Lilith's welcome to a lavish reception, where she manipulates and controls potions. When Ezra divulges her suspicions, Lira steals a love potion from Lilith's lab. Lilith accuses Hespatia's group of theft and witchcraft, leading to swirling rumors of a plot to overthrow her. Aram and Lira, initially skeptical, become intrigued by the prospect of challenging Lilith's dominance. Lira successfully steals more of Lilith's love potion, but Aram falls ill after consuming it, raising suspicions about Lilith's involvement. Meanwhile, discontent brews beneath the haven's serene facade, fueled by resentment of Lilith's power and privileges. A plan is hatched but the risk of defying Lilith to end their suffering, break the chastity curse, love freely, and find freedom might just be too great.

Penn Fawn has given us a clever piece of fantasy in The Golden Mirage, which is book three in The Underworld series, preceded by The Fourth Tier, and Gargoyles and the Goatlord. I love the idea of a chastity curse and a ruler who has the power to ease the pain, which, naturally, leads to a level of control that is massive. As Ezra says, “The woman is powerful beyond measure.” Heap together parties and youth potions and just being so darn pleased all the time and the likelihood of it feeling hellish becomes questionable. Except that it is exactly that; it just takes a couple of awesome rogue witches to pull the curtain down and expose the wizardess. It's all fun and games until the woman with the antidote to painful sex stops throwing parties. What I love most about this story is how Penn gives us a requiem on what it means to be so accustomed to things being the way they are that we come to accept it, like breathing. Shaking things up comes from within but is usually sparked by something external, and Fawn's use of symbolism is magical. So is this story. Very highly recommended.