Readers around the world are calling Kate Gateley’s spellbinding series “a natural addition to the world of contemporary fantasy.” Continue reading to find out what book critics and everyday fantasy lovers are saying about Tides of the Sovereign and Mantle of the World Ruler, books one and two in The Lost Wells Trilogy.
Prophecies are mutable in Mantle of the World Ruler, Kate Gateley’s compelling second installment of The Lost Wells Trilogy.
rophecies are mutable in Mantle of the World Ruler, Kate Gateley’s compelling second installment of The Lost Wells Trilogy.
In the first book, 30-year-old linguistics student Julia Harrison learns of her status as a witch, as well as a love connection with Irish scholar and warrior Dom O’Brien that’s spanned countless lifetimes. The pair work with allies to thwart Cassius, a villainous “Child of Rome” who’s been hunting her for millennia.
At the outset of the second book, Gateley’s protagonists have derailed an ominous ancient prophecy, but Cassius won’t be stopped so easily. Seeking to defeat his longtime nemesis, he returns to Rome to glean another prediction from an ancient sybil, in hopes of achieving immortality.
Dom and Julia, meanwhile, work to decode the new prophecy, one that foretells of “the Sovereign standing tall,” and insists that “the World Ruler too must bear his crown.” This prediction adds new perspective to Dom’s role in the battle, even as Julia continues to understand her status as a wielder of ancient magic
In their struggle to defeat Cassius, the pair travel to many locales, connecting with characters from the first book, such as Dom’s longtime friend Ronan, who’s given more depth and intrigue here. Gateley also introduces a broader cast of interesting characters, including an ancient sect of wielders and seers called the Knaves.
As in the first installment, Gateley melds a knack for storytelling with academic expertise in ancient history, Celtic mythology and epic fiction. Her roots in historical fiction and romance genres are clear, as she bides her time exploring the longtime ties between Julia and Dom.
This facet works alongside plenty of action, intrigue and adventure, but with 500-plus pages, there’s also time to get to the story’s more harrowing segments. For fans of the first book, that pace will feel familiar. For fantasy readers more accustomed to a rapid roll-out, patience pays off in this exciting second installment of this promising trilogy.
Gateley’s middle installment in The Lost Wells Trilogy immerses readers into a world of dark magic, ancient mythology, and Celtic history. Julia and Dom have finally left Canada for LA, hoping to lie low for a while and gather their momentum. But Cassius’s malevolent Wraiths are still on their trail, threatening to shatter their sense of security.
With Cassius determined to draw a prediction from an ancient seer in his bid to achieve immortality, the pair know they must find a way to decode the new prophecy. The story boasts a fully fleshed-out cast, fantastical worldbuilding, and tight plotting. Alternating between a third-person narration and Julia’s first-person voice, the narrative delves into the characters’ inner turmoil, revealing their self-doubts, fears, insecurities, and inner struggles. Gateley is at her best when writing about her heroine’s immensely agonizing experience of coming into her own power. Her exploration of love, friendship, human connection, individual angst, self-discovery, and identity is equally compelling. Dom shines through and through. Ronan’s journey, though slightly less significant than Julia and Dom’s ongoing stories, is equally engaging. The final act delivers an unlikely predicament for Ronan and a startling betrayal. An expertly woven and enthralling offering.
Gateley’s middle installment in the Lost Wells Trilogy is a complex, beautifully constructed fantasy with vivid and personable characters and magical worldbuilding.
After surviving their destined run-in with the sinister Cassius, Julia Harrison and Dom O’Brien leave the West Coast of Canada and land in LA. With their future uncertain, the pair know the Prophecy is broken. But decoding the new Prophecy is a gigantic task. Meanwhile, Cassius has disappeared. Unbeknown to the pair, he is searching for an ancient tome that’s supposed to put an end to all Wielders. Will they learn about Cassius’s destructive plan? Over the course of this compelling tale, Gateley offers readers vividly descriptive prose, an intriguing storyline, and tight plotting. Her knack for creating strong-willed heroines and heroes who are nothing but gentlemanly shines here along with her gift for fantastical worldbuilding. She stylizes the narrative as an alternating third-person omniscient voice and Julia’s first-person narration. Julia’s intimate perspective makes her relentless turmoil understandable as she fights to understand and control her powers. Her turmoil stems from both Dom’s over-possessiveness and compulsively assertive attitude as well as her struggle to come to terms with her new powers. The sensitive, caring, and fierce Dom remains an appealing protagonist, and readers will find that getting to know the way his mind works is one of the story’s greatest pleasures. Ronan’s character gets more growth and depth. There is also plenty of power struggles, political intrigue, dark magic, and delicious romance to please diehard romance fantasy fans, but beneath this facade, Gateley tells an intriguing story of the meaning of love, human connection, and responsibility versus personal desire. Much of the first third of the novel is a gentle setup of Dom and Julia settling into a new routine in LA and the latter’s struggle as she tries to come into her true self. Not much time is wasted once the main events get going and the story moves without a hitch as Julia and Dom struggle to decode the new prophecy while trying to stop the unshakable Cassius. The book is the second that the author has set in this fantasy world, and though there’s a lot of background to catch up on, Gateley skillfully infuses the necessary backdrop, making the novel accessible to new readers. Readers who are already familiar with the story will thoroughly enjoy this thoughtfully developed, vivid tale. Captivating.
Mantle of the World Ruler is a romantic fantasy novel in which two reborn lovers try to understand their place in the prophecy-threatened modern world.
In Kate Gateley’s fantasy novel Mantle of the World Ruler, a young witch continues to learn and understand her power while trying to stop an implacable sorcerer who’s seeking immortality.
It’s been a year since Julia learned that her life as a university student was yet another life in a cycle of rebirth thanks to an ancient curse. She hails from a long line of witches capable of Sight, or divining the future through vivid visions. The sole respite in the cycle of deaths and rebirths is the one constant: her true love Dom. The two have spent lifetimes together, apart, and every variation in between, always trying to thwart the machinations of Cassius, who has sought the means of pure immortality for thousands of years.
Julia is destined to be the Sovereign and rule alongside the World Ruler to usher in an era of peace and prosperity. Her curse strips her of her memories until she reconnects with Dom, but her memory never fills in completely. Her fallible memory and growing power help draw the world building out: she’s still learning everything herself. Much of the story is told through her perspective with an intimacy that complements the core romance.
Cassius remains a looming threat throughout, but the focus stays on Julia discovering her power and interpreting the visions and her growing relationship with Dom. Their relationship is unusual in that he remembers their shared past, and she has an intense emotional and physical connection to him. Following as she regains some memories and also develops their bond as the current version of herself is equal parts steamy, endearing, and humorous. Julia and Dom bicker, joke with each other, and crescendo in erotic passion while waiting for the means of confronting Cassius.
The story begins right after the events of the first book, but thanks to a careful doling out of context, this second volume is accessible to new readers. There are some elements that are not explained, such as the backstory of why Julia and Dom are trapped in their cycle. Subtle breaks in the ongoing narrative to reflect on previous events—framed through Julia’s amnesia—allow the story to keep attention on the romance and the slow build toward a confrontation with Cassius.
The prose is polished, with a keen ear toward dialogue. It uses the unusual nature of long-lived characters to frame events in a humorous way. Dom often lapses into archaic phrases when he’s overwhelmed with emotion—as with his tendency to invoke religious concepts when inflamed by passion. The sections told through Julia’s perspective are the most compelling: she’s an old soul living in modern times, unaware of her past self but aware of how Dom and the magic realm affect her.
The inevitable conclusion finds Julia and Dom becoming aware of how Cassius hopes to achieve his immortality—and how their cycles of death and rebirth are connected to his plans. There’s a lack of finality as the narrative is set up to continue in future books. Julia and Dom still must grapple with the prophecy deeming her the Sovereign, with Cassius’s hunt for immortality, and with a painful betrayal.
Mantle of the World Ruler is a romantic fantasy novel in which two reborn lovers try to understand their place in the prophecy-threatened modern world.
A witch and her lover aim to thwart a villainous immortal hellbent on domination in Gateley’s contemporary fantasy sequel.
Fate has united Canadian Julia Harrison and Irishman Dom O’Brien throughout their various lifetimes. Together once again in 2018, they survive their destined run-in with depraved sorcerer Cassius, largely thanks to Julia’s fairly new Bearing magic, akin to witchcraft. Julia and Dom leave Canada’s west coast for LA, where they hope to lie low for a spell. But it’s not easy to elude Cassius’ Wraiths, which have been ominously gathering all around them. Fortunately, the couple isn’t short on allies—from magic-wielding Druids to weapons-oriented Knaves. Julia is still trying to “unlock” her own power but hasn’t yet mastered it. Though Bearers like her are rare, she senses a dark wielder of Bearing magic who’s possibly in league with Cassius. Meanwhile, Julia and the others are oblivious to what Cassius is up to—scouring the globe for an ancient tome he believes will put an end to all “Wielders.” With any luck, Julia’s visions will warn her about Cassius’ fiendish plans. This second installment of a trilogy (following Tides of the Sovereign, 2022) sharpens its focus even more on Julia and Dom’s riveting series-driving union. It’s steeped in searing romance and tragedy; for centuries Cassius has killed them off each time they connect, and Dom, unlike Julia, remembers their past lives and all the times he’s watched her die. Moreover, the couple treks the world together, as when one of Julia’s “Divinations” sends them to Mexico. Through uber-evil Cassius’ point of view, the reader is privy to the novel’s vividly rendered global settings, whether he’s wandering through market stalls in Marrakech or driving past a medieval fortress in Carcassonne, France, for example. The author elevates this fantasy with some intense magic-driven action in between the sympathetic couple’s many intimate and convincingly passionate scenes.
Romance and resplendent characters fuel this novel’s enthralling magical world.
The second installment of Julia and Dom's story continues to weave a beautiful tapestry of deep intrinsic love between the two.
While continually fighting insurmountable odds, the pair work together in a way that both compliments and challenges the other. The way that Dom and Julia hold space for the other to step into their individual full expressions is so refreshing.
As the journey continues to unfold, my stomach is effectively lodged in my throat. I am waiting with bated breath to see where these two and their chosen family emerge— as they have all notched a secure space in my heart!
This intriguing spell-bound tale is the perfect read for fun and lore. Kate Gateley’s lyrical language, reminiscent of a string of pearl-like words, brings each scene to life. Her eye for detail provides a vivid picture both visually and emotionally. Although the pages of Mantle of the World Ruler are brimming with magic, they are anchored in a sense of reality that we can all relate to.
In book two of The Lost Wells Trilogy, secrets from Tides of the Sovereign are revealed, a new prophecy is foretold, and characters are pushed to the brink of self-discovery.
The book opens with protagonists Dom and Julia returning to Salt Spring only to find tragedy unfolding at Julia’s cottage that was left to her by her late grandmother Gertie.
The couple’s plans are uprooted as the deeply felt tragedy propels them to frantically relocate South. Julia grapples with her ability to stay present and connected to her spiritual self as her Bearing magic evolves and she discerns the appropriate time to reveal the new prophecy to Dom.
The emanate pursuit of Cassius is felt from the beginning pages where he himself discovers the power of the new prophecy and what it means for him.
When Julia finds a way to share the prophecy with Dom, the powerful scene welds the couple closer together than ever before. “As I spoke wordlessly to him, I knitted in the images of what I had seen: of his destiny and mine, woven together in our continuing battle against Cassius.”
As they continue south down the Coast the meaning of the prophecy unravels before them. Dom must stand in his own divine power as he steps into his natural role as leader. “The World Ruler too must bear his crown!”
The cause is growing, and the group of people forming to defeat Cassius and protect Julia is becoming more dynamic. We are introduced to the Knaves and their unique sect of wielding magic as Dom spends time with them and their role is revealed.
This book also gives us more insight into Ronan’s inner workings, Dom’s trusted friend and colleague from book one. As he struggles with his own inner demons he becomes dangerously intertwined with Cassius, the pursuit of the Codex, and the answers he seeks.
Book two of this must-read series doesn’t disappoint. The action-packed scenes give the plot urgency and effect while the day-to-day struggles of Julia and Dom’s life are engaging and impactful. The book ends leaving the reader at the edge of their seat, antsy for book three.
Growing up Gateley was often inspired by her love for both contemporary fiction and historical romance and knew early on she wanted to contribute a meaningful book to the ranks of Canadian literature. Her passion for history, Celtic ideology, ancestral memory, and the divine feminine all influence the themes of her writing and life.
Gateley weaves together a meticulously crafted and engrossing tale in the second novel of her debut series.
The perfect second book doesn’t exi- Mantle of the World Ruler, Book 2 in The Lost Wells Trilogy, is the exciting second book that fans have been waiting for.
Not only does it have a fast, action-packed pace, it also continues to reveal even more depth of world and character. The author, Kate Gateley, does a fantastic job of expanding the magical world while still keeping the story edgy and contemporary. I was drawn in by new character arcs, unseen plot twists, and of course, the steamy love scenes. This second book has left me wanting more and absolutely needing to read the third book (sooner rather than later, please)!
A wonderful story about a centuries-old curse that puts the heroine and hero in great danger and takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of Celtic curses and prophecy. - Judge, 30th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
This book was a labor of love that reflects a powerful imagination and skill in creating and linking a mystical world with the seen world.
It speaks to the author’s knowledge of ancient rites and abilities that are still practiced, likely misunderstood, and rarely appreciated. She has woven that knowledge and insight into a remarkable story with strong, believable characters, rich situations, palpable feelings, and an uncontrived, fascinating plot that draws the reader across the pages. Seeing “Book One” on the front cover will excite an enthralled reader who wants to stay in this remarkable space—the author’s timing for Book Two is critical!
In the exciting fantasy novel Tides of the Sovereign, a prophesied woman with ancestral magic contends with an ancient Roman sorcerer.
In Kate Gateley’s fantasy novel Tides of the Sovereign, a woman reckons with an ancient prophecy, her magical awakening, and destined love.
Julia is finishing her delayed senior year of college after her grandmother’s death. She’s a woman with a magical heritage, but her powers are dormant. Then she feels a sudden attraction to her new linguistics professor, Domhnall, who reveals himself to be her lover from centuries ago. And even as Julia struggles to accept that she has been cursed to reincarnate along with Domhnall, they are forced to flee from an ancient evil that’s stalking them.
With action spanning Vancouver, Ireland, and England, the story follows Julia, Domhnall, and their Druid allies as they try to revive Julia’s past life memories. Julia’s reincarnation seems incomplete this time, given that her memories and magic are both limited. The team is on borrowed time as well: a series of murders indicates that their enemy is drawing closer. Cassius, a sorcerer who has prolonged his life with dark magic, plans to entrap Julia and enact a prophecy in his favor.
Julia and Domhnall’s backgrounds in linguistics lead to frequent word play in their snappy conversations. Much is made of Domhnall’s Irish brogue and raw masculinity: he and Julia share many intimate moments. The emotions of their reconnection are fraught, though, with misplaced memories, mistrust, and doubt complicating their reunion. Julia also has trouble accepting and processing her identity as the crucial part of a prophecy.
Point-of-view shifts away from Julia’s perspective are used to track Domhnall’s activities and Cassius’s nefarious plans. The related sections are grim, though entire months pass without much action while Julia tries and fails to get a handle on her powers. Meanwhile, Cassius remains one step ahead of Julia and her allies, and Julia plays into his hands more than once. Her helplessness against her more knowledgeable enemy is wearying.
The book’s final battle, with its significant sacrifices accruing on both sides, is involving. It includes the high-stakes threat of Cassius prevailing and remaining free inflict harm on others in his pursuit of endless power.
The first book in a trilogy, the fantasy novel Tides of the Sovereign follows a prophesied woman as she struggles to access her ancestral magic (and her past-life memories) to assist in an epic battle against an ancient Roman sorcerer.
In Tides of the Sovereign, Kate Gateley offers a sprawling journey that melds the everyday tribulations of a university student with a hidden world of magic, reincarnation and mythology.
Readers are introduced to Julia Harrison, a 30-year-old linguistics student at the University of British Columbia who has just re-entered the world of academia after the death of her Grandma Gertie. Her grandmother, we learn early on, wielded magic, as does Harrison herself. Harrison is also a Witch.
When Harrison meets her new professor, a visiting Irish scholar named Dom O’Brien, he immediately resonates with her. That’s not accidental. Harrison and O’Brien have been lovers in countless previous lifetimes, an ageless connection that has always been cut short far too quickly.
The details behind this relationship become increasingly clear as Harrison draws on her power of Sight and begins to recover memories from past lives. Along with O’Brien, she travels to Ireland to unearth the secrets behind past tragedies. The pair meet Druids, find clues about Harrison’s magical lineage and uncover the evil plot of Cassius, a “child of Rome” who has been hunting her through millennia. Through it all, O’Brien and Harrison’s revived relationship blossoms.
Across 500 pages, the author writes with a commitment to character, history and theme. She also pays attention to historical accuracy when it comes to Celtic myth, and is dedicated to portraying strong female characters and incorporating elements of feminism, even at the book’s most fantastical moments. The story and romance at the center of the action are engaging and convincing.
The only shortfall is the academic tone used throughout, which impedes the story’s dynamism. Like her lead protagonist, the author clearly has roots in academia, and overly convoluted language sometimes muddies the novel’s action. However, thanks to her well-drawn characters, she manages to overcome the stuffiness of the language.
Overall, Tides of the Sovereign is an ambitious undertaking that will appeal to lovers of fantasy, history and romance alike.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.
In Gateley’s debut fantasy novel, the first of a planned trilogy, a modern-day Witch discovers a startling destiny that involves finding her true love.
Thirty-year-old Canadian Julia Harrison knows that she’s from a family of Witches, but she’s learned little about her own magic in her quiet existence on Vancouver Island. She does, however, have the power of Sight, which torments her with disturbing nightmares and visions of the past, present, and future. Some could be glimpses of her former lives—and these include people whom Dom O’Brien knows quite well. He’s a visiting Irish professor at the University of British Columbia, where Julia is finishing her final undergraduate semester, studying linguistics. It turns out that he’s been her lover in numerous past lifetimes; each time, they find each other, share a few months together, and then die—a cycle that’s playing out once again. As Julia slowly regains her past-life memories, Dom stays quiet about a relevant prophecy, even after the pair encounter friendly, magic-wielding Druids in Ireland. As it happens, the wicked, immortal sorcerer Cassius has been hunting Julia through the centuries. Julia’s hazy recollections and her “unreliable” magic skills make her rely on Dom and the Druids, but she aims to control her own destiny and join in the fight. Gateley’s book stirs up myriad questions as it provides details about the couple’s fated deaths, and it lets a handful of mysteries linger, presumably for sequels. For the most part, the story centers on Julia and Dom’s sublimely complex relationship, delving into such uncertainties as how their lives might unfold if they were able to be together, uninterrupted, for years. Gateley illuminates this fantasy novel with vibrant descriptions, as when the couple flies through Ireland’s countryside in a classic sports car, or how their mutual attraction is like an “electrical storm brewing.” The tale also has a strong feminist theme as Julia resists various male oppressors—from enemies trying to prevent Witches like her from using magic to allies sidelining her in their plan to defeat Cassius.
A sprawling tale of love and magic with an engaging protagonist.
A deeply poignant story, beautifully and compellingly told...
Gateley’s debut installment in The Lost Wells Trilogy is a compelling, leisurely moving tale that grounds paranormal elements in a fascinating love story. Thirty-year-old magic Bearer Julia Harrison has always found herself struggling with the magic and power that she shares with the women of her bloodline. All she wants to do is earn her degree and get on with life. When her beloved grandmother, Gertie, dies, Julia finds herself struggling to feel connected to the world around her. But the arrival of Dom O’Brian, a visiting Irish professor, changes everything for Julia: there is an odd sense of familiarity Julia feels in the presence of Dom, and his raw masculinity is more than inviting. But he also shares with her a connection that’s centuries-old. Gateley has shaped a world that neatly straddles the myth and the reality. There are healthy doses of action, intriguing magic, angst-y romance and tender emotions. The mythical intertwines with the present, and magic, both dark and ordinary plays a critical role in the action. In this world, Druids and Sorcerers and Wielders and Bearers are as real as the general population of humans. The battle between the malevolent Cassius and Dom fuels the plot, as does the romance between Julia and Dom. The slow reveal of Julia and Dom’s romance is achingly poignant. The supernatural aspects of the story bring Julia and Dom’s vividly depicted lives and complex relationship into sharp focus. Gateley deftly establishes parallels between Julia’s internal turmoil—between coming to terms with her part in the ancient prophecy and finding her footing in the real world. Dom’s struggles to understand his own part in Julia’s tragic destiny are equally compelling. Cassius makes for a malevolent antagonist. The minor characters are sharply drawn, with their own longings and fears, impacting the trajectory of the story. Gateley has paid great attention to her characterization, but as a skilled storyteller, she never lets the details of the characters’ backstories get in the way of a compelling and neatly structured narrative. Feminism remains a domineering theme, with complex subjects of longing, passion, what it means to love truly and wholly, duty, destiny, belonging, lust for power, rebirth, and mortality deftly woven into the affecting narrative. At its heart, the novel is an evocative romance, grounded in profound emotion and character. A winner.
Finally! A strong female character who is actually relatable! Kate Gateley has written a brilliant modern fantasy with a protagonist who doesn’t fit tradition.
Grounded writing peppered with humour perfectly balances the intense love story and unexpected plot twists that unfold. I am still trying to figure out how all of this will end! My only disappointment was realizing I had to wait to read the next one!
Ever wish you could tap into your inner magic? Me too! Kate Gateley’s book Tides of the Sovereign was the poetic, mystical escape into a world of witches and bearers that I’ve been waiting for.
The lusty, soul-satisfying romance between Julia and Dom didn’t hurt, either. Finally, a story with both hero and heroine in the plot line. This time-bending revival of Celtic folklore and modern quests for a more authentic life is truly worth the read, especially for those ready for a spark of magic.
As someone who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, this book made me homesick in the best way. Tides of the Sovereign follows a young woman coming to terms with her magical abilities, learning about the dark, powerful forces behind her everyday life and finding a little (read: a lot) of romance along the way.
It is a mystical, funny, sexy adventure that beautifully captures the magic of the West Coast. I felt totally engulfed in the lives of the characters, and it made me look around at the world around me with a bit more wonder and appreciation.
Get ready to be transfixed and transported into a familiar, richly-woven world of magic in Tides of The Sovereign.
This contemporary fantasy novel will sweep away genre enthusiasts and complete newcomers alike as they follow the relatable and resilient protagonist, Julia, on a journey of self-discovery, timeless romance, and sinister foes. The world-building is superb, and readers will be gripped by the layers of intrigue, menace and emotion that unfurl. The magical properties of the realm that Gateley creates begin as a realistic subtlety; it’s intuitive and feminine and wholly credible.
Kate Gateley’s debut novel Tides of the Sovereign is a natural addition to the world of contemporary fantasy. Gateley will instantly transport you to Julia Harrison’s world, where ancient magic looms on the outskirts of modern times.
Navigating the grief of her grandmother’s passing while dealing with the complexities of accessing her own magic, Julia begins to feel as though something unstoppable is in motion. When she feels the pull of a past life, she is thrown into a world she has only dreamed about, with the partnership of an ancient Celt to help guide her.
Tides of the Sovereign is a refreshing and beautifully written adventure. It is unlike anything I have read before.
The expansive knowledge base of a breadth of subjects, both otherworldly and currently, is evident and artfully woven throughout the story. Being the first of a trilogy, it is set up very well to lead into the coming books. Dom’s supportive, and yet, fierce love for Julia paired with Julia’s tenacity and fire make them a pair that is hard to let go of. The shared plight that Julia and Dom find themselves in is riveting — I can’t wait to see what comes next!