Shadebloom (The Gardener's Hand, Book 3)

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Separated from her companions and abducted, Alizhan is delivered back to Laalvur, right into Iriyat’s clutches. Iriyat has tightened her hold on the city in Alizhan’s absence, magically manipulating the other Council members and further charming the public. No one believes her capable of plotting an experiment that could destroy cities. All alone, what hope does Alizhan have to convince Laalvur of the truth?

Half a world away, Ev and Thiyo are adrift at sea. In the wake of their monstrous encounter, they receive an unlikely rescue, but neither of them emerges from the water unharmed. They must survive to warn the world of what Iriyat is planning—and to find Alizhan before it’s too late.

As Iriyat’s plans come to fruition, how far will Alizhan, Ev, and Thiyo go to defeat her?

CONTENT WARNINGS AND TAGS

Warnings: emotional abuse (of a main character, while she’s a child, by a parental figure—mostly in backstory, but often referred to), manipulation/gaslighting (aided by magical memory alteration), traumatic (magical) injuries that cause scarring and aphasia,  grief, physical violence, murder, unethical experiments on children (referred to), prejudice (mostly against people with magic, but also there are references to prejudices based on ability, skin color, foreign nationality, religion, sex, sexuality), characters have anxiety and panic attacks (particularly associated with water and drowning), buildings cave in, a tidal wave causes massive destruction, addiction, some consensual drug use

Tags: bisexuality, pining, F/F, M/M, M/F, F/F/M*, neurodivergent character, height difference, epistolary storytelling, female villain, family secrets, magic, mind-reading, sharing memories, altering memories, touch-based magic system, touch-starved character, secondary-world fantasy, made-up languages, translation, intrigue, politics, conspiracies, propaganda, journalism, the sun never sets, cross-dressing, genderfluid main character, travel, caves, sea monsters, handholding, kissing, closed-door sex scene, slow burn, polyamory

*The main romance of the trilogy is ultimately F/F/M (and the M in question is genderfluid)