Release date: December 4th, 2018
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
**This review/synopsis WILL contain spoilers for the first book, Even the Darkest Stars, please read at your own risk**
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
After the terrifying events on Mount Raksha, the witches have returned, and River has betrayed Kamzin to regain his dark powers. The witches’ next step: march on the Three Cities and take over the Empire—led by River’s brother, Esha.
If Kamzin is to save Azmiri and prevent the fall of the Empire, she must find a star that fell in the Ash Mountains to the north. Fallen stars have immense power, and if Kamzin and Lusha can find the star, they can use its magic to protect the Empire. To get there, Kamzin has allied with Azar-at, the dangerous and deceptive fire demon, who can grant her great power—in exchange for pieces of her soul. But River wants the star too, and as their paths collide in dangerous and unexpected ways, Kamzin must wrestle with both her guilt and her conflicted feelings for the person who betrayed her.
Facing dark magic, a perilous journey, and a standoff against the witches, can Kamzin, Lusha, and Tem find the star and save their Empire?
- Picks up pretty much right after the first book ends
- So much exploration happens…including the search for a fallen star
- More River (swoon!!) and Kamzin and Ragtooth!
Earlier this year when I read Even the Darkest Stars I fell in love with the characters and plot and just everything about that adventure driven book. I had been anxiously awaiting this book and was so excited when December finally rolled around! This book was different from the first in that it focused more on the spell being broken and the witches compared to the first which was about the hike up the mountain and survival. I still really enjoyed this book and couldn’t read it fast enough!
The story picks up right after River left Kamzin on the top of Mount Raksha. Kamzin is left to deal with the fall out from the spell breaking as well as River’s betrayal. While River returns to the Nightwood to reunite with his brothers. During this time a star shower occurs during which one of the stars falls to the earth. Fallen stars have immense powers and River’s brother wants it to help him get revenge on the Empire while Kamzin wants it to help protect the Empire. Kamzin, Lusha and Tem head out on another dangerous exploration but when they cross paths with River and the other witches…well I’ll let you read to find out what happens.
I don’t want to give away too much because A LOT happens in the book but it was a wild ride. I loved learning more about the witches and their side of everything because in book one all we know are rumors and folklore. The storyline was a little slower in the beginning but once the journey for the fallen star stars it really picks up and kept me on the edge of my seat! One of my favorite things about this book was the world building. We got to see so much more in this book than in the first and I loved learning all about it! Heather does such a wonderful job describing the new places we visit that I felt like I was right there with the group seeing it for the first time. It was truly remarkable!
Probably my favorite part of this book though were the characters! River and Kamzin’s relationship (or lack thereof after his betrayal) was just as intriguing as it was in the first book, almost more so now that his betrayal is known! We also got some more insight in Lusha and Tem which to me personally made them more likeable. I was not the biggest fan of Lusha in the first book but by the end of this book I actually liked her! I did feel like we missed out on knowing some information on Chirri. I don’t think it would have been pertinent to the story but I was so curious about her when she did pop up at various points. But probably my favorite character was Ragtooth. I loved him in the first book and it only gets better in the second!!
Overall, I loved this book and highly recommend this duology!! It was so nice to finish this book and have an ending that didn’t take a million books to get to. I love reading Heather’s writing and cannot wait to see what other books she has in store. Her story lines are so creative. I love how she takes a concept such as witches and spins it into this whole new and unique story. Plus have you seen the covers of these books?!? I cannot get over how gorgeous they are and how beautiful they look on my shelves!
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