I came back to this YA series to see what was happening with Rhen and Harper only to have the focus shift to Grey. As a huge fan of the hot Captain of the Guard, Grey, I am thrilled to spend more time with him and I cannot wait for book three.
Warning: this is a review of the second book in a series. As such, there are spoilers from the first book in the following synopsis and review. If you want to avoid them just know that I loved the first book (full review here) and I could not put the second book down!
In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.
Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.
Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Grey may be the heir, but he doesn’t want anyone to know his secret. On the run since he destroyed Lilith, he has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?
The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war. from Amazon.
One of the darker troubles in this book that Rhen is facing is himself. I wasn’t sure what to make of him at the conclusion of A Curse So Dark and Lonely and now I am completely confused. I also have a lot of questions about Rhen and Harper which were left unanswered because this book shifts its focus to Grey and a new character, Lia Mara.
Still, while Grey is certainly center stage, Rhen and Harper don’t completely disappear. Admittedly, Harper takes an extremely minor role in this story but I would have liked to see their romance or relationship grow a bit. Also, perhaps it is just me but Harper was a force to be reckoned with in Curse and the small snippets we see of her here are fairly weak. Rhen remains a major player in the story but his actions and decision certain made me question what I knew about the Prince of Emberfall.
All of this didn’t matter one whit to me because I came back for Grey.
Admittedly, I was hoping that Grey would be vying for Harper’s attention and I wasn’t completely thrilled with Lia Mara being added to the mix. I’m a big fan of love triangles. Well, most of the time. I have to say that the author’s ability to make me care about this new character is impressive. She took Lia Mara from a character I didn’t know existed (and was annoyed with) to one I deeply rooted for by the end of the book.
This book also expanded the world of Emberfall by adding a whole new cast of characters. True, occasionally the rising action had to give way to make room for this character development and there were times it felt that the story wasn’t progressing. But as a reader who loves characters, I enjoyed each new addition to this rag-tag team. Tycho, Grey’s brave protege tugged at my heartstrings. Lia Mara’s sister and mother had me eternally grateful for my own family. And I loved the odd magical Iisak who I can just sense is going to play a major role in the third book. I was equally happy to see Noah and Jacob having a more major role in this story. All of these characters made the world real for me in a way that the romance and intrigue had to do alone in the first book.
I loved this second book in the Cursebreakers Trilogy and I am very excited for the third book to land in my hands. I have complete faith that the author will bring all of the characters together in the culmination of this series and I cannot wait to see how she does it.
Tell me, please!
How do you feel when a series changes character focus?