Format: Hardcover, 422 pages
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Johanna and Rafi are in a race against time to save their country before a power-mad Keeper destroys everything they hold dear in the “enthralling magical world” (Cinda Williams Chima, author of The Heir Chronicles) introduced in The Storyspinner.
As the last of the royal line, Johanna is the only person who can heal a magical breach in the wall that separates her kingdom of Santarem from the land of the Keepers, legendary men and women who wield elemental magic. The barrier protects Santarem from those Keepers who might try to take power over mere humans…Keepers who are determined to stop Johanna and seize the wall’s power for themselves.
And they’re not the only ones. As the duchys of Santarem descend into war over the throne, Johanna relies more than ever on the advice of her handsome companion, Lord Rafael DeSilva. But Rafi is a duke too, and his people come first. As their friendship progresses into the beginnings of a tender relationship, Johanna must wonder: is Rafi looking out for her happiness, or does he want the throne for himself?
With war on the horizon, Johanna and Rafi dodge treacherous dukes and Keeper assassins as they race to through the countryside, determined to strengthen the wall before it’s too late…even if it means sacrificing their happiness for the sake of their world.
The Skylighter is the second and final installment in author Becky Wallace's The Keepers' Chronicles. Not unlike The Storyspinner, Wallace intermingles a group of Seven characters to tell her story. From Johanna (Princess Adriana) Von Arlo, Lord Rafael DeSilva, Lord Dom DeSilva, to Keepers Jacaré, Pira, and Leão. Jacaré's Keepers are magically inclined and have access to the five elements. As the leader of the group and Captain of the Elite Guards, Jacaré has seen a whole lot over the past 300 years. But, he hasn't seen what's coming next.
With his fellow Keepers in deep trouble and separated after the events of the previous novel, and the missing Princess's life in jeopardy from power hungry Dukes and an evil more powerful than perhaps himself, Jacaré must find Princess Adriana and bring her to Donovan's Wall before their enemies can get to her first. Even if that means never returning home again. I have a short apology to make. I was a bit harsh on the Keepers in The Storyspinner and I was wrong. Each of them goes through literal hell and back in this story and would give up their lives if it meant that the Princess lives long enough to save Santarem. With Pira facing her own mortality and being used as a slave, and Leão trying to find her before its too late, these Keepers more than make their presences felt.
Even though The Skylighter has a whole lot happening, and character's narratives flip at each chapter, the most interesting is those from Dom DeSliva, who is forced to stand in for Rafi and protect Santiago from being destroyed. Dom stands out because he puts away his partying ways and became the man of the house who everyone could count on. I love that he is very protective of Michael. I even liked the unusual relationship with Lord Inimijo's daughter Mirabelle, but was shocked to the core over the betrayal that I never saw coming.
With Duke's Belem and Inimijo each having plans for the long lost daughter of the slain King Wilhelm, things become dire for Johanna. While the first book focused on the search and reveal of who the Princess actually is, this book is perhaps better. Everyone character faces their own challenges and life altering situations that you don't know if they will live or not. Rafi and Johanna find that their road isn't easy at all. They find allies are hard to come by, and relying on Jacaré may be their only hope.
I am happy that this series was only TWO books long. I was also happy that my library had both books and that I was able to borrow them back to back so that I could remember what happened in the previous novels. The Skylighter is a satisfying ending to the series, and it does have a whole lot of action especially in the second half. There is even an Easter egg, as it were, in this book that you might pay attention to.