Wednesday, February 22, 2017

#Wednesday Review - Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Reign of Shadows # 2
Format: E-Galley, 304 pages
Release Date: February 7th 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Luna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever.
Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia’s castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world—until the king discovers both Fowler's and Luna’s true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne.
Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler, but the power she was destined to inherit. 

Rise of Fire is the final installment in author Sophie Jordan's Reign of Shadows duology. Rise of Fire picks up right where Reign of Shadows left off. This duology alternates between two characters. 17-year old Luna, the true heir to the crown of Relhok, and 17-year old Fowler, estranged son of Cullan the former chancellor who killed Luna's parents, the King and Queen of Relhok, and named himself King. Luna is by far the most interesting character, and I am not ashamed to say so. She survived the night of a thousand knives thanks to being spirited away by Sivo and Perla. 

She was raised in a tower in the middle of the most dangerous part of the forest where things really do go bump in the night. One of things she learned how to do, was hunt with a bow and arrow. She's no slouch folks. What makes her even more impressive to me is that she's been blind for her entire life. She is able to get around thanks to her highly attuned senses that allows her to pass for a sighted person. Now, imagine all this and growing up in a world where their is near constant darkness. And, in that darkness lives creatures called Dwellers who own the night, and feasts on human. 

With Cullan killing innocent young girls who may look like Luna, she knows that she has to end his reign quickly. If the King gets hold of Luna, it is game over. Everyone go home. If that means braving the dwellers, and disappointing Fowler who is more than protective of her, so be it. Rise of Fire actually moves to a new territory after Luna and a severely
injured Fowler being taken to Lagonia, whose King Tebald knew Luna's mother. This is where things get twisted. While Tebald allows Fowler to seek medical attention, it is Luna who finds herself at the attention of not only the King.

Tebald is understandably curious about her being the spitting image of her mother Avelot who he once chased after and lost. There is also the bigoted Bishop who despises her for reasons that I forgot, but don't rightly matter in the end. Then there is the fact that Fowler is betrothed to Princess Maris, and has been since her birth. Even though we, the readers, know that Maris and Fowler will never ever work out, needless to say it tosses Luna into a different place. A place where she could just open up her mouth and say one word to someone about this is not okay, none of it, and perhaps she could have avoided the entanglement with Prince Chasan, and the ick factor of the King himself pushing to marry Luna.

Unfortunately, Fowler himself does spend a lot of time being hurt, and then getting the treatment he needs to survive. He also has to tread carefully knowing that his father has been told that he is alive, and that isn't something he thought he would ever have to deal with again. Fowler has had to deal with a whole lot since encountering Luna. He's tried numerous time to tell her to run and in the end, someone ended up hurt. As the previous story ended, it was Fowler who was taken away by Dwellers, and lay near death after being infected with toxin. Yes, I will say that Luna does a brave thing by going after him, and what have you. But, Luna's faults almost equal her overall likability factor. 

I will say this. I am absolutely happy with the way this book ended, especially with regards at how Cullan is finally dealt with. Regardless of the intrigue, the politics, and the angst, the book ends in a way that proves Luna isn't a Mary Sue character and can handle herself. I will close by saying that the first book was by far the most dangerous and the darkest. I loved the creepy Dwellers, and enjoyed Luna's interaction
with them in this book. I kind of missed Sivo and Perla because they were all the family that Luna has in this world. But, I was happy that they were given once last scene to close the book and series.

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