Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: Young Adult / Epic Fantasy
The highly anticipated sequel to Mara Rutherford’s stunning YA fantasy debut, Crown of Coral and Pearl, in which a young woman from a village on the sea must impersonate her twin on land to save everyone she loves from a tyrannical prince. Perfect for fans of Roshani Chokshi, Laura Sebastian, and Sarah Tolcser.
Ever since Nor was forced to go to a nearby kingdom in her sister’s place, she’s wanted nothing more than to return to the place and people she loves. But when her wish comes true, she soon finds herself cast out from both worlds, with a war on the horizon.
As an old enemy resurfaces more powerful than ever, Nor will have to keep the kingdom from falling apart with the help of Prince Talin and Nor’s twin sister, Zadie. There are forces within the world more mysterious than any of them ever guessed—and they’ll need to stay alive long enough to conquer them…
Shortly after arriving home, Prince Talin arrives with Grig and Osius. He is wanted for conspiracy against Ceren with his mother Talia who is preparing her army to go to war to take back the throne for her daughter. In this world, the rightful ruler always comes from the female line. To make matters worse, Ceren is very much alive, and is now King thanks to what happen between him and Nor which gives them a connection which they can use to read each other’s memories. He has no intention of allowing Nor to escape his desire for revenge which puts Nor's people directly in the crossfire.
Ceren ends up chasing Nor, Zadie, Talin and his loyal guards already into Galteth. Galteth means a new world to create, and new characters to meet including Roan and Adriel who will become one of the best sources for Nor to learn about her healing abilities. Nor and allies try to get the Galethians to ally with them against Ceren by joining with Talia who is conscripting anyone old enough to pick up a weapon. Nor is given a horse named Titania. The horse has a mind of its own and really takes to Nor quickly even though she's from the sea where no horses exist. Titania is an amazing creature as well as being smart and loyal.
Nor and Zaida’s relationship was so strong and empowering most of the time. The extent they would sacrifice for the other was beautiful. There were times when Zaida knew exactly what she wanted while Nor was struggling to choose what she was going to do next. I also appreciated that it appears her parents were more accepting of the daughter this time around. They basically decided she wasn't worth when she permanently scared her face when she was a child. I have to say that the author made Ceren seem sympathetic after revealing what happened to him under Talia.
Throughout this book, Nor works way too hard to be accepted by those around her which gives Adriel an opening to teach her to accept who she is, what she is capable of, and not giving a damn about what others believe. I am surprised by the ending, but I guess I shouldn't be since this was supposed to be aimed at young women and what they, not others, decide to do with their lives. With means that Nor's adventures end on an open note. I've attempted to research whether this is a duology or a trilogy. It seems that the author has two books she's working on that have nothing to do with this series.