Release Date ~ August 7, 2012
Philomel ~ Penguin
ARC received from Penguin Canada for review
Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother's life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind.
With action, adventure, magic, and tantalizing sensuality, this book is as fast-paced and breathtaking as the Nightshade novels.
I thoroughly enjoyed Andrea's Nightshade series, but I was thrilled when I heard she was writing a prequel series.
Guys, Rift was amazing. I sped through that book like you wouldn't believe. It is entirely reminiscent of some of my old favourite fantasy books - some aspects were a bit Tamora Pierce-esque even. The world is totally rich and vibrant, brimming over with details to capture your attention and heart. There's a very good amount of action, and just enough romance to make your heart pound but not enough to overpower the rest of the story.
- An intoxicating fantasy world:
There is so much going on here - from slight "political tensions" between this semi-secret organization and the Church (the ruling authority for the time period, mostly), to magic and knights, and unknown evil just beginning to come to light... it was such a fascinating place for a book. I just felt utterly immersed in it and enjoyed every minute, getting to know this somewhat familiar history. There were so many familiar and new monsters, and I'm always a big fan of the training centre/school idea as a setting for stories!
- Fairly atypical romance:
I'm sure I wasn't the only one expecting another Shay v Ren style love triangle in Rift - and I was SO happy to see that the romance does NOT appear to be headed that way after reading Rift! I just don't think my heart could handle another Bloodrose . And I think Andrea did a really good job involving some fairly atypical dynamics in terms of the relationships and romance here - plus I appreciatd that it didn't overpower the rest of the story or take away from anything else going on. The romance is strong and giddy and pained all at the same time, but still blends in nicely with the rest.
- Dark secrets and mysteries:
I really loved all the dark and twisted secrets and unexpected scenes - I felt like I was kept on my toes for the whole time. I mean, seeing as I have read the Nightshade books I know how things eventually turn out down the road, but there are still so many things I need to put together. And it's so different to learn about it in Nightshade as a thing of the past, than it is to experience it with characters who lived through it.
First of all, the beginning did start off slower than I would have liked. It took me a little while to get into the story and to feel like things were really moving along. And I was somewhat confused by the people and terms being thrown around casually, but after about 50 pages I was hooked and by page 100 I felt caught up and couldn't stop reading.
Second of all, I liked Ember- but I didn't love her. She just didn't stand out as a heroine for me. I felt like I have read a number of characters very similar to her, and Ember just felt a little bland because of this because I didn't find anything that really made her stand out to me as a memorable heroine - YET. I have high hopes for her in the next book.
And as usual, Andrea Cremer's action scenes are exciting, heart pounding and well-written. The romance is swoon-worthy (of course). And I loved this book filled with action and intrigue and danger.
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