Following a devastating attack, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs — finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against the land of Andarra.
The Augur Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, but fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.
The new Northwarden, his ally in the Capital, contends with assassins and politicians and uncovers a dangerous secret. Meanwhile, their compatriot Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows.
And Caeden races against time to fulfill a treacherous bargain, but as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realize that the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed. . .
This book picks up roughly a month after the events of book one, with all our main POV characters finding themselves in difficult and different situations. Wirr is North Warden now, and is struggling with the new role and the unrest after what happened in the previous book. Davian is off trying to get the other augurs to go and fix the Boundary; a looming threat surprisingly few people seem to take seriously. Asha does a lot of undercover spying for various reasons. And Caeden gets his memories back slowly, and has to deal with the ramifications of his past.
The book is a great mix of intrigue, action and emotional beats. The pacing starts off pretty slow, but it picks up and stays pretty steady through the whole thing.
While I found it engaging throughout I do think this is a somewhat challenging book. A lot of elements are introduced in this to expand on the world building and set up for the finale in the final instalment. The world building at times reminded me so much of Sanderson, in terms of tone and scope. The backstory of some characters and lore of the world expands for thousands of years. All of this was well written and offered to the reader in such a way that it was meaningful and many scenes had a lot of emotional weight to them, particularly with Caeden’s character. However at the end of the day it is a lot of information to take in. There are a lot of names, a lot of places, and a lot of characters who we don’t always have much connection to. I’m not talking about info-dumps, because the delivery is much more carefully done than that, which I appreciated a lot. It is just a lot. Thousands of years of history is a lot folks! This, coupled with the fact that much of the information about the past is given to us through flashbacks that are not necessarily in any chronological order made me feel like I was putting together a bit of a jigsaw puzzle. It also didn’t help that I was listening to it on audio and it was even harder to tell what was a memory and what was happening in the present in this format. However, overall I found this didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story much but if I’m honest it did make my head spin a little at times.
Each POV character is, like the first book, interesting and engaging in their own way. Personally I enjoyed Wirr and Caeden the most out of the four. What I loved about Caeden’s character was the exploration of what happens to someone when you strip them of their memories. If their memories are gone, are they still the same person? Their personality will undoubtedly be different it’s true. Should they be judged and held accountable to their actions in the past, for things they have no memory of doing and choices they do not recall making? How do they reconcile the person they were with the person they have become? All of these questions are handled in such a fun way, making Caeden the highlight of this book for me.
Wirr was also a great character, with such a great story of someone thrust into a position they don’t necessarily want but have to deal with. Someone who is struggling with who they are vs who they need to be in the eyes of the people. Asha and Davian, while still loveable and interesting, could still have used a bit more close characterisation to make their stories feel a bit more unique. I felt they still just reminded me a lot of characters I’ve read in other books. This was one of the main areas the book could have improved on for me personally.
Once again, the plot is also full of twists and turns I just didn’t see coming. I am once again shooketh to the core after that epilogue. Islington sure knows how to deliver an explosive ending that will have you reeling.
I enjoyed this one a lot.
Leave a Reply