Author: Carissa Broadbent
Tropes: Sacrifice to save the world
Publication date: March 30, 2021
Edition I read: eBook
My rating: 3.5/5
Warning: this review will inevitably have spoilers, so proceed with caution.
To put it in a nutshell, Tisaanah and Max are thrown into a war, which they need to win in order to get to their own goals: help the remaining slaves in Threll. We get to see Tisaanah wield Reshaye and Max fight with the deep power he can still wield.
Since there wasn't much development in regards or their relationship, what made the book more interesting was the introduction of a new POV.
Aefe is fey, who was suposed to rule the House of Obsidian one day, except her father stripped her of the role of Teirness. Later we find out it's because she's an essnara, meaning she can temporarily steal others' powers by consuming their blood.
When we join her story, humans start brutally attacking different fey courts, so Aefe has to go on a mission with a fey from a rival court and a newly crowned king from another. To be honest, reading about their adventures and watching the budding relationship between Aefe and Caduan was the most interesting part of this book.
When the new storyline was introduced, my mind started guessing right away. How will it fit into the original story? How are the timelines? Are they happening at the same time, with Zeryth being the human invador? Or is that something that happened hundreds of years ago?
When we found out what Aefe was and how her power made others feel I started becoming suspicious, and it turned out to be right. Aefe is the one who became Reshaye.
That relevation makes you rethink everything you thought and felt during the first book. Because even if you pitied Reshaye there, the overwhelming emotion, at least for me, was anger and frustration, for having done what it did.
But knowing that deep down Reshaye is this character you grew to love somehow changes everything ans really messes with your head.
At the same time, I hated how that POV (while she was still whole, as Aefe) ended. With literally everyone dying around her and us not finding out all the things they were searching for. Nor what happened afterwards —which we only get to know at the very end.
While I thoroughly enjoyed reading the new POV scenes, I felt a little frustrated with the original storyline. I had multiple times when I felt like it could have ended, yet it kept dragging on. Because sadly that's what it felt like.
First, they win the war. Yay, we're all done, back to Threll! But no. Zeryth is now king and they have to fight another war, while trying to deal with him and his curse too.
They win that war too and manage to kill him while miraculously keeping Tisaanah alive —now it really is time to give them some relief, right? Wrong.
Now mysterious dark creatures are attacking them from left and right, they find out that they fey aren't extinct after all, and all the end-of-book mayham unfolds. It was just a little bit too much, and not in a good way.
At last we find out how it's all connected. Caduan actually survived (despite what we read from Aefe's POV), and became the king that unites all fey. He keeps on looking for Aefe, and when multiple fey disappear in the human lands, he goes on a mad conquest to access the human world and take her back.
And since she somehow still remains in Tisaanah's mind somehow, that means hunting them down. Then comes Ishqa, guilt-ridden from his betrayal, and sick with worry as one of the fey taken was his son. He meets Max and Tisaanah to help them and offer to work together...
But that's when the shitshow that's the fourth trial (aka Nura's and Max's battle for the title of the Arch Commandant) unfolds. I personally really hated everything that happened there and after, even understanding that it's there to separate the main characters and lay the foundations for the next book.
I was a little disappointed in this book. I'm used to series getting better and better as we get further along, but this book not just didn't top the first one, but couldn't even get close to it for me. It took me way longer to read it and made me consider whether I even want to read the next one.
I still think Carissa Broadbent is an amazing author, so might come back to the series later, and will definitely read other books she publishes. But sadly, this one was a 3.5/5 for me.