- Page Count: 515
- Release Date: June 9, 2015
- My Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads book description:
With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.
But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.
I liked this sequel a lot more than the first book!
The story is still a bit slow-moving with all of its descriptions, BUT it’s absolutely nothing like the first book. The pacing here worked a lot better for me and I finished the whole book in a day!
The plot was more engaging and I absolutely adored the new characters of Aisa and Ewen so, so much. Aisa is a tough girl with a miserable past who’s training to fight with Kelsea’s guard. Ewen is the adorable jailer who’s not very bright but has the biggest heart that made the entire story 200% better. I just wanted to give him a hug in every single scene.
I wasn’t terribly huge on how the plot was split between the old & new worlds or pre-crossing and present… Lily’s POV could have been a lot shorter for me. This book’s world is so rich and wonderful, but I do want to leave a trigger warning here for violence, rape, and self-harm. It does get pretty graphic.
But the parts that were in the “modern” setting were so much more fascinating than in the first book. I connected with Kelsea’s character more and love how complex she’s getting. Like she slowly becomes beautiful, but her analysis of how that affects her relationships is really well done. I was expecting a bit more to be done with the Fetch, but I do like the idea of a Pen + Kelsea. I wish Pen had more page time or a stronger character, but this series obviously isn’t going for romance. Which is fine!! It totally works.
I’m not sure why this series had to wait until page 462 of the second book to explain the Crossing. Treating it like some mystery really did nothing except frustrate me in the first book. Yeah, it’s a twist, but the story could’ve used it sooner. What it ends up being is a little odd but I’ll roll with it.
I just care about all the characters SO much more after reading this sequel. If you’re struggling to get through the first book, the second one does get better! It’s not a favorite yet, but I’m pretty into this whole world now.