Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 368 pages
Author: Mara Rutherford
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: October 6th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
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.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own!
This was a good conclusion, not great, but good.
I loved being back in this world and was stoked that I got to see more of it! There were a lot of travelling aspects to KOSAS, allowing for a much bigger map view. I would even love spin-offs in other areas because I wanted to spend time all over this land.
What didn’t fit in line was the romance (or lake thereof?). It was a pretty big piece in the first book, and this one made it feel stilted and stuffed in. Nor struggled the entire time with her feelings and frankly, I felt bad for Talin. More communication would have really enlightened everything. Or honestly, I was way more into a ship with a different character.
The ending felt a bit trivial with how the villain story-line went down. I thought it was anti-climatic to everything they had done in the first book. It could have used something else to add to it.
I liked that Nor was more vulnerable and open once she saw the world around her. Her strength helped her make some tough choices, but her love for her family (especially her sister) was always clear. Nor had a lot of personality and learned to love herself, flaws and all. The ending did wrap everything up, I didn’t feel like their were loose ends. It ended the way the book was definitely leading up towards, which some might love and others not.
The writing was still beautiful and made for a quick read. I’m excited to see what other stories Rutherford will write.
Overall audience notes:
- Young adult fantasy
- Language: none
- Romance: kisses
- Violence: battle scenes, murder, physical; not intensely gory/bloody
Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world with her marine-turned-diplomat husband. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a master’s degree in cultural studies from the University of London. When she’s not writing or chasing after her two sons, she can usually be found pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone, whether at a traditional Russian banya or an Incan archaeological site. Mara is a former Pitch Wars mentee and three-time mentor.