Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Author: Jordan Ifueko
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: August 17th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
The hotly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestselling YA fantasy about Tarisai’s quest to change her fate
For the first time, an Empress Redemptor sits on Aritsar’s throne. To appease the sinister spirits of the dead, Tarisai must now anoint a council of her own, coming into her full power as a Raybearer. She must then descend into the Underworld, a sacrifice to end all future atrocities.
Tarisai is determined to survive. Or at least, that’s what she tells her increasingly distant circle of friends. Months into her shaky reign as empress, child spirits haunt her, demanding that she pay for past sins of the empire.
With the lives of her loved ones on the line, assassination attempts from unknown quarters, and a handsome new stranger she can’t quite trust . . . Tarisai fears the pressure may consume her. But in this finale to the Raybearer duology, Tarisai must learn whether to die for justice . . . or to live for it.
Thank you to Amulet Books and Netgalley for an eARC!
Okay. The story was good. It was. The world building with all of the different nations is well written. I mostly liked the magic system and I once again really love this found family council that Tarisai has.
This book draaaaagged. I had to look up the page number amount because I swore I was reading something 450ish pages. Nope, 336. Felt so much longer and not in a good way. The repeated plot of Tarisai finding another group of council members rang hollow. When the other lines of the story with redeeming the horrific children sacrifices were being discussed, that was where everything was strong. The pacing was just off between the two major schemes.
Random plot lines were also thrown out and others added in. All of a sudden, Sanjeet was out for 90% of the book, and a newcomer (not named because, spoilers) is kind of involved, but not really? I don’t like random toss-ups like that. I did end up liking how the second “interest” worked into the story. He played a much bigger role than I expected and helped further the plot rather than being there purely for a love triangle.
Still really into this found family and all of the type of love witnessed. It’s such a great cast and I wanted more of them like I read in Raybearer. I love that there was more Dayo, but I wanted everyone else too.
The ending wrapped up the story well. All of the underworld scenes were really short compared to what I thought was coming. I felt like at least I wasn’t left with a long list of questions. I think it gave the final pages hope for a different and new future that did make sense for the world.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Fantasy
- Language: a little
- Romance: kisses to heated make-outs
- Violence: physical altercations, battle scenes, magic attacks
- Trigger/Content Warnings: alcohol consumption, drug use, child abuse and neglect, murder