About a year ago I told myself I would read this book. I had just finished the first book, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and instantly wanted to continue on with the series. But then I thought about it. If I read the book then I would need to wait over a year until the third book came out, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that. Then I thought I could wait and read this book closer to the release of the third book. Obviously both options meant a year long wait between one book and the next. It was a tough decision to make but I decided to wait and read it later.
I had expected the book to start off with Karou, the way things had ended in the previous book I was dying to see just what had happened to her and what she was doing now. So it was a pleasant surprise to see it was Zuzana that led the way into this book. I absolutely love Zuzana’s character and so having things start with her seemed pretty damned perfect. From page one all the way to the end her character brought a spark of life and snark to the story. Her relationship with Mik was another great aspect of this book. It’s so funny to see these two together and yet they are perfect for each other, Mik brings out parts of Zuzana which I think would otherwise be hidden away.
Things had changed a lot, on Earth, on Eretz, and with Akiva and Karou. I loved being able to see more of the world of Eretz, even if it still felt like only a glimpse into it. But what really stood out to me was the effect that the change on Eretz had on all the events. Obviously something as big as that would have huge ripple effects through the world and characters that are connected to it, but it went so much beyond that, affecting another world as well, though not right away.
Karou had changed quite a bit. I found her character to be stronger now, smarter, but she was still the Karou from before, even if some of those feelings and aspects were buried deeper within her. She has a huge responsibility upon her shoulders now and I was so happy to see her embracing it, though at times there was an obvious reluctance in her, a lack of acceptance from others. Her character isn’t perfect and yet at the same time it feels perfect, it fits with what has happened and what is about to happen. However, Karou is not the only one to change, Akiva has also gone through some changes, though no where near as much as Karou. I felt that there was an air of mystery to him, something that has trickled over from the first book. He is both stronger and weaker, and it fits so well.
I really loved the writing style of this book. The flow is so smooth, and the plot really pulls the reader into the story. I found myself completely devoured by this book, continuing to read chapter after chapter, needing to know what would happen next, how a certain event would affect things later on, how characters would overcome obstacles, and watching plans both succeed and fail. There are so many little twists in this story that I absolutely loved it. Characters that I wasn’t expecting returned, others remain gone forever, alliances were forged and others broken, rebellions occurred and switches brought in subtle shifts of power.
Overall I adored this book, it was perfection. There is not an element of this book that I didn’t like. This is the kind of book that makes me love being a reader. I highly recommend this series to anyone and everyone. I cannot wait until April comes and I can read the next book and see just where things lead and how certain situations play out, especially one that I feel will have a huge impact on Akiva and Karou’s tense relationship.