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The richly suspenseful sequel to Sophie Jordan’s romantic fantasy Reign of Shadows.
Luna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever.
Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia’s castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world—until the king discovers both Fowler's and Luna’s true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne.
Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler, but the power she was destined to inherit.
*Source: advance e-galley provided by publisher in exchange for a honest review
There's no break in the action as Rise of Fire kicks off where we last ended and that's Fowler having been taken underground by the ghastly dwellers and Luna going after him. We've come to know and admire Luna for the force that she is, therefore, it's no surprise that she heroically helps him escape. Unfortunately, Fowler is poisoned by the dwellers and she has to resort to trusting strangers they encounter for help during their escape. It's a precarious scenario but Fowler's life is on the line and Luna's not about to risk it. They end up in a neighbouring kingdom that has strained ties with Relhok. Once their identities are confirmed, they become pawns in a dangerous power grab that neither is interested in being a part of. Though their escape is thwarted, they may have found an unlikely ally in the process.
Only one thing stumped me here and that is the one element that I excited me in Reign of Shadows which became the one element that confounded me in this book. In Reign of Shadows, I was so impressed that Luna was blind yet accomplished at reading her surroundings through sound, smell and touch. She was trained well by her caretakers and it made sense to me that she was adept at taking care of herself in familiar terrain where she could easily decipher all those details. I felt it required much more of a suspension of disbelief this time when she's in foreign territory surrounded by strangers. I feel like I could have done with a little more detail from her perspective as to how she was reading and navigating her new, unfamiliar environment while keeping everyone from knowing the truth. That was the one piece that kept gnawing at me. I'd be curious to know what other readers feel about this.
I still enjoyed the book and above all I loved that Luna is a strong figure able to overcome her disability. We need to have more characters like her to cheer on. Rise of Fire is a fun fantasy, a classic good versus evil. By the way, there is a bit of a surprise towards the end, something rather unexpected!