Off the back of reading Storm Glass, I jumped back into the world with this second installment and wasn’t disappointed!!
Synopsis (as taken from Amazon Kindle Store) is as follows:
Though relations between Princess Seraphin Fitzempress and her father have been strained, Sera’s royal position has remained unchallenged. Filled with self-doubt, she struggles to grasp the Mysteries – her greatest trial yet.
An education in the enigmatic magic is a necessary one, should Sera plan to rise in her station and invoke her powers during war. But the emperor’s death now leaves both Sera and her ambitious father eligible for the throne – a contest the prince regent intends to win. Even if it means an alliance with a rival empire.
Sera’s hope lies in Cettie, a waif raised in the world below, whose life has intertwined with Sera’s in the most unexpected ways. The Mysteries come easily to Cettie, and her studies have begun to yield new insight into her growing powers. But those same powers put Cettie in the path of those who would destroy her.
Now as the threat of war ignites and an insidious sickness spreads throughout the kingdom, Sera and Cettie will need to gather their courage and fight for each other’s lives…and for the future of their endangered world.
Ability to read – I had no issue with reading this and the addition of components that weren’t in the first book didn’t throw me off at all. I find it easy to fall into a world that is so complex and rich in its design. I felt that in this book I connected more to the general surroundings and setting of the book.
Characterisation – I had thought that the first book was hard on the characters of Cettie and Sera but nothing could have prepared me for the storm that hits them both in this book. It shows how strong their characters are that they are able to stand up to everything that is thrown at them and are still left standing at the end. In this book we learned more about Cettie’s past and the power she carries with her. Her completion of the test answered some much needed questions I had and exposed me to the Mysteries in a way that the first book refrained from. Sera drew the short straw in terms of the storm here in this book, I felt that she was always one step behind where she should be but she always held herself with such determination and fieriness that at times I felt it was impossible for her not to succeed. This book pushed Cettie and Sera into different directions and split the path they’d been on together. In the third book it will be interesting to see what way their paths will lead and whether they end up joining again.
Visualisation – I found it easy to visualise all needed components in this book. I could clearly see the different settings as well as the characters – both old and new – and understand what was happening and what the narrative was doing to push the plot along. I was able to construct a clear visual of everything that happened and was given enough leeway to push some of my own imagination into what I was able to visualise.
Uniqueness – This installment of the series had me wanting to throw my iPad across the room in frustration, shock and a tiny bit of adrenaline. Honestly! This second novel was so gripping and sent both Cettie and Sera on a spiral of emotion and difficult situations that I couldn’t put the book down if I tried. I feel however, that I have become too engrossed in the characters and think I might take a short break before reading book three and I’m not sure I could contain the flurry of emotions associated with reading this series right now!