by Andrea Cremer
Rating: Really enjoyed it! (4 stars)
Chronicling the rise of the Keepers, this is the stunning prequel to Andrea Cremer's internationally bestselling Nightshade trilogy!
Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother's life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind.
With action, adventure, magic, and tantalizing sensuality, this book is as fast-paced and breathtaking as the Nightshade novels.
*Sadly, I'm afraid my review isn't quite as good as I hoped. I'm writing this some time after I actually read the book so my mind is a bit foggy. However, I hope I can share my opinion well enough so that you can determine for yourselves if you care to read it. New Years Resolution = writing the review immediately after finishing the book!
So I wasn't completely in love with Cremer's original series, Nightshade, but I was always incredibly interested in the backstory of the Guardians. So it's really no wonder why I was pretty excited for this prequel. And look at that cover? Huge case of cover love right here!
I love Ember! She's the strong female character who goes against the norm and does what she wants. And doing what she wants including learning how to sword fight. Always a plus in my book! She's hard-working and wants to prove herself. Only problem I had was her awesome skill. I understand that she is supposed to have a natural inclination towards sword fighting, but she just kind of becomes awesome at it without really working at it. Sure, she may be a natural, but the girl's still gotta work to become that good. The book focuses a lot more on the workings of Conatus more than her becoming who she is supposed to become. However, I actually enjoy the training part and wished we got to see more of it.
Ohhhhh and Barrow ;) Broody? Check. Stoic? Check. Hot? Check. Ah, but unlike most stoic types, he's quite kind to Ember from the very beginning and genuinely seems to care about her. Brownie points!
The plot of this book was really addicting what with the evil creatures and all, but early on I knew who the bad character was (actually, the synopsis on Goodreads gives away almost the whole plot!) and now that I think back on it (though I'm writing this quite some time after I read it. Shame on me :/ ) I don't feel like the plot exactly went anywhere. This may be due to the fact that I hardly remember the plot of Nightshade and all the info you learn in there about the Guardians and Keepers, but it just feels lacking. Since it's part of a series I'll give it a little slack though.
I genuinely enjoyed this book. While it's long, it's good. It's got plenty of action and a strong female character. Looking back, I'm not sure you learn to much about the backstory quite yet (though I guess all of it is necessary in the end), it's still quite and enjoyable story and I look forward to seeing where it goes.
All the best ♥