Silly me did not know this was a sequel to the book Shadow’s Voice, so I will go back and read the first one down the road. The good thing is, I did not have to read the first book. There was enough explanation sprinkled around to understand what was going on. You could read this as a standalone, but I recommend reading the first book for a richer understanding of the characters and the world.
Rose is a character who built her walls up from a young age and learned her magic on her own. Moving around for most of her life, she keeps most of her past hidden from those around her, only giving little bits here and there to those she trusts. Rose is not confident of herself and hides her uncertainties with sarcasm. Those around her see her as a part of their family, but she takes some time to realize what she has. She is a well-written character, and I will enjoy her journey in the last book.
The kingdom is being ruled by King Micah. From what I could tell, he is a young king who fought to either reclaim his throne or keep his throne. He cares about his people and will listen to all sides and opinions before making his final decision. Micah seemed to be a loner, liking to be alone in the garden drawing or in his study figuring out what he needs to do next. I enjoyed reading this character. He was there when those needed him, knowing the outcome from his advisors.
There seemed to be some sort of magical bond formed between Rose and Micah. This was one of the interesting things that was explored more in this book (I assume, as it was one of the main focal points in this story). Even though I did not read the first book, the explanation of why and how the bond formed was enough for me to understand. The affection both Micah and Rose have for each other does not feel forced, no matter what direction it may go. The two went through so much in the first book, one can understand why they feel close and are trustful between each other. It will be interesting to see this develop more in the next book.
One location I found interesting and very well developed was the shadow realm. The whole shadow thing is interesting, to be honest. Shadow is mysterious in of itself and knowing this, you can feel this mysteriousness written into the realm. The shadow realm has its own personality and develops well into the story.
This book over all was an exciting read. It held my interest, and the pacing was spot on. There were a few spots I got lost in, but it could have been because of not reading Shadow Voices. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries, fantasy, magic, and medieval kingdom settings.
*I received an ARC from Booksprout and this is my honest opinion.
I give this book a 4/5
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