Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade Prequels #1
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
I confess, I only ever read the first book in the Nightshade series. I enjoyed it, so I don’t really know what happened there – missed the publication date, never managed to track it down in the library, forgot all about it. It’s the downside of trilogies. We’re itching for the next book when we just finish reading, but by the time the thing is written and published and available to buy, we’ve moved onto whatever the next thing is.
Or is that just me?
Anyway, I digress. Rift has been enough to remind me that I really enjoyed Nightshade, and to give me that feeling of ‘ooo I can’t wait for the next one’ all over again. Here’s hoping I don’t forget all about it in a year’s time.
I actually preferred Ember’s world to that of Calla’s. I’m a big sucker for swords and horses sort of fantasy, especially when said swords and horses are pitted against revenants and wraiths and other such ghoulies. It’s like an explosion in the ‘things that I like in novels’ factory. Rift was pure indulgence.
To go with horses and swords and ghosts, there was also romantic tension and chemistry enough to make you feel a little hot under the collar, artfully dragged out in a way that never felt contrived. In fact, a lot of Ember’s relationship development reminded me a lot of Kristin Cashore’s Fire and the smouldering relationship between Fire and Brigan. You know it’s meant to be, and every obstacle is a frustration, but not the ‘accidentally caught snogging some other bloke by the lockers’ high school sort of obstacle that is prevalent in teen romance. Obstacles here are war, politics, grief and loss, and while there is a bit of ‘best friend would be lover if he had his way’ sort of drama, it’s not of the variety where you’re cursing the real love interest for being so stupid.
Rift promises to be the first in an excellent trilogy. I only hope a) I don’t forget about it and b) it doesn’t fall foul of second book syndrome. That would be so disappointing.