The sorcerers want her to lie.
The demons want her blood.
Henrietta wants to save the one she loves.
But will his dark magic be her undoing?
In this seductive and explosive second book in the Kingdom on Fire series, Jessica Cluess delivers her signature mix of magic, passion, and teen warriors fighting for survival. Hand to fans of Victoria Aveyard, Sarah J. Maas, and Kiersten White.
Henrietta doesn’t need a prophecy to know that she’s in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.
Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook’s system is transforming him into something monstrous as he begins to master dark powers of his own. So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients’ past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out strange new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and uncover the most devastating weapon of all: the truth.
-- Goodreads.com description --
I am very grateful I received an advanced reader's copy from the publishers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
As this is the second book in a trilogy, I will not explain too much of the plot because it could contain spoilers for the first book. You can find my review of book one here.
Things I liked:
- Love, love love the monsters! The villains of the story are unique and at times very gruesomely depicted. I really enjoyed how the sequel explored more of them throughout the story. In the otherwise ordinary storyline the monsters give the book a unique quality.
- I like the worldbuilding as I always like stories set in historical London/England.
- I was a lot more gripped by the second part of the novel as the tension rose. I liked this book more than the first one, Cluess is definitely improving her story.
- I really enjoyed the epic battle scenes in this book.
Things I disliked:
- I felt the writing was too simplistic, but it did not annoy me as much as the first book did.
- The plot twists were really obviously, I predicted quite a few of them even back in the first book.
- The romance in this book felt rushed and developed way too quickly which made me feel like it's not sincere, I don't like love triangles, but I hate love squares even more! Really unnecessary as well!
- Henrietta has the ability to annoy me to no end! This sixteen-year-old girl constantly believes she has to save the world alone instead of trusting in her friends. I also get a sense of misplaced entitlement from her.
- Blackwood was one of my favourite characters in the first book, but now he has lost my good opinion. The way he forces both his sister and Henrietta to do things without their consent has my blood boiling. He should be called out on his bullshit a lot more, if you ask me! I hope this improves in the third book.
All things considered, I gave this book 3,5 out of 5 stars. If you enjoyed A Shadow Bright and Burning, you should definitely read the sequel as well! I'm looking forward to read the third book next year!