“Rage is love…twisted in on itself. Rage reaches into the world when we can no longer contain the hurt of being treated as if our life and loves do not matter. Rage, and its consequences, are what we get when the world refuses to change for anything less.”
Whew, this was a rideeeeee. I felt so many emotions during this story and I read until late into the night to finish it. Usually when I’m reading a book that I enjoy this much, and I use my tabbing system, my green tabs run out first (the ones that represent enjoyment) but this time, I ran though an entire new pack of orange tabs (frustration/anger/eye-rolling), but amazingly this didn’t lessen my enjoyment of this story. In my first review I mention Tau was an extremely stubborn main character that is frustrating to read about, but that aspect of his character is absolutely necessary for the plot of this book and for his relationship to the other characters. That doesn’t change in this book and honestly he is frustratingly oblivious; though that does lead to some extremely funny situations throughout.
The expansion of the magic system and it’s integration with the training sequences led to some really interesting plot developments. I’m very much intrigued to see where Winter goes with it in the next book.
This book doesn’t hold back on its violence but it’s violence with a purpose. It really shows how blazing a road to vengeance sends ripples out into the world and has horrific consequences in kind. I also think this second book did a fantastic job of expanding the cast of characters. I cared very deeply for multiple people in this book and it was nice to not have to focus all my energy on Tau. I loved Queen Tsiora’s “handmaidens” and Themba, and I was also living for Uduak and Hadith. Having a more diverse cast with women and lgbtq characters was a refreshing addition to this second installment.
Honestly, it’s been a really long time since a book gripped me enough to keep me reading until 4am so on that alone, this book has to get a stellar rating.