Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Rise Red Kingdom is available now.
I’m a sucker for nuanced characters. If you give me an amazing world but the characters are flat, I’ll lose interest halfway. But give me complicated characters who shift and grow, and I’ll be hooked. Doubly so when the world is creative and interesting like it is here.
After the events of book one, the characters find themselves going in different directions and facing entirely new obstacles. I liked that they were taken out of what had (almost) become comfort zones for them. It gave them the opportunity to keep evolving. Dove, in particular, was no longer only the inexperienced girl from Burn Red Skies. She’s becoming her own person, although she still sometimes struggles with that. She’s a supremely human character, utterly believable and fascinating because of that.
Valerya was my favorite this time. In Burn Red Skies, she felt like an enigma wrapped in a mystery. In Rise Red Kingdom, some of her personality traits are explained. Just like there is always something new to learn about someone you know in real life, there were new truths revealed throughout that I felt added complexity to her.
My only niggle in book one was that the pacing was choppy in parts. Not so, here. The author had a good pace throughout and it picked up near the end as things ramped up. The writing felt even more confident.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that there are DRAGONS! You say “dragon” and I’m immediately on board. Author Kerstin Espinosa Rosero has done something unique and absolutely awesome with hers.
Rise Red Kingdom is a more-than-worthy sequel in a series that has much to offer. This is a story to lose yourself in. Highly recommended.