Author: Elise Kova
Release Date: November 19th 2015
Published By: Silver Wing Press
Page Amount: 378 pages, Paperback
Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?
Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
First off, I am super late posting this review. At the time, I think that I had taken on too many books for review. So even though I was enjoying the book, reading still felt more like work. Then I got past that but when I finished it I didn't write my review right away. I think it was because I was trying to get my words/feelings straight.
I don't quite know where to start. I will admit that the book did start out a bit slow for me and it still dragged in some places. But overall I found the pacing more to my taste than the first book. I know that Vhalla is the main character but I'm still not sure how to feel about her. It might not be her but some of her thoughts or things that she does just make me want to say to her "How can you not see it?" But some things that she does are incredibly brave and I very much admire her for that. I'll also say that her experience with alcohol in this book is rather amusing. She seemed to go back and forth, up and down, in character development. Which I actually believe may be more realistic given what she went through.
Larel is a wonderful character. I absolutely love her. She is so strong and loyal and gentle and loving. I loved reading about Larel. She is an amazing friend to Vhalla. I wish that Larel were my friend, too. On that note, I would love to be friends with Fritz. He is such a fun character. I love reading about him. He could make me smile almost every time that he appeared on the page. I also enjoyed learning more about Daniel (a member of the Golden Guard) and found myself really liking him. I had my suspicions about Baldair but I think that they were pretty much squashed with this book. I think that he is mostly a good guy. We get to read more about The Emperor in this book, as well. It was interesting to see more of him although I won't be saying that I like him.
I still love Aldrik. He seemed to be more consistent in this book than the first one. In the first quarter or so of book one I wasn't sure if I even liked him. But now I definitely do. I loved learning more about his past - heart wrenching though it is. And I did love seeing him with Vhalla. He does seem closed off at times and occasionally even cold but in this book we really get to see more of why that is. We also learn some more about his relationship with his younger brother, Baldair. Something that I was glad to learn about although I would still like to know more.
This is a very character driven review. Although there was a plot in this book, obviously, I still feel that a lot of it was character driven. So this review is going to focus mostly on the characters. Plus it's hard to write about the plot without giving away spoilers. I will say that the battle/fight scenes were written very well. I could picture it going on. Writing scenes like that is very difficult. At least it was every time that I've done it. Elise has done a great job with those. And that ending...that was one hell of a cliffhanger, Ms. Kova!! 4 quills.