(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by HarperCollins on February 7th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
The richly suspenseful sequel to Sophie Jordan’s romantic fantasy Reign of Shadows.
Luna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever.
Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia’s castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world—until the king discovers both Fowler's and Luna’s true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne.
Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler, but the power she was destined to inherit.
Rise of Fire is the second book in the Reign of Fire series by Sophie Jordan and I picked this one up because I was curious to see how Jordan would continue the story for Luna and Fowler. I will do my best to not spoil anything here but be warned, if you haven’t read book one, you may not want to read until you have.
This book picks up right after the end of book one and I was immediately pulled back into this world where danger is everywhere. When Fowler was pulled underground by the Dwellers, Luna didn’t even really think about it, she just dove right after him and was going to do whatever she had to in order to get him out.
Luna is still very stubborn and willing to throw herself into danger if it means protecting those around her which means she is still trying to get to Relhok City to stop Cullan from killing more girls. When Fowler is taken by the Dwellers, he is mortally injured but when they cross paths with people who recognize who Fowler is (and how valuable he could be) an opportunity to save him presents itself. Unfortunately the opportunity presents itself in the form of Lagonia’s prince and he isn’t really interested in saving Fowler out of the kindness of his heart.
A lot happens when they make it to Lagonia and that includes the King figuring out who Luna really is. This creates an interesting situation for both Luna and Fowler as they are both now pawns in the games these rulers are playing…whether they like it or not.
There are some new characters introduced in this book and they aren’t all good. First, Maris is the princess of Lagonia and she has been betrothed to Fowler for a long time. She is one of those characters that is there to move the plot along but she didn’t really add anything to the story. I found her quite annoying and when things came to a head and she didn’t get what she wanted, she flips out and turns on Fowler.
Chasan was interesting. I think I would have liked him more if I didn’t already love Luna and Fowler together. In the end I am glad he came through for them and all it took was his father pretty much turning against the original plans of having Chasan and Luna marry. He finally steps up to his father and helps Luna and Fowler out of the castle.
While Cullan is still a danger, King Tebald is the “bad guy” in this book and he for sure has some negative personality traits. Once he finds out who Luna is he isn’t above using her and Fowler to get what he wants, no matter what they want. As his plans evolve, it is clear he holds Luna’s mother’s decisions against her and he can’t wait to get from her what he always wanted from her mother.
There were a few things that made this book less interesting than the first one for me. First, I can’t believe that Luna was able to navigate this brand new castle without issue despite being blind…and that no one but Chasan actually figured out she was blind. Also, they spent so much time with Fowler out of it due to the poison and Luna navigating the politics of Lagonia’s court that I was a bit bored at times. In the end, when they do get away, the final face off with Cullan seemed a bit anti-climactic.
Overall I thought this one was just ok. I think the first one had a bit more action and Luna’s need to face off with Cullan to protect the kingdom’s young girls was compelling and although it was mentioned in this book, it seemed to take a backseat to everything else in this book. If you read book one and really want to find out what happens next for these characters, consider checking it out.
Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the review copy.