The bloodmage Volcrian is dead, but a new enemy lurks in the shadows. The Shade, a fanatical cult of demonic assassins, is trying to resurrect the Dark God and unleash His power back into the world. In their wake, a deadly plague is spreading across the land.
Only Sora and her companions know the plague’s true source. As the disease spreads, she must journey to the City of Crowns to retrieve The Book of the Named, her only hope of stopping the Shade. She and her companions arrive just in time for the winter solstice festival, a notorious two weeks of fine wines, grand parties and legendary debauchery. She must don the guise of a noblewoman and infiltrate the First Tier nobility to stop the Shade before it’s too late.
Meanwhile, the assassin Crash is confronted by a ghost from his past. As he uncovers more of the Shade’s plot, he finds himself face-to-face with his old Grandmaster. Can Crash lay to rest his past, or will he succumb to his inner demon and rejoin the man who once made him a killer?
5 out of 5 stars
So. Many. Feelings. I’m reminded why I said this is my favorite ongoing series, just—WOW. I have been waiting for this book since January 2014, annoying the author at every possible opportunity and throwing the series in the face of anyone who asks for a Young Adult Epic Fantasy recommendation (and sometimes even when they don’t).
I was told that this was something like 150K words, but once again, it seems hard to believe because the story moves so quickly. I got caught up in it and after three hours of reading, I started to panic because I realized I was coming to the end. It really wasn’t clear how the author was going to end the book, but I was so emotionally invested I prayed. (It’s not weird to pray over fictional characters, is it?)
Sora’s character has matured so very much since we first met her at her Blooming in book 1, yet she still has a kind of sweetness and guilelessness that just melts my heart. I do like reading about a heroine who isn’t another smoldering virago, but still manages to pull off daring adventures. She’s much easier to relate to than most of the Epic Fantasy heroines coming out these days and I love her to bits.
Another character I love to bits and who I consider one of my “babies,” is Crash. Read any of my other reviews and you will see plenty on Crash. His struggles and growth have been equal to Sora’s and it was fascinating to look more into the depths of his psyche and what’s going through his head. His relationship with Sora is sweet, complex, beautiful, and irresistible. I’ll be the first to admit that their story is one of my favorite things about this series and I’m in knots over what’s going to happen in Krait’s Redemption.
One thing that surprised me was the part of the book where we see more of what Crash’s demon actually thinks of Sora. That was one of the most interesting sections and again, leaves me wanting Krait’s Redemption.
Now that I have bombarded you with those paragraphs of Crash+Sora fangirling, I should point out this series does have other characters—not that you would know that by reading my previous reviews.
I kind of missed Burn and wished we’d gotten to see just a little more of him, but I was very happy about how much “screen time” Caprion had. There was the subplot of him and his past experiences with the Sixth Race and thanks to reading the prequel novella, I was almost as invested in that vein as I was the one about Crash+Sora. Even if Caprion was always the first to think the worst of my darling little Crash, I could forgive him because it made sense from his perspective.
We learn a great deal about the namesake of this book, Ferran, and his past as well as a surprising twist I did not see coming. Him and Lori are so perfect together and yes, I’ve been at my fictional matchmaking again. There were a great deal of questions raised regarding his family’s dealings and just who they’ve gotten mixed up with—yet more things making me salivate over Krait’s Redemption.
I never thought I would say this, but Cerastes has made me miss Volcrian. At least then, it was just one psychotic serial killer and a few wraiths we had to worry about, now we have a sociopathic, mostly-demon cult leader with his little minions and a mission to destroy all life. Cerastes scares me and I can’t wait for someone—preferably Crash—to kill him. (Just as soon as Cerastes finishes off that Daniellan fellow in some imaginative and nasty fashion.)
Then there’s Krait. When she was first introduced, I did not like her at all and now…let’s just say that the next book’s title has me very excited.
There was one character introduced at the beginning of this book, Cobra, another assassin, who freaked me out at first, but I ended up softening toward him at the end. I mean the very, very end. I can’t say much else because of spoilers, but I felt I should at least mention him.
This review has gone on way too long and turned into more of a fangirling session, so I’ll wrap it up by saying the story just keeps getting better and you all won’t be getting away from my passionate fanaticism any time soon.
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Series website: www.catseyechronicles.com
Writing Blog: www.tlshreffler.com