Hello happy readers! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I had a pretty awesome one attending the Laura Silverman and Becky Albertalli event and getting to see my friend and her little bean made the trip all the better. This means I spent a little over eight hours or so in my vehicle driving this weekend so I got to squeeze in a whole new audiobook so win! The book in question is a sequel to a title I read and review last year and was very interested in continuing on in but like most things I didn’t do it right away so I fell behind. The book in question is Riot ofStorm and Smoke (Threats of Sky and Sea #2) by Jennifer Ellision, my review of book one Threats of Sky and Sea can be found here. Spoilers for book one ahead, duh.
We pick up pretty much where the last one left off. I did a double check and I read book one in April of last year which is a while. I had been somewhat concerned I might have forgotten some things but I worried for nothing. As soon as I started listening it all came back to me. Bree, Aleta, and Tregle are on the run in the secret tunnels fleeing after Lady Kat had just killed Bree’s Da and in turn Bree had used her water throwing ability and killed her, just not in time to save her Da. Not before she revealed that it is she not Aleta, who is the stolen Nereid Princess. Now they must run and escape the kings clutches before he continues in his plans to use her and the Princess (whom he doesn’t realize are really one in the same) to try and conquer Nereid. Caden stays behind to try and continue his work, try to influence his father from his side but he quickly realizes his father has become madder than he knew and he is no longer safe to play his heir. He must build up his own forces and try to stop his father.
Bree is struggling. She just learned everything she knew about her life is not true. Losing her Da and finding out he wasn’t really her father at all, hard to take it all in. Oh and try handling all of that while running for your life. You really dive into the fray here and the tension is thick from the start. I like that she is struggling with everything. She struggles with it throughout the book and that seemed so real and raw to me that I instantly wanted to hug her several times while reading. Then on the flip side we have Caden’s POV who also loses a father in a sense. His father, the King, is still alive yes but he has long since changed from the father he knew and is now completely focused on conquering no matter the cost, even his own son and heir. That is hard to accept. He’s not just fighting against a tyrannical ruler but his own father whom he has fond memories of.
We learn more about the different abilities and the world with politics and alliances. I liked diving into the magic and seeing the limits and restrictions. No one is all powerful. While Bree’s gift is rare and powerful she struggles with it, understanding it and how to wield it. War is on the brink and the King holds a sinister weapon that could wipe out the world. She isn’t sure who she is or wants to be. Not wanting to reveal herself as the true princess but also wanting to meet and connect with any possible family she may have left in Nereidium. Still we learn that magic skill level and training can lead to all sorts of things that not many know about. This lead to a character I never thought I’d ever care about finding a sort of redemption in a sense.
Being on the move and seeing more of the world as a whole was great but I think my favorite part was getting to meet some new characters. While I enjoyed small group I instantly liked some of our new ones. They banter and verbally (sometimes literally) spar with the characters we know while we watch them grow and develop. There was some romance in this as well, not a huge part of the story but still a slight presence and one in particular you just want to make happen!
We are on two separate journeys through most of the book and it allows the story to widen its reach. We see Caden try to rally troops to his side as he fights with the Underground. Old friends forced to make a choice to friendship or safety for their home and people. War is never easy and none of the decisions are as well. Its messy and complicated and no good easy answers, everything has a price. This book really shows that and while I secretly wanted everything to work out for my groups and my characters to not be hurt or worse war is tough. So my poor heart was racing as the story ramped higher and tighter. I got a bit teary at a certain part and it just hit me so suddenly.
I think this was a strong follow up and it leaves you hanging that’s for sure with the ending. Thankfully I don’t have to wait and went ahead and got the audiobook to the third and final book in the series. I hope to finish it soon, though no trips this week so might be a bit slower depending on work. Still I would recommend this book and series.
Until next time…