[A quick note: This series is WOW. I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about it. There are so many relevant themes. It’s one of my most thought about book series at the moment. And it’s quickly becoming a top 5 favorite. The fourth book got postponed until February 2022. And the fifth book is currently being written. I believe the 5th is the last one. You can read my review for book 1 HERE.]
“𝐊𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐠𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝, 𝐦𝐲 𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐫. 𝐍𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐨𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐫 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐭...𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐈𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐧𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬, 𝐢𝐟 𝐰𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐭 𝐢𝐭, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐞.”—Laurie Forest
I might have enjoyed this book more than The Black Witch. Like the first, this one tackles some heavy themes like genocide, race oppression, abuse, and slavery all within the lines of of a deftly crafted fantasy story. Elloren’s rag-tag crew of friends becomes a found family as they take on one of the biggest challenges yet: freeing enslaved Selkies. To do so requires the help of the Amaz, but reaching this warrior race has its own challenges.
Throughout the story, Elloren continues to face adversity as she’s judged harshly for being part of a hateful race she wants nothing to do with. She uses this to fuel her desire to help all those who cannot help themselves. She also grows closer to Yvan, a supposed Kelt. But Yvan has secrets of his own, and despite the budding romance between them, he won’t open up to her. So Elloren begins to draw her own conclusions about him. But nothing prepares her for the truth when it finally smacks her in the face.
There were moments during this story that were heartbreaking, places where I had to set the book down, things that made me so angry and emotional on behalf of those suffering. But there were also moments of joy and success that felt so fulfilling. I’ve grown to love every character in this story, especially Dianna with her Lupine ways. She became one of Elloren’s biggest allies and I adored her for it.
But the one character I just cannot figure out is that damned Lukas Grey. There’s so much…chemistry? Sexual tension? I don’t now what to call it, exactly, between him and Elloren. This is supposedly due to their magical compatibility. Yet, it’s clear that he’s very much a morally gray character. It’s also clear that even though he’s well aware of the atrocities going on, he chooses to make the decisions that benefit him the most. The only character I’ve seen before who acts like his is Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) in Game of Thrones. I get ton’s of those vibes from him. I think Lukas might go either way, but his unpredictability makes him automatically dangerous, especially towards Elloren.
I love this story. It’s a series I can’t stop thinking about, with so many themes relevant today, that I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about it! It’s takes so many of the atrocities happening in our world and dumps them into a fantasy YA story. It’s so good and feels real. I’m surprised I like it as much as I do, given that I tend to avoid heavier themes in books. But these themes are balanced so well that they never become too overwhelming. For that, I’m so impressed! It’s taking a lot of self control not to dive immediately into the 3rd book. 𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆: 𝟓/𝟓⭐️