Author: Rebecca Ethington
Publisher: Imdalind Press
Length: 376 pages
While Joclyn is trapped in the tormenting hell of Cail’s mind, the battle around her only continues to grow and spread.
Edmund has infiltrated the underground hallways of Prague, guiding the massacre that would end the lives of the last of the great magical race. In her attempts to stop him, Wynifred has been captured and her magic restrained. Chained up in the ancient dungeons of Prague, her fate is left in the hands of her father, who has tried to kill her before.
With Ryland’s screams and Sain’s fragmented sights as her only company, Wyn must rely on something that has been hidden deep inside of her for centuries to help them break free.
Ilyan’s whole life has been building up to one purpose. Protect the Silnỳ. He knows what he must do, and he has no doubt in his ability to do so.
But when his father’s magic removes Joclyn’s mind from her body, he is left protecting the shell of the one person he loves. Desperate to find a way to break her free of her prison, he makes a choice. And that one choice changes everything.
Now, Ilyan finds himself bound to Joclyn in a way that he never knew to be possible.
They say that blood is thicker than water, but Black Water burns, and Ilyan’s heart may not be strong enough to keep it pumping through his veins and give the girl he loves back into his brother’s care.
Even if he can, it may not be safe to do so.
Protagonists: Wyn and Ilyan take center stage as this book is told from their dual perspectives, which I really enjoyed as it gave me the time I needed to really fall in love with these two characters properly. While I already loved Wyn's character, I felt like she was a character that should have been utilized more, and now that she has I fell in love with her for a different reason, I really feel in touch with who she is and what she's been through. Ilyan is a different story, While I liked him as a character, more or less, I never really connected with him as he was the secondary love interest, or at least he played the role of the secondary love interest, which is a role I tend not to get too attached to if I can help it as I can easily predict them getting the short end of the stick by the end of the series. Now that I've been somewhat forced to bond with Ilyan by reading his perspective, I really feel for him and it's made it harder to predict, as well as form my own opinion of, who Joclyn will end up with.
Romance: I have to say there really isn't that much romance in this novel compared to the other books in the series, sure there is a bit here and there, and Ilyan's extremely selfless love for Joclyn is seen time and time again, but other than that there really isn't any romance we haven't already seen. But there is a whole lot of heartbreak. Get ready to brace yourselves during this book as there is a lot to endure. For those who tend to get emotional while reading a book, or even those who usually don't, I recommend having a box of tissues nearby just in case. You've been warned.
World-Building: Unlike the previous two books in this series, this book is told from the dual perspectives of both Wyn and Ilyan from the middle of the second book through the end and onward a little ways past it. I was a bit apprehensive to read this book, not because it's from Wyn and Ilyan's precisely, but more because it isn't Joclyn's and therefore wouldn't feel the same as the other books in the series, and would instead feel like more of a companion or spin-off that would hold trivial yet interesting information about the other characters in this series but nothing really substantial to make it a true installment in this series. I couldn't have been more wrong though. This book is a definite must read for this series, there is so much revealed and most of it will surely leave a large impact on the rest of the series. There are so many things that were answered that I thought we wouldn't find out until the fourth book which truly made this feel like a next installment rather than an optional read if you really need an Imdalind fix.
Predictability: This was by far the most unpredictable of the series and I can even tell you why without spoiling anything, at least not specifically spoiling anything. This series, while labeled YA and staying in the confines of what a YA series can and cannot entail, is being told in a very un-YA way. This author isn't afraid to do things that other YA authors wouldn't dream of doing, she shies away from the traditional YA formula and has created one of the most unique and fairly unpredictable series I have ever read simply by writing a YA book without treating as though it is a YA book. I know that sounds weird and redundant but it seems as though there are a lot of authors out there who are afraid to challenge the barriers of YA for fear that their book won't be well received by their target audience, so sometimes you can tell that the book has a very YA first, plot second device, while this book is all plot all the way.
Ending: This book ends much better than the previous one, not that I didn't like how the previous book ended, I really did, but this ending is much calmer and yet still invokes that feeling of needing the next book in this series. While I may not be craving the next book in this series based on the ending alone, I knew it would probably be that way from the start. While we got to see past the ending of Eyes of Ember most of the ending is a retelling from another perspective. What makes me crave the next book so bad is everything that went down in this book. But until then, I guess if I need an Imdalind fix I can always reread the three out now and look for foreshadowing, which is one of my new favorite passtimes.
I have nothing bad to say about this book, and can only praise it highly. While I have read many indie books, many of which I feel could have or should have gotten picked up by mainstream publishers if that's what the author's wanted. This series however tops many, though not all, of my favorite "mainstream" published series and is a series I need to pick up in print soon.
P.S. For those of you who have stuck with me through the past month despite my moving (physically, not virtually, don't worry I'll still be uploading reviews to this blog) and a personal issue I will talk about in an update video soon, I thank you and I hope to be back to full speed soon. This isn't the start of my comeback but most likely just another bump along the road of slowly getting back into things.