In Brennan’s second fantasy adventure featuring formidable, vulnerable Ree (after A Cold-Forged Flame), the magic-wielding archon has finished the quest that she was summoned, by sacrifice and blood, to complete. Since then, she’s been traveling and masking her true nature. When she finds herself at the business end of a flintlock pistol, she’s led to a caravan of persecuted people called the Korenat, where she meets a man named Mevreš who sends a shock of lightning through her veins; to her utter surprise, she learns that he is also an archon. She leads the group to Solaike, the land where her old friend Aadet Temini resides, hoping to find sanctuary for the Korenat. Ree then agrees to help fight a group called the Red Leopard that’s bent on unseating the king. Through Mevreš, she learns more about her own origins. Brennan takes the opportunity to deepen Ree’s character and her yearning to find her people and belong. Ree’s hunger for self-realization adds depth to the rich worldbuilding and exciting action sequences. (May)
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