Publisher: Little, Brown
Publishing Date: November 2012
Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?
Hidden away in an abandoned desert castle, Karou takes on the role Brimstone had trained her for in her previous form as Madrigal: a resurrectionist. Though Karou does it to keep her people, the chimaera, alive, Thiago has a more sinister plan in mind. Akiva, teamed with his brother, sister, and small squad of soldiers, do their best in Eretz to warn and save the remaining chimaera from the terrifying angel emperor’s mission of destruction. Through a series of whirlwind and unpredictable events, Karou and Akiva cross paths, and must come to a decision to bring peace to their world before it destroys humanity.
Taylor’s world, her imagination and skill and detail, blows my mind. I am nearly speechless. While the first book was lighthearted, spunky, artistic, romantic, and mildly tragic, this second installment is dark, weary, painful, and full of loyalty and determination. Rich with characters — chimaera and angel alike — and intricate plots bouncing from the human world to Eretz, you’d imagine the reader would become confused. Taylor is so talented, I can guarantee every character mentioned will leave a mark in your mind. You will know Ziri from Razor, Thiago from Joram, secondary characters from other secondary characters. Their points of view are scattered throughout the book, each with distinctive voices and overlapping events.
While this second book has a dark and bleak tone, especially in comparison to the first, Zuzana and Mik’s commentary and chapters bring enough warmth and happiness to the book to provide hope when Karou needs it most. Even Karou’s observations are sparked here and there with sarcastic one-liners she must keep to herself.
Another brilliant aspect of Taylor’s plotting is her ability to surprise you with every chapter. This book was entirely unpredictable. Characters that seemed to only appear once and could be forgotten would actually crop up again, with something important to say or do, a key event to become a part of. Events once seen will rise again with an eerie explanation, a twist in plot, a change in tide.
In a year, the world will see what will become of Karou, Akiva, and the hope they have to bring peace to Eretz…