Hey all, Dani here.
Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful day. I know I’m super glad that it’s the weekend, and that I have internet so that I can get some blog prep done. Also, we learned last night that our internet is not really good enough for live-streaming video, which means we can’t watch Critical Role live for now. I guess that’s fine, because we can just watch it on YouTube a couple days later, or we can get a Twitch subscription and get video on demand.
Today I am once again delving into my review backlog with a book I read last year. It is the sequel to Heartstone, which I dearly loved, so let’s just jump into the review.
The author of Heartstone once again infuses elements of Jane Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic in this addictive fantasy that brings back sparring lovers Aliza and Alastair: fierce warriors who match wits, charm, and swords as they fight an epic war to save their world.
The Battle of North Fields is over—or so Aliza Bentaine, now a Daired, fervently wants to believe. But rumors are spreading of an unseen monster ravaging the isolated Castle Selwyn on the northern border of the kingdom. When she and Alastair are summoned from their honeymoon by the mysterious Lord Selwyn, they must travel with their dragon Akarra through the Tekari-infested Old Wilds of Arle to answer his call.
And they are not alone on this treacherous journey. Shadowing the dragonriders is an ancient evil, a harbinger of a dark danger of which the Worm was only a foretaste. And soon Aliza realizes the terrible truth: the real war is only beginning.
Rating: 4.5 stars
This is a sequel I didn’t realize was happening until a week after it was released, which is a shame because I absolutely adored the first book–I just thought it was a standalone. Nope, apparently not. White has a lot more wiggle room in this book, as it does not follow Pride & Prejudice‘s main plot like the first book did.
I still find the world and the creatures to be fascinating, but this book didn’t quite live up to the standards of the first. In fact, most of the characters from the first book are absent in this one, only mentioned in passing, which is a shame. And then I felt like the book dragged a little bit, especially considering how much of the novel was spent with Aliza and Alistair traveling to his next Rider contract.
But still…there are dragons in this Regency-era fantasy setting, and that alone is enough to pique my interest. And there is still a fascinating relationship dynamic and figuring out what their lives will be like now from both Alastair and Aliza, because obviously they are both willful and opinionated people, who have differing viewpoints on their roles as husband and wife–particularly when it also comes to the whole dragon rider job as well.
However, I did still really enjoy the story, and by the end I was absolutely hooked. So I’m looking forward to the release of book three, which I guess will be the final book in the trilogy…and I will be paying more attention to book releases by White in the future.