My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As usual my reviews will contain spoilers so if that bothers you stop reading now.
I’m going to start with the things I don’t like so I can end with the things I like and people can walk away from my review feeling optimistic about the book because my compliments will be the last thing they saw.
There were parts of this book I liked and parts of it I was really annoyed by. The romance still annoys me because it feels so forced. Ceony was Emery’s apprentice for such a short amount of time before she fell head over heels for him and I get it, she went through his heart in the first book but I just, I was really annoyed by how over the top in love they were with each other the first time. Like Emery felt closer to her because of it when he could’ve felt violated just as easily. It almost felt like they were in love the moment they met. Anyway, I don’t want to focus solely on the romance because I don’t hate it, it’s just an annoying and unnecessary subplot.
I couldn’t stand the support cast. This was clearly the story of Ceony and Emery, the other characters felt like they were just props to tell their story and didn’t have much of a story of their own. Sure they had some backstory, but the details just felt kind of irrelevant and they felt 2 dimensional at times. Their only recurring traits felt sort of superficial. Like Delilah, I mean come on. Was I supposed to feel emotion when she died? Was she really just introduced in this book to be the cute little girl who wants to help then dies? Cause that didn’t make me feel anything during the book and when I look back on it now it feels kind of contrived and manipulative. I mean she was such an inconsequential character. She helped Ceony by being able to cast spells Ceony couldn’t cast herself and by being scared to show how brave Ceony was.
This brings me to the part of the book I actually couldn’t stand. Everything I’ve said to this point maybe got a shrug from me while I was reading. I still could’ve maybe given it 4 stars or at least 3.5 if those were the only knocks, but Ceony herself has such a martyr complex that just doesn’t make any sense. She doesn’t feel real, she does things that purposefully put herself in danger then lucks out of them and talks like she’s a master magician when she hasn’t even been an apprentice for a year, and Emery just enables her cause he’s in love. Also her entire meaning of existence is Emery, then when her family is in danger she’s like oh yeah I forgot about them now I need to sacrifice myself for them. Like seriously, she felt like she was going out of her way to put people in danger so she could have the right to die for them.
Oh wait I have one more complaint, sorry I just finished reading the book so it’s all still sinking in. It bugged me that the entire magical structure in this world is now fluid. The division is what made it so interesting and unique. Now Ceony is going to be even more powerful despite being an apprentice for less than one year and she had totally contradicting thoughts to this. She was like I’m a folder, it doesn’t matter I’ll always be a folder, then it ends with her looking out the window saying she could be anything she wants. Like come on, so much inconsistency in her character on the last couple pages.
Okay, time for what I liked. Though I thought the villains were defeated a little too quicky in the final fight I thought they were compelling figures. They were at least more powerful than everyone in the book and I were treated with the respect of dangerous threats at large. Since it’s the second book in a series, I would’ve preferred it if they won this round and built up the tension. I mean we know the good guys are gonna win, but you couldn’t even give the bad guys a book to prove how powerful they are? Wow, okay this was supposed to be my complimentary paragraph. I guess I’ll just say I liked them for the amount of time we had them. They were formidable until they weren’t.