Has this not been a long time coming? When did I get this novel? A few weeks (month(s) now when I finally post this) back? Here we go! Back into Shattered Realms for me.
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Synopsis From The Book
Vagabond seafarer Evan Strangward can move wind, waves, and weather, but his magical abilities can’t protect him forever from the brutal Empress Celestine. As Celestine’s relentless bloodsworn armies grow, Evan travels to the Fells to warn the queendom that an invasion is imminent.
If he can’t convince the Gray Wolf queen to take a stand, he knows that the Seven Realms will fall, and his last sanctuary will be destroyed. Among the dead will be the one person Evan can’t stand to lose.
Meanwhile, the queen’s formidable daughter, Princess Alyssa ana’Raisa, is already a prisoner aboard the empress’s ship, sailing east. Lyss may be the last remaining hope of bringing down the empress from within her own tightly controlled stronghold.
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
It has only taken me a minute and a half to get this book. I was waiting for the whole series to come out before reading them (buying them as they came out). When my friend read through the Seven Realms and wanted to move on, I could not be left behind. Thus I read books 1 and 2 of Shattered Realms and then waited. I was going to buy this book when it came out, but I forgot and then book four was out. And then I forgot. And here we are, so many months after it officially ended.
The wait is finally over!
I had to review over what had happened in the last two books before reading this one, just as a reminder. Overall, not too worried.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
And we are back! Oh it has been too long. I have missed the blood, the deception, the waring kingdoms. How have I staid away for so long? The answer? I’m not entirely sure, but I have missed this and I crave the last book. Good thing that I have it!
We begin with Evan and Destin’s background story, formally making them full pov characters. We learn a bit about the Empress’ plight to find all her “siblings” (I use this in quotes, because the queen calls them siblings but it bothers me. I don’t trust her.) The moment that we get through the backstory we are thrown immediately back into where the last book left off: Lyss captured by the Empress, Ash headed home, and the entire of the world under war.
Ash gets home. His mother reveals she knew him to be alive. Evan shows up and tries to get the Gray Wolf Queen on his side against the Empress. Through this Ash reveals that he killed the king of Arden, as well as how dark he had to become to survive. They get the news that Lyss was captured and with Evan, Ash begins to plan how to save her. Rissa is poisoned and with Han’s remaining soul and magic, Ash saves her.
Lyss is captured by the Empress and made to become her commander (since the Empress doesn’t know who Lyss is). Lyss complies out of survival, but doesn’t teach them much. Lyss meets the dragon rider Jenna, and later the gray wolves who reveal that she is queen.
In Arden, Destin is the scary wraith and trying to stabilize his country. The hostages that the King held are released and there is a plot to reform the kingdom.
What I Liked:
The main POV characters; I’ve always liked them in the books. I will get more into this when I do a series review, but I love them.
The opening about Destin and Evan. It gave a good look on the country and on the other side of the sea, as well as how these characters were formed. I am always partial to darker characters and I think that’s why I loved Han so much. Now I adore Destin. Depth to the darkness is always so brilliant.
The progression of the story. Unlike in previous novels there wasn’t much that happened. Instead it was all character driven. We got a lot on the connections between the characters, on their worlds and on how everything is going to come crashing down next book. It was a breath of fresh air, and I believe it would have been more so if I read them in short progression.
The Gray Wolves; My favorite clan will forever be the closest to my heart.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
This is a personal thing, that I wish that I had reread the novels before jumping in. I was caught off guard with the opening and then the jump to the main line. I liked it, but was jarred at first.
Time Taken To Read
“How do you know? Have you ever been beheaded?” – Evan pg123