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Book review: 'Rise of Fire' abandons quest, enters politics and concludes duology


February 06, 2017

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"RISE OF FIRE," by Sophie Jordan, HarperCollins, $17.99, 304 pages (f) (ages 14 and up)

New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan's en epic adventure continues with a journey into another fantastical kingdom, intriguing politics and a complicated love story in “Rise of Fire.”

This sequel, which is scheduled to hit shelves Tuesday, Feb. 7, picks up right where the first book of the duology, “Reign of Shadows,” left off. Luna and Fowler are in the dwellers' nest fighting for their lives. They make it out, but the dwellers infected Fowler with a toxin, which makes him extremely ill.

Luckily, some Lagonian soldiers rescue them and take the pair to their leader, King Tebald. Here, Luna discovers that Fowler is betrothed to King Tebald’s daughter, Maris. To complicate their relationship further, the king wants Luna to marry his son, Prince Chasan.

In debt to King Tebald and the Lagonians for saving their lives, Luna and Fowler must stick it out and figure out how to survive the politics and their many love interests while not letting go of their plans to avenge Luna's parents' deaths.

Jordan takes readers back to her lush fantasy world and develops it even more with a new kingdom, new customs and new characters. Fowler, although not as present in this book as the previous installment, is still the same strong character who would do anything for Luna. While Luna goes through some confusion and doesn’t make decisions easily in “Rise of Fire,” she remains strong and is a female character who can stand on her own.

The king is ruthless and will do anything to get his way. His children are more likable, despite Chasan’s obsession with Luna and Maris’ ability to be in the wrong place at the right time. Jordan uses the new characters and kingdom to make “Rise of Fire” more of a political book instead of an adventurous quest book like “Reign of Shadows.”

The action picks up in the end, and Jordan returns to storylines and loose ends from the first installment that need tying up. While the climax completes hastily, it provides the answers the reader needs, and the epilogue is a satisfying end.

“Rise of Fire” is written in alternating viewpoints between Fowler and Luna. It contains some mildly described kissing scenes, implied sexual intimacy, some violence in combat scenes and sword fights that is not overly described or gratuitous, and a few mild swear words.

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