Darkness is spreading throughout Ember Morrow's world. With Eira's rise to power, everything the knights of Conatus stand for is at risk. Hoping to gather enough resistance to save their order, Ember and Barrow attempt a desperate escape. But fate offers little mercy.
When their mission is exposed, Ember is forced out of hiding, back into the hear of dark magic at Teramunn keep, where she must convince her old friend Alistair of her love or face dire consequences. Ember's deception offers the only chance for the resistance to succeed, but what she discovers in the shadows beneath the keep will shatter her world and bring about the War of All Against All.
Richly sensual and filled with love, magic, action and danger, Andrea Cremer's fifth book set in the Nightshade world will keep readers guessing until the explosive ending.
Andrea Cremer's Rise ends the "duology" prequel to the Nightshade trilogy. We've seen how the war that raged on in Nightshade all began and who the good and bad guys were. What the causes and the effects and all that other good stuff were.
Since I read Rift as an ARC many months ago, just a few short of a year, it took some time for me to get back into the story and yet I still wasn't able to remember the events that had already passed unless they were brought up. Although some details did stick out in my mind. And yet, this will probably be one of the hardest reviews I write, because there was just so much going on and it's been even longer since I read the Nightshade books to see how this story fits nicely into them. But I will try!
The story picks up right where we left off in Rift, Ember and Barrow are on the run, fleeing to safety. Eria and Bosque Mar have pretty much taken over things now. Ember and Barrow meet up with Lukasz, who leads his outcasts to safety so that they can regroup and devise a plan to get Bosque Mar out of his ruling and to close the portal that houses the dark magic he uses, but it won't be easy.
Ember and her friends take a pretty long journey to get to a safe house, so to speak, where they can make a plan. But it's not going to be an easy one. Ember decides that she will have to go back, back to Alistair. Making him believe that she has returned for him because she realized she was wrong to have ever left in the first place. It tears at her heart to do this, despite being madly in love with Barrow, Alistair was once her dearest friend and this deception will break him, but it is something that must be done.
What Ember doesn't know, is that Alistair has been busy while she was away. He still pines for her, but Bosque Mar has taken him under his wing and Alistair starts to do very bad things. He has a taste for the dark magic that Bosque Mar wields and wants to be able to do that himself. You can see Alistair's mind getting darker and darker with each narration he does (in third person). And when he thinks of Ember, it gets down right creepy. He's like a psychotic stalker.
The pacing to this one was decidedly good! I never felt like there was a dull moment. With the change in third person narrative, we were able to be in the know of all that was going on. The action was pretty good too. There were moments that were a little boring, but they were usually the ones in between the action. There were quite a few thrilling fights and other events that took place that were just awesome!
The romance this time around was a little condensed? I suppose that's the word I want to use. Ember and Barrow are only together for the first half or so, before she returns to Alistair. But the time they had together was the sweet romance type. When it becomes Ember and Alistair, it's a little scary again. Alistair is the possessive type and to me, that's always scary. He wants Ember in ways that is just plain creepy.
The ending was pretty freaking awesome though! We get to see the step of the battle that the Nightshade crew has to deal with and where their trials came from. It definitely has the air of an unfinished ending, yet we know what happens from there on.
Overall it was an enjoyable read. I just for the life of me, cannot remember much of Rift. Unless it was mentioned by Ember as a "recent" event then I was unable to dredge up any memories for myself. The curse of reading an ARC and having no time whatsoever to do a re-read! Rise was definitely enjoyable and purely incredible!
Overall rating 4/5 stars--My score is partially lower due to myself, since I couldn't really recall all the events that I should. As a standalone read, Rise would definitely be a 5, so take that as you will.