Rift by Andrea Cremer

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Rift by Andrea Cremer

Buy Rift by Andrea Cremer at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: A book that initially takes its time, but will soon have you racing towards the dramatic final acts and leave you breathless for the next instalment. A fantastic addition to the Nightshade series.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 464 Date: January 2013
Publisher: Atom
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1907411403

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After a mysterious healer saved the life of Ember, and her mother, when she was just a baby, Ember was promised to the mysterious order Conatus. It's a debt her father is not happy about paying - determined to see his younger daughter married to a suitable husband, he tries everything in his power to stop Ember joining the order of knights.

What he doesn't know is that Ember secretly craves the promise of freedom offered by the order. Freedom from a marriage she doesn't want, freedom to exercise her unwomanly passions for weaponry and fighting. But Conatus holds many secrets, and Ember soon realises that the dangers she faces aren't just from recognisable enemies, but creatures from a netherworld she didn't know existed.

There to guide her is her mentor, Barrow Hess - deadly, powerful and enigmatic, whom Ember finds herself falling in love with. But when division arises within the ranks of the Conatus, just what side of the coming war will they fall on?

Rift is quite a hefty book with the sort of slow, gradual start that draws you into the world of its characters with its teasing, languid pace. As a historical fantasy novel, it's nice to have the time afforded to building the world, and it's not done at the expense of character drama and interest.

In fact, because we spend so much time getting to know Ember and her family, our intrigue and fascination with Conatus and their work hits a feverish point with Ember's, giving more power to the revelations of what they're really about. Of course, if you're familiar with the world of Cremer's original trilogy, it's not too difficult to guess what's going on behind the scenes, but the exact nature of the order is enough of a carrot to dangle before the nose of the reader.

Cremer applies the same languid pace to drawing out her relationships between the characters. Although Ember's feelings are established fairly early on, this is no rushed 'main characters see each other and fall into each other's arms' sort of romance. The amount of chemistry between the leads, and the number of near misses build a level of anticipation that has you racing through the pages to find out whether they will ever find a way to be together.

And the action isn't lacking either - Ember is not the sort of heroine who magically comes into incredible powers and never sheds a bead of sweat. She works hard, suffers injuries, and her determination only makes her more admirable and relatable. She's a character whose story I really enjoyed watching unfold.

There's a bit of heavy handed foreshadowing about Ember's sister Agnes, which is giving no conclusion in this book - though that's not to say the threads won't be picked up again in the next instalment - and though they were necessary to the story, I did find myself counting down the pages of Eira's perspective, racing to get back to Ember. But other than these minor niggles, this was a thoroughly enjoyable book that has left me not only wanting the next book, but to pick up Cremer's original trilogy where I left off while I'm waiting.

My thanks to the publisher for sending a copy.

If you haven't already, check out Witches War: Nightshade. For another highly romantic fantasy, Bookbag recommends Ice by Sarah Beth Durst.

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Buy Rift by Andrea Cremer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rift by Andrea Cremer at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Rift by Andrea Cremer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rift by Andrea Cremer at Amazon.com.


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