The Last Prophet has been found, yet he sees destruction ahead.
In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed There Will Come a Darkness, kingdoms have begun to fall to a doomsday cult, the magical Graced are being persecuted, and an ancient power threatens to break free. But with the world hurtling toward its prophesized end, Anton’s haunting vision reveals the dangerous beginnings of a plan to stop the Age of Darkness.
As Jude, Keeper of the Order of the Last Light, returns home in disgrace, his quest to aid the Prophet is complicated by his growing feelings for Anton. Meanwhile, the assassin known as the Pale Hand will stop at nothing to find her undead sister before she dies for good, even if it means letting the world burn. And in Nazirah, Hassan, the kingdom-less Prince, forms a risky pact to try to regain his throne. When the forces of light and darkness collide in the City of Mercy, old wounds are reopened, new alliances are tested, and the end of the world begins.
Buddy read time again and this time Susan and I were joined by Lili and Maddie! We had all read and loved There Will Come a Darkness, so when we all realised we had the ARC for the sequel a buddy read was a no brainer. There are 3 or 4 time zones for this one, so I will tag everyone’s reviews once they are posted. Please note that this review will contain spoilers for book one in the series.
As the Shadow Rises picks up straight after the events of There Will Come a Darkness; Jude has found the last prophet in the least likely person, and after being attacked by the Godfire has no access to his Grace. He is constantly questioning his ability to lead, something which is not helped by his growing feelings for Anton; Anton has been sheparded away by the Order of the Last Light, unable to see the one person in the Order he trusts. He’s still not sure he is the ‘last prophet’and will have to prove it before the order before they will believe Jude’s claims; Ephyra is in search of the Chalice of Eleazar knowing that it is the only way to save Beru and maybe her once chance at redemption. But there are other people searching for it too and she will have to decide if her need for the Chalice outweighs her lack of trust; Beru knows her time is short now that she has cut ties with her sister, no longer allowing her to kill to further Beru’s life. She goes searching for a way to repent for the lives that have been taken in her name and finds the unlikeliest of allies along the way; Hassan, Khepri and his fellow countrymen are playing rebels, fighting the Witnesses when they attempt to take away the Graced. One night they happen upon a real rebellion, but the person in charge isn’t Hassan’s biggest fan and they will come to loggerheads over how the country should be ruled. What none of them realise is the paths they are on are linked, they are bound to each other and when they finally do meet, the fate of the world will hang in the balance of their actions.
The characters are definitely this series’ strongest point. I love me a morally grey MC and this book has them in spades. Not a single one of the characters is a traditionally good guy… they all have a little red in their ledger one way or another, and this makes for an intriguing and twist filled read. The characters I liked in book one weren’t necessarily my favourites in book two, partly down to the choices they made and partly because of the authors amazing writing. We know these characters are meant to be the good guys, meant to save the world… or damn it. But the journey they go on to get there is a long one, filled with some truly terrible decisions and some truly brilliant ones. You struggle to guess the journey each character will take, never quite knowing who you will like from one chapter to the next and I enjoyed the amount of WTF moments the author puts us through with them. That being said, we are introduced to a new character in this book that I found to be completely pointless to the storyline. They added no to little new information, and honestly I feel like the MC could have followed their storyline without the addition of said character with very little deviation from the story as is.
One thing As the shadow Rises doesn’t lack in is adventure and excitement. We are following the MC’s on a continent wide journey filled to the brim with Indiana Jones style moments that have you on the edge of your seat. There were moments where I was gripping my kindle so tightly my knuckles were white, the stakes are definitely high. Each character has their own journey, their own stake, but what they don’t realise until the end, thanks to the brilliance of Pool’s writing, is their paths are destined to cross, all of their journeys were meant to lead to each other, to a specific moment. And once we hit that part of the book, well all hell breaks loose and we get an unforgettable ending.
If you enjoy a richly built world, then this is definitely a series to check out. We travel from corner to corner of the continent the author has created. She brings the different customs and ways of life to life, and you get effortlessly swept away on the differing journeys our characters make. We all had so many guesses as to how the ARC of this story would turn out, who was the bad guy, what was such and such’s master plan etc, and I’m happy to say we nailed it with one or two but if this author is good at anything it is making her plot points virtually impossible to guess. We threw out idea after idea but absolutely no one came close to guessing the ending. Pool leaves no stone unturned in this book. Don’t get me wrong, it ends on one hell of a cliffhanger, that once again made me annoyed at reading an ARC and having so long to wait for the sequel, but we get answers to a lot of questions that the ending to There Will Come a Darkness left us with, and I think gives us a better understanding of where the story is going as a whole.
My one nit pick with this was that a lot happened at the ending, almost too much in my opinion. I found myself having to re read portions of it because I would get to a bit and be:
We get a lot of information in those final pages and I just think it could have been spread out a little bit more. But, like I said, that was definitely me nit picking. I loved the book as a whole. We see new sides to a lot of the characters, some good and some bad, and we learn an awful lot more about the prophecy that ties them all together. I think I can speak for us all when I say we are eager to get our hands on book three and find out whats going to happen to our faves!
What would your Grace be?
I think maybe the Grace of Blood? I like the idea of being able to heal people 😀
What would happen to your Grace on PMS?
Well… hopefully I wouldn’t go full Ephyra on everyone, but you never know!
If you liked… You will like As the Shadow Rises
This series is a mixture of the worldbuilding of Throne of Glass, the morally grey characters of The Court of Miracles and the adventure of Into the Crooked Place.