Title: Rising Like A Storm
Series: The Wrath of Ambar #2
Author: Tanaz Bhathena
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: June 22nd, 2021 (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)
Synopsis: With King Lohar dead and a usurper queen in power, Gul and Cavas face a new tyrannical government that is bent on killing them both. Their roles in King Lohar’s death have not gone unnoticed, and the new queen is out for blood. What she doesn’t know is that Gul and Cavas have a connection that runs deeper than romance, and together, they just might have the strength and magic to end her for good.
Then a grave mistake ends with Cavas taken prisoner by the government. Gul must train an army of warriors alone. With alliances shifting and the thirst for vengeance growing, the fate of Ambar seems ever more uncertain. It will take every ounce of strength, love, and sacrifice for Gul and Cavas to reach their final goal―and build a more just world than they’ve ever known.
Thank you to the publisher, Penguin Teen Canada, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
With the usurper Queen Shyla on Ambar’s throne, Gul and Cavas are fugitives wanted for the death of King Lohar. But Gul finds out that the connection between her and Cavas is more than it appears – he is fated to be her partner in magic and love, and this may be just what they need to save Ambar. She must learn to use her magic and get it under control, but when Cavas is taken prisoner, she must also train an army of warriors alone for the fast approaching conflict.
I read Hunted By The Sky over a year ago, and remembered very little of what happened which made it harder than usual to get into the mood of the story. This book starts a few months later, unfortunately, and there were very few reminders of where the story had left things in the first book in terms of the plot, so it took a few chapters before things started to make sense again. Most of the world and background was familiar however, and I enjoyed the additional history and lore that built upon it. The writing was really good and it made visualizing the story easy, particularly the battle scenes, which made for some exciting, action-packed moments.
Gul and Cavas almost felt like brand new characters at first, since I’d forgotten so much, but within a couple of chapters that familiar dynamic between the two was back. The author did a great job aptly capturing the rollercoaster of emotions these two characters go through as where Gul fears using her magic and hurting innocents, Cavas now thirsts for revenge, in the exact position Gul was previously. I really liked both their arcs and there was a lot more depth to the characters this time, and that includes the side characters as well. The romance was much better done in this book as well.
Similar to the first book, the pacing definitely continued to be an issue. There are initially long stretches of training montages which were rather boring after the first few as were the repeated internal dialogues of the characters, as they question each other’s devotion by turn. But the story does hit a turning point eventually after which it was quite the adventure, picking up the pace and drawing the reader completely into the plot. I was a little disappointed that this second book also focused on Ambar as I would have liked to know more about the other kingdoms mentioned.
Overall, this was a pretty good sequel and this is a series I would definitely recommend for fantasy fans, though I would suggest that the books are best read close together. I’m excited to see what this author will write next!
Rising Like A Storm releases on June 22nd, 2021.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
All quotes in this review were taken from an advance reader’s edition and may differ from the final version of the book.
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