The second book in the Threats of Sky and Sea series is out, and if you haven’t read either of these books, I think you are missing out. Fans of books about elemental magic like Marie Lu’s The Young Elites or Mary Weber’s Storm Siren series will definitely enjoy these reads. The writing is strong, the characters are likeable, and the price is right, especially for kindle readers – both books together will put you back only $5, which I think is an excellent bargain.
Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.
Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.
But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.
Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.
I adore magic and princesses and barmaids, so I thought this was a great read. It does take a little while to figure out exactly what is going on, but stick with it because it is worth it. The major characters are well developed and thoughtful. I was especially drawn to the prince, who is just the right amount of charming and playful. The elemental magic in this book is well written, and it is easy to understand. I did think the plot was a little predictable – I guessed the big surprise long before the characters caught on, but it really didn’t take away from my enjoyment. For only a dollar, this is a great find.
War draws closer, like a tide to the shore.
Bree and her friends have escaped the clutches of the Egrian King, but their troubles are far from over. Still reeling from the secrets that drew new breath when her father took his last, Bree sets off for the safety of Nereidium– the kingdom she’s just learned is hers.
But with the King’s ire at its peak and war a certainty, Nereidium is no longer safe. As Prince Caden rallies the Egrian people against his tyrant father, Bree, Princess Aleta, and Tregle race to the Nereid shore to warn them of the incoming danger—and to put the Nereid Princess on the throne.
The only trouble there: Bree can’t bring herself to reveal that the Princess is her.
It’s not a dilemma she can waste time pondering. With a new weapon in his arsenal, the King’s strikes are sure to be bolder than ever before. And Bree may not be ready to wear a crown… but she won’t let her kingdom down without a fight.
Threats of Sky and Sea was a great read, and I was quite happy with this sequel. If you haven’t read the first book, you need to do that before you begin this one. Bree’s appeal for me has always been her obstinate attitude about her role in her new life, so I was glad to see she continued to be a complex and dynamic character who maintained the practicality of her roots as a barmaid. With the death of her father and his nemesis, her internal conflicts shift and she is trying to hold herself together. She is keeping quite a few secrets that all threaten to catch up with her which makes for a nice bit of suspense and tension. Prince Caden was one of my favorite characters from the minute he introduced himself as Rick, and even though he has to give up some of his Devil-may-care attitude in this book, his character takes a huge step towards resolving the conflict he has with his father’s rule. The romantic relationship that began just as Threats was ending picks back up in this story, but don’t expect a lot of time spent developing that aspect – it is there but it is not detailed because this book is one about pure survival. The plot focuses on Bree and her companions’ flight from the kingdom, and there is plenty of action and elemental surprises to keep readers engaged. I wasn’t happy with the resolution – it was a cliffhanger, but I really like the direction this series is headed, and I definitely want to get my hands on the next book. Language and situations are appropriate for high school readers, but adult readers of YA will enjoy it as well.
I received an ARC of Riot of Storm and Smoke from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.