Thursday, March 3, 2016

Book Review: The Skylighter

Title: The Skylighter (The Keepers' Chronicles #2)
Author: Becky Wallace
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Romance
Publisher: Maragaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: March 22, 2016
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Johanna and Rafi are in a race against time to save their country before a power-mad Keeper destroys everything they hold dear in the “enthralling magical world” (Cinda Williams Chima, author of The Heir Chronicles) introduced in The Storyspinner.
As the last of the royal line, Johanna is the only person who can heal a magical breach in the wall that separates her kingdom of Santarem from the land of the Keepers, legendary men and women who wield elemental magic. The barrier protects Santarem from those Keepers who might try to take power over mere humans…Keepers who are determined to stop Johanna and seize the wall’s power for themselves.
And they’re not the only ones. As the duchys of Santarem descend into war over the throne, Johanna relies more than ever on the advice of her handsome companion, Lord Rafael DeSilva. But Rafi is a duke too, and his people come first. As their friendship progresses into the beginnings of a tender relationship, Johanna must wonder: is Rafi looking out for her happiness, or does he want the throne for himself?
With war on the horizon, Johanna and Rafi dodge treacherous dukes and Keeper assassins as they race to through the countryside, determined to strengthen the wall before it’s too late…even if it means sacrificing their happiness for the sake of their world (goodreads).

The Skylighter is non-stop action, but you really need a re-read of The Storyspinner to enjoy it to the fullest. 
Plot: The Skylighter picks up right where The Storyspinner ended. Do you remember what happened? I barely did. From there, The Skylighter picks up speed and we're introduced more into the Keepers involvement with politics in Santiago. This book was very much The Keepers novel which was very interesting and at times emotional, but yet I felt that more of this storyline should have been introduced in The Storyspinner

Like The Storyspinner, The Skylighter is told from many perspectives, I believe there are six perspectives in this one. I can't emphasize how important it is to re-read The Storyspinner. I think that if I had re-read The Storyspinner right before diving into this book that I would have rated this one higher. Wallace has the talent of dropping little cliffhangers at the each of chapter and giving the reader just enough information to keep you interested. 

Characters: Here's a confession, I forgot a good handful of characters from this series. This added an extra layer of frustration for me during The Skylighter because I remembered the characters being my favorite aspect of The Storyspinner. After a few hundred pages, I was able to place characters to their storyline, but it took a really long time. 

But, you may ask, where is the romance? It is there and it is everything that you want for Rafi and Johanna. They had plenty of swoon-worthy scenes, but most importantly, they were able to explore the consequences of their relationship. I always enjoy when characters can look outside themselves to see what implications their actions have. 

In addition to our leading lady and her beau, I was really impressed by Dom's growth. In The Storyspinner, he was the "fun" brother whose sole purpose was to flirt with a girl or two. In Rafi's absence, he learns and grows quickly and I lived for his chapters.

Worldbuilding: The Storyspinner took place mostly in Santiago - Rafi's domain, but the sky is the limit in The Skylighter. We explore other dukedoms and how the political climate in each land affects Rafi and his people. 

I always love how some fantasy books borrow from cultures that really exist, predominately they are European or Asian cultures. In these series, the lands closely resemble Brazil. It's so unique and Wallace's dedication to her world is astounding. 

Short N Sweet: If you read The Storyspinner right before reading this one, you're sure to love it!



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