Review: Umbertouched

Title: Umbertouched (Rosemarked #2)
Author: Livia Blackburne
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Romance
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC

The mission was a failure. Even though Zivah and Dineas discovered a secret that could bring down the empire, their information is useless without proof. Now, with their cover blown and their quest abandoned, their only remaining hope is to get home before Ampara brings the full might of its armies against their peoples.
As Shidadi and Dara alike prepare for war, Zivah and Dineas grapple with the toll of their time in the capital. After fighting alongside the Amparans against his own kin, can Dineas convince the Shidadi—and himself—where his loyalties lie? After betraying her healer’s vows in Sehmar City, can Zivah find a way to redeem herself—especially when the Dara ask her to do the unthinkable? And after reluctantly falling in love, what will the two do with their lingering feelings, now that the Dineas from Sehmar City is gone forever? Time is running out for all of them, but especially Zivah whose plague symptoms surface once again. Now, she must decide how she’ll define the life she has left.
Together, healer and warrior must find the courage to save their people, expose the truth, and face the devastating consequences headed their way (goodreads).

Umbertouched takes the reader through an emotional adventure. 
Plot: Rosemarked introduced Dineas and Zivah who both had to try their hand at spying. After gathering all of the necessary intel and navigating their feelings for each other, Umbertouched consisted of the action that was necessary to face the Ampara empire. 

For a series finale, Umbertouched did a wonderful job of driving the climax and crafting an ending that left you both satisfied and sad to see these characters and world go. Compared to RosemarkedUmbertouched had considerably more action and allowed for  more reflection on the state of the world and the characters. 

Characters: While the war piqued my curiosity, Dineas and Zivah made this a series I couldn't put down. Zivah was the healer who was marked for death, while Dineas was suffering from belonging to no clan and not knowing how to process his actions in Ampara. What I liked about Zivah and Dineas was how shy and unsure they were around each other. They also knew how to put their emotions on hold while preparing for a war against a great nation. 

The minor characters from Rosemarked made appearances too and, like with Zivah and Dineas, surprised me with their bravery and actions. 

Worldbuilding: The majority of the worldbuilding was done in Rosemarked and I was surprised by  how easy it was to fall back into the world. We were able to see more of village life and learn about Shidaddi traditions and values. I'm still so happy to have read an Southeast Asian-inspired YA fantasy, more of this please!

Short N Sweet: Umbertouched was a worthy finale to Rosemarked that tugged at my heartstrings just enough. 

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