Saturday, 7 May 2016

Aurora - Everealm #4

Stolen power has been returned to its rightful owners, causing a significant shift in the dynamic of magics in Everealm. The surge of new sorceresses with little or no control over their magic are the perfect targets for the cursed creatures who roam the realm. A crisis occurs that even the Elder Mage may not be able to control on her own.

Vengeful kings seek to punish all who wronged them, but even the best laid plans can go awry. And the threat of secrets being revealed may end new romances before they can even begin to flourish.

As the sun rises over Everealm, a new chapter begins with the beautiful Aurora, Book Four of the Everealm Series.

Quick disclaimer - I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, but that has not influenced my review any. There are no glowing reviews in exchange for freebies here!

It's no secret that I love the Everealm series! I mean, the name alone practically screams fantasy heaven. But while a lot of series these days clock in at three books, or the increasingly popular two, has Everealm run out of steam? Hell no! This time around we've got The Enemy That Rose From The Ashes, an invasion of murderous imps, assasinated kings, the return of the villainous Silas and the action now takes place across no less than seven kingdoms.

I was so happy to see Bree and Rowan finally get married! It's their journey that we've followed from the opening of Everealm and I'm a sucker for a happy ending, so it was lovely to see these two finally walk down the aisle, although Rianne and Zander remain my favourite pairing. So many books focus stubbornly on a single MC, to the point where every new character introduced is only there to add something to their story, which can make a series seem confined when it should be expanding outwards. But Everealm isn't afraid to introduce new, fully realised characters, without losing sight of the old ones. I loved reading more about Tristain and Sera and their slightly strained romance, and Bree and Rowan's daughter Sarita gets a bigger role here (in preparation for a new series perhaps?). The only exception to the list of wonderful new characters is Penny. The village girl turned knight of the realm, on paper she should be fantastic, but for some reason I just never took to her. Maybe because I like Finn and Adelphine as a couple so much, and she's an unecessary source of conflict for them.

The good thing though is that if you don't like one of the characters, there are plenty more to follow. And if you do like a character, you're just extra pleased to see them turn up in the next chapter. It's nice to find a book that gives its readers credit for being able to follow multiple storylines without feeling the need to tie them all back to one plot thread or person. The characters feel organic and real, not just ciphers put in place to support a by-the-numbers MC.

One of the things that I love so much about this series is that, even with so much going on with so many characters and kingdoms, it's never a chore to read. There's plenty of mystery and intrigue, but there's no special snowflake character who's secretive backstory we're trying to unpick or single conspiracy that will explain everything at the end of the book. It feels boundless, and J.D. Wright is never afraid to pick up a new story thread and weave it in with the others. But she doesn't do a George RR Martin with it was go off on a tangent that is totally irrelevant to our established characters and stories, it just adds another layer to what's already there.

I'm really interested to see where this series is going. With so many characters and lands now spreading out across Everealm, I'm starting to look for the breadcrumbs to the end game. There's still a wonderful mix of fairytale-esque, kind of whimsical events and quite dark undertones, but all the pieces are starting to fall into place for an epic showdown.

The only downside I found to this book was that, similarly to book two in the series Wildfire, there's a bit of a lack of bad guy here. King Leonard is an ass, but he's not quite up to scratch. Silas was an epic villain in book one and made a welcomed return in book three, but he didn't quite live up to my "villain in chief" expectations. He certainly has his moments - killing off kings left, right and centre - but is MIA for much of the book. Still, it's a nitpick in a book I really enjoyed, and he's perfectly placed at the end of Aurora to be back with a bang in Dynasty. Now begins the wait for book five!


1 comment:

  1. I've never even heard of this series.... I should rally get on that. Great review!

    Carrie @The Book Goddess