For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt color-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in hopes that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will another legend rise to take his place?
Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile, has returned to the Core. Determined to bring peace back to mankind at the edge of his sword, he must overcome or unite the treacherous Gold families of the Core and face down Darrow over the skies of war-torn Mercury.
But theirs are not the only fates hanging in the balance.
On Luna, Mustang, Sovereign of the Republic, campaigns to unite the Republic behind her husband. Beset by political and criminal enemies, can she outwit her opponents in time to save him?
Once a Red refugee, young Lyria now stands accused of treason, and her only hope is a desperate escape with unlikely new allies.
Abducted by a new threat to the Republic, Pax and Electra, the children of Darrow and Sevro, must trust in Ephraim, a thief, for their salvation—and Ephraim must look to them for his chance at redemption.
As alliances shift, break, and re-form—and power is seized, lost, and reclaimed—every player is at risk in a game of conquest that could turn the Rising into a new Dark Age.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I finished this one and I needed some time for my thoughts to settle because, wow, what a fantastic ride. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of this series and I think the books just keep getting better as they go along.
In this sequel we’re once again following the characters we did with the start of the new trilogy. Although there is a bit at the beginning of the book that I believe is in the future the rest of the book picks up where the previous one left off and goes from there. And boy, what a ride this was. What an experience.
One thing I love so much about this new trilogy is that it deals with the messy nature of trying to topple an empire. It’s been ten years. They’re still fighting a war on the rim against the last vestiges of the old empire. Meanwhile the newly formed government is not very stable. People are tired of paying for a war and just want it to be over. There’s new found money from war profiteers, new people with power and things they want to do with that power. There are folks of the older guard who are not quite on board with all the changes. There is an inundation of refugees. Now that the old systems are gone, are the new systems really any better? Power vacuums create problems everywhere. Old allies are deciding their priorities lie elsewhere. Etc, etc. There is just SO MUCH going on in this story and I think it’s done so very well.
The groundwork for this volume has all been laid out in the previous book and this one is now free to let loose and do what this series does best–twists, turns, unbelievable death defying moments and some not so death defying (unfortunately). This book is incredibly violent and filled with horrific moments of evil. It’s also filled with heroism and sacrifice. You see both the best and the worst of humanity here. There is betrayl as well as redemption. This book made me feel almost every emotion in the spectrum from fear to sorrow to intense joy.
One of the other things I love that this book explores is the different sides of an issue where no one is really wrong, per se. This is done really well when you contrast Darrow and Lysander. Neither of them are intrinsically bad people even though they’ve both done horrific things. They both essentially want the same thing–peace–but just think there are two different ways to go about it. I think the main difference is that Lysander remains a bit of an idealist, Darrow is a hardened cynic and believes in a blunt approach. He’s also more all or nothing while Lysander is happy to restore some older systems in new ways if it helps restore a sense of order where people know their place in society. It’s interesting to see these views contrasted and kind of root for each of them throughout (well, mostly). I also love how being in terrible circumstances together can sometimes forge a bond between unlikely characters as they have better insights to each other through nessesity.
Overall, I LOVED this book. It left me floored and wondering what the hell I had just read. What a fantastic ride, I can’t wait for the next book. 5/5 stars.