Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel, 430 pages
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Chronicling the rise of the Keepers, this is the stunning prequel to Andrea Cremer's internationally bestselling Nightshade trilogy!
Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother's life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind.
With action, adventure, magic, and tantalizing sensuality, this book is as fast-paced and breathtaking as the Nightshade novels.
I liked Ember, the main character. She's a strong, courageous, determined heroine who chooses to become a knight over becoming a wife and mother. Barrow is her trainer and he definitely had that Dimitri from Vampire Academy vibe going on. The strong silent swoony type with principles and morals so that even though he's obviously attracted to Ember (and of course she doesn't see it) he resists. At first. I enjoyed how their relationship slowly developed. Alastair, I just couldn't stand him. He's just so weak and just...ugh. How were he and Ember such great friends growing up?
I enjoyed the mythology, the good versus evil, the camaraderie between the knights, and the temptation of power that leads to the rift. If you've read the Nightshade series, this prequel provides the backstory to how it all began and if you haven't read that series, you really don't have to. I do wish there had been more training for Ember, there was just a couple of scenes and I also wish there had been a bit more action (the beginning is a bit slow). A solid read and I'm definitely reading the next one.
Posted by: Pam