431 Pages (Hardcover)
August 7, 2012
Chronicling the rise of the Keepers, this is the stunning prequel to Andrea Cremer's internationally bestselling Nightshade trilogy!This is going to be a short review simply because I loved this book so hard that I cannot form the words to explain it. If you loved the Nightshade series, or if you love history (real and fake), this novel will appeal to you as much as it did to me.
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.
When this novel is described as a "prequel' to Nightshade, the publishers really mean a prequel. As in 500 years earlier. With the exception of one character, you are not going to be hanging out with any of the Nightshade gang. This is the story of the Witch's War, how they got their magic, who is who and what went down. It answers a lot of questions that I had from the Nightshade series, but it offered an entertaining read all of its own caliber.
I love history. Real, fake, I love it all. Seriously love it. I am taking two AP history classes next year just because I like it that much. If you love history, or have just a mild fascination, Rift would be a great novel for you. It is heavy on the history, so if you are a fan of Nightshade, but not necessarily historical fiction, don't be fooled into thinking that the two series are one in the same.
What I really appreciated about this novel is that the "fake" history of the Witches' War is mingled in with very real and accurate history of the medieval times. In addition, the language is spot on. Often times in historical fiction, especially in YA, the language makes the characters sound either naive because the author wants them to sound more proper, or the language is an odd mix of current and historical lingo. The only way I can describe it is that the language used in Rift sounds right, like there is no doubt that those characters really would speak like that if they were alive during that time period.
Overall, I do not have a single negative thing to say. I loved it so much I can't even explain.