Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Shattered Realms (Book 2)
Publication: HarperTeen (April 4, 2017)
Description: From New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima, this is a thrilling story of the unfathomable costs of war, the allure of dark magic, and two principled and conflicted characters drawn together despite everything they stand to lose.
Alyssa ana’Raisa, the reluctant princess heir to the Gray Wolf throne of the Fells, feels more comfortable striking with a sword than maneuvering at court. After a brush with death, Lyss goes on the offensive, meaning to end the war that has raged her whole life. If her gamble doesn’t pay off, she could lose her queendom before she even ascends to the throne. Across enemy lines in Arden, young rising star Captain Halston Matelon is being sent on ever more dangerous assignments. Between the terrifying rumors of witches and wolfish warriors to the north and his cruel king at home, Hal is caught in an impossible game of life and death.
Lyss and Hal’s intricately linked fates become inseparable when they fall under the shadow of a new enemy—a force that threatens to extinguish the last rays of hope in the Shattered Realms.
My Thoughts: SHADOWCASTER is the sequel to FLAMECASTER and follows a different set of characters as they fight a war that has gone on for at least twenty-five years. Lyss is the heir to the Queendom but is much more comfortable in her role as Captain Gray leading her troops in the army. She has lost her older sister, father, and older brother to the fighting and is her mother's only surviving child. She has come to believe that the war will never be done unless they take the fight onto the enemy's soil.
Captain Hal Matelon is one of the king of Arden's soldiers. However, since his father is one of the King's Thanes and in a conflict with the king, Hal finds himself leading troops on what is essentially a suicide mission. While the king won't kill him outright, he doesn't hesitate to put Hal in situations where the enemy will do it for him.
Breon is a young, leaf-addicted musician who has no memory of his life before the age of ten. When his handle gets him a gig using his magical talent to lure a girlie into the hands of a shy suitor, Breon finds himself inadvertently luring Lyss into an ambush which is designed to lead to her assassination. Breon's magemark on the back of his neck makes him a target for more than Lyss's forces.
Lyss survives which adds to her desire to take the fight into Arden. Breon flees but is eventually captured by Lyss's allies. Hal is also captured by Lyss when she takes the town in Arden he was sent to subdue. Lyss and Hal fall in love but it is a Romeo and Juliet sort of business. They are enemies from different countries. He doesn't know she's the heir to the throne, And he wants to escape to try to find out what has happened to his mother and sister who have come under the control of the king of Arden.
The story also gave us a cameo appearance by Jenna and her dragon Flamecaster who were major characters in the first book. This was a great story but with a major cliffhanger ending. Checking Chima's website lets me know that this is book 2 of 4. I can't wait to know what happens next.
Maybe she'd be better off crossing the border on her own -- just one gray wolf with a longbow, a sword, and a thirst for vengeance. She'd keep ranging south, taking lesser prey along the way, until she found the king of Arden. And then she would show him what it was like to be hunted.I got this one for review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.