Friday, November 2, 2018

ARC Review: Umbertouched by Livia Blackbourne

Author: Livia Blackburne
Series: Rosemarked (Book 2)
Publication: Disney-Hyperion (November 6, 2018)

Description: The mission was a failure. Even though Zivah and Dineas discovered a secret that could bring down the empire, their information is useless without proof. Now, with their cover blown and their quest abandoned, their only remaining hope is to get home before Ampara brings the full might of its armies against their peoples.

As Shidadi and Dara alike prepare for war, Zivah and Dineas grapple with the toll of their time in the capital. After fighting alongside the Amparans against his own kin, can Dineas convince the Shidadi-and himself-where his loyalties lie? After betraying her healer's vows in Sehmar City, can Zivah find a way to redeem herself-especially when the Dara ask her to do the unthinkable? And after reluctantly falling in love, what will the two do with their lingering feelings, now that the Dineas from Sehmar City is gone forever? Time is running out for all of them, but especially Zivah whose plague symptoms surface once again. Now, she must decide how she'll define the life she has left.

Together, healer and warrior must find the courage to save their people, expose the truth, and face the devastating consequences headed their way.

My Thoughts: This sequel begins with Zivah and Dineas trying to get home and being trailed by the Amparan army. They believe that the rose plague was, in some cases, engineered by the emperor and his pet doctor. However, they are having a hard time finding proof that others will accept.

The story is told in chapters alternating between Zivah's and Dineas's point of view. They are sometimes together and sometimes pursuing their own avenues to their goal. The relationship they built in the first book is tested in this one. Zivah feels guilt for the potion she administered which let Dineas spy on the emperor's forces. Once the potion was counteracted Dineas regains his original personality but is left with flashbacks and hallucinations. He is also dealing with confusion about his loyalties which shows when he returns to his tribe. Many in his tribe don't trust him because of what he did while under the force of the potion.

Meanwhile, Zivah is trying to find out more about the rose plague. She is looking for a cure and knowing that she is under a death sentence. She survived the plague but was left contagious. This makes it almost impossible for her to continue her career as a healer.

I thought this was a well done fantasy. I liked the world building in the story. I also thought the characters were well developed. The novel was fast-paced and filled with action as the Darans and Shidadi have to battle the overwhelming number of Amparans who are trying to conquer them.

Favorite Quote:
"Rose plague might keep us from living a long life, but it can't keep us from living a full one.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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