Nightshade Prequel #1
Author: Andrea Cremer
Reading Level: YA
Release Date: August 7th 2012
Review Source: Author
Summary: (from goodreads) 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 was excited to jump back in the world revolving around Nightshade. Of course once I started reading there was little to compare or remind me of Calla, Ren or Shay and the woods they ran in. Rift is completely something else. While in the Nightshade Trilogy you had paranormal aspects, here it was all about the magic and its history. Of course the Nightshade books did contain magic, because that was how the wolves could change and finally they became their true selves in the last book.
In Rift, Andrea takes us back to when it was about warriors who fought battles. Women secretly were initiated in to the Conatus group and fought alongside but hidden from the church. The history is believable and very descriptive. That has always been one of my favorite traits about Andrea's writing. We meet Ember the daughter of a nobleman that wants only for his daughters to marry and prosper as wives. Ember doesn't have that same plan in her mind. She wants to enroll in the guard like her best friend Alistair. This is possible since her father made a deal that if his wife was saved when she was delivering Ember, that at the age of 16 Ember would be promised to the group Conatus. So when the day comes to collect, her father tries to go back on his deal. This of course doesn't play well with the guard that has come to collect Ember. After a fight is completed and Lord Barrow has won, Ember father has no choice but to let her go.
Ember is off to her new life which she will pledge herself to and become the warrior she has always dreamt of becoming. She will keep the secret and follow all rules. Seems Ember arrived at the wrong time and things are starting to unravel and make themselves known. Dark and Evil things and forces will test not just Ember but everyone in the Guard. Lives will be lost. What will be the future of women warriors?
Again I mention the way Andrea describes the vivid scenes and places are very realistic. Where I had a little trouble connecting was with some of the characters and how they played their roles. Even Ember at times I thought could have advanced more at times. I did get a bit confused when dark forces started to come into the story and they jumping back and forth between point of views. Rift is definitely darker then the Nightshades series and I enjoyed that. Its possible for the next installment, I won't be lost since I should know who and what people and things are better.
One of my favorite items in this book are the names Andrea gave to Ember's weapons. I couldn't have picked better names myself. They are perfect for Ember. Hoping in next installment, we will see more of Ember and her weapons destroying evils that lurk.