Read my review to the first book in the series, Aurelia.
This review is free of spoilers.
This review is free of spoilers.
Welcome back to Aurelia's world. She's no longer a friend in her kingdom - not even a guest. And yet, her exile has given her the chance to get away and travel the world. She has wanted to see the deserts, the frontier, to talk to the people of Tyralt and seek their needs...and now she is finally going. Robert is coming too. Robert, who kissed her that day after their ride together. Robert, who has been her friend since they were young and who just recently saved her life...multiple times. Aurelia doesn't know the dangers that await her in her exile, but she does know that she has to get away from her murdering family and to possibly even find a way to save her kingdom from destruction.
If only she wasn't falling in love with Robert... Saving her country could be so much easier.
My thoughts -
After waiting nearly a year to read this book, it's finally here. It's not just a thought or an idea anymore, it's actually in my hands. And I have had the immense honor and pleasure of being one of the very first to read it.
I was a fan of Aurelia from the very start, when I read it in three days (reading the whole last half on the third day, it was that good). But I have to admit, I didn't give much thought to what would happen in book #2. I honestly couldn't think of the wonders that I could be possibly be introduced to in book #2. There were so many options...so many ways it could go...I contented myself to waiting for the book to come out.
Oh boy. OOOOOHH boy. Let me just say first that Anne Osterlund is one talented writer. Her skill and style are so perfect for the type of books that she writes. I was so amazed by what I read when I first opened the book, how she describes everything, how she incorporates the world around her characters into how they feel. Really amazing. It was action packed and full to the brim with more mystery. The hard lives of the the people in Tyralt, the secrets behind Aurelia's mother's disappearance... It all unfolded with suspense and kept me sucked in without falter.
And then there are the characters. Aurelia keeps true to her personality and what she believes in. She is headstrong and a great leader. And all the while she is growing and maturing. Robert is the same kind-hearted, giving, loving young man. And he, too, grows and matures. By the end of this book they've been through so much together that you can't help but feel attached to them, even more so than in Aurelia.
Favorite character -
Aurelia and Robert tie. I know, I know, they're both lead roles. But I love them too much to be able to pick anyone else. At the end of the first book, I thought I loved Robert...but now I love him even more! You just can't help but respect him!
Favorite aspects/scenes -
The way Aurelia and Robert grow during their journey. It truly is an amazing example of growing and learning (and how to build characters well in a story). They mold into who they are - together and apart. (Also, until half-way through this book, Robert was still a boy... At the end, however, he was a man. It was amazing to see that transition and for it to be so clear and perfect for the story!) And that brings me to my second and third favorite parts of the book...the love story and the different ways the characters sacrifice during their journey. Seriously, this book is awesome.
One word to sum up this book -
Unexpected. Really and truly, I was not expecting this book to be what it was. The opening scenes, the journey the characters take together, the ways they grow, the places they see - it was an altogether perfect second installation to the books about Aurelia's life. I honestly don't think I can wait much longer to see what's next in their adventurous life together in Tyralt.
For the parents -
There's really nothing to complain about in this book. One use of the word "bastard". Some kissing (nondescript), holding (nondescript), and a reference to Aurelia stopping them from doing anything (also nondescript). So clean and sweet and innocent, and they love each other so much. Recommended ages 12 or 13 and older - adult readers should read this too! :)
Be on the look out for my review with Anne Osterlund, coming soon! :)