Publisher’s summary: 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.
My take: Loved it!!! Yep…all I need are those two words! For a while now, I’ve been in a little bit of a reading/blogging funk, and Rift was just the book to pull me out of it! When I first picked up Rift, it did take me a while to get into the story, but I think it was mostly because I needed to allow myself to get connected with the time era of the story. But once I got myself there…I didn’t put it down until I finished it, and that is not an exaggeration. Even when I walked around my house to do something, Rift never left my hand.
What I loved most about this book was the main character, Ember. She grew up in a time era when women were only used for looking pretty, getting married and having children…where the daughters of rich men usually arranged for their own daughters to get married, just so they could acquire more power or land. Ember’s dream her whole life was to fight like a warrior, but her dad had other plans for her. Luckily for Ember, her father owed someone big time…and, as payback, they came to collect Ember literally in the beginning of the book.
I knew this book was a spin-off from the Nightshade trilogy, so I was more than thrilled to see what this story was all about. But when I first started reading it, I was concerned that there might not be any paranormal elements to it. But, as always, I was wrong! What I loved about this book is that we get to read about how magic was being used properly, but then how evil was unleashed into the world with evil magic as well. We actually read about the first wraith entering earth! It’s awesome!!! Now that I’ve read this one, it makes me want to go back and read the Nightshade trilogy again to see if there are any cool links.
I think the characters were all pretty predictable for me. I had natural instincts about each of the characters in this book, and I ended up being right about all of them. There were no surprises, but that could have been Andrea Cremer’s intention, but I couldn’t really tell you if that was her intent. There is one particular character early on that I thought was a prick…but then I’ve come to realize that he’s either a complete idiot, or he’s pure evil! I guess I’ll have to find out in the next book, and it’s going to drive me insane having to wait for it.
The only thing I was a little disappointed about in Rift is that I only got a very small piece of the romance in the end. But I can see how it was not really possible to put the romance in the majority of the book because, unfortunately, to make the romance work, it would have had to be an extremely long work-up. But other than that, the whole story was amazing, the ending was awesome, and the romance in the end was intense but cut very short. I can’t wait to see what the next book brings me!