Thursday, February 11, 2016

Title: The Skylighter
Author: Becky Wallace
Series: The Keepers' Chronicles, book #2
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: March 22, 2016
Source: from publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Johanna and Rafi are in a race against time to save their country before a power-mad Keeper destroys everything they hold dear in the “enthralling magical world” (Cinda Williams Chima, author of The Heir Chronicles) introduced in The Storyspinner.

As the last of the royal line, Johanna is the only person who can heal a magical breach in the wall that separates her kingdom of Santarem from the land of the Keepers, legendary men and women who wield elemental magic. The barrier protects Santarem from those Keepers who might try to take power over mere humans…Keepers who are determined to stop Johanna and seize the wall’s power for themselves.

And they’re not the only ones. As the duchys of Santarem descend into war over the throne, Johanna relies more than ever on the advice of her handsome companion, Lord Rafael DeSilva. But Rafi is a duke too, and his people come first. As their friendship progresses into the beginnings of a tender relationship, Johanna must wonder: is Rafi looking out for her happiness, or does he want the throne for himself?

With war on the horizon, Johanna and Rafi dodge treacherous dukes and Keeper assassins as they race to through the countryside, determined to strengthen the wall before it’s too late…even if it means sacrificing their happiness for the sake of their world.

What a great ending! I didn't realize this was a duology until I was getting close to the end and it seemed like the story was actually going to wrap up in this book, so I checked and yep, this is the conclusion. Hallelujah for duologies! I love when an author keeps their story concise and clean and doesn't try to stretch it for three books when two will more than suffice.

I'm not usually a big fan of sooo many alternating perspectives, but in this duet, it works, and it does so beautifully. It's not like seeing situations from more than one point-of-view. Rather, each vantage point allows the reader to see the full story, not just what's happening in one locale but all over the country, from the sea to the wall protecting Santarem from the Keepers. Each perspective contains vital information and introspection, resulting in a fuller, more complete story. I only wish we'd have gotten to see Maribelle's point-of-view, though I understand why we couldn't.

With all of these perspectives, one would think that betrayal and deceit would be easier to detect, but that's not necessarily the case. Ulterior motives are hard to guess and you just never know what someone might be willing to sacrifice, even if it's for the greater good. I loved how unpredictable this story was, how it constantly left me unsure of whom to trust.

I think the aspect that I enjoyed the most, though, was that every time I thought this story was about to get all tropey on me, it went in the opposite direction, leaving me surprised and elated. For instance, when a situation arises where the love interest might push the heroine away for her own safety/best interest, he does something else entirely. Time and again I would cringe, thinking I knew exactly what the characters were going to do, yet they'd surprise me at nearly every turn.

I do recommend re-reading The Storyspinner before picking up this sequel/final book. The Skylighter picks up right where the first book left off, but with all of the perspectives, you're bound to need a refresher. There were definitely details I would have missed, had I not re-read the previous book first. Additionally, I think this series would be great on audio, with a full cast performing it, simply because of all of those points of view.

I'm very satisfied with this conclusion. So very satisfied. The pacing was perfect, the writing was spectacular, and the story was exceptional. I loved The Storyspinner when I read it last year, and I'm so happy that these characters got the ending they deserved.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

In second grade, Becky Wallace had to sit in the corner because she refused to write anything besides princess stories and fairy tales (and because she talked too much). Her time in isolation gave her plenty of opportunities to dream up the fantasy worlds she's been dabbling with ever since. She was lucky enough to find her own, real-life prince charming. They have four munchkins and live in a happy little town outside Houston, Texas.

Find Becky:

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  1. This series is actually new to me, but I like duologies so I might pick it up when I can! :D

  2. I am so excited to read this one! I'm not usually a fan of multiple POVs either but I thought it worked in The Storyspinner and I'm happy it worked here as well. I can't wait to read this one and see how it all ends. Everyone I know who has read it already has loved it and I'm glad you did as well. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

  3. I haven't read Storyspinner. But after reading your review, it sounds like a book worth reading. Oh don't you just love it when the characters get their comeuppance? Lol.


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