2020 seems to be the year for sequels! I was so excited for As the Shadow Rises because, you may have seen, my love for There Will Come a Darkness! I’m not going to lie, I feel good that some of my predictions were spot on. SO much happens in this sequel, but it retains the core of why I love this series. Keep reading this book review to find out all the things I loved about As the Shadow Rises!
The Last Prophet has been found, yet he sees destruction ahead.
In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed There Will Come a Darkness, kingdoms have begun to fall to a doomsday cult, the magical Graced are being persecuted, and an ancient power threatens to break free. But with the world hurtling toward its prophesized end, Anton’s haunting vision reveals the dangerous beginnings of a plan to stop the Age of Darkness.
As Jude, Keeper of the Order of the Last Light, returns home in disgrace, his quest to aid the Prophet is complicated by his growing feelings for Anton. Meanwhile, the assassin known as the Pale Hand will stop at nothing to find her undead sister before she dies for good, even if it means letting the world burn. And in Nazirah, Hassan, the kingdom-less Prince, forms a risky pact to try to regain his throne. When the forces of light and darkness collide in the City of Mercy, old wounds are reopened, new alliances are tested, and the end of the world begins.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
As the Shadow Rises is like watching the reckoning of all the consequences from There Will Come a Darkness pass. Not THE Reckoning, but we watch the ripples of their actions spread out throughout the entire book. The conflicts of faith, of our heart, and the ethics which are tested. This sequel retains all the elements I loved from There Will Come a Darkness – like the emotional characters and multiple POV – and adds a whole new level as history begins to unravel. Are we sure that the world around us, the beliefs we hold dear to us, unfolded the way we were taught? Were our heroes not human too?
In As the Shadow Rises all our old enemies return back from our nightmares. It’s a sequel of fear, power struggles in the void, and uncertainty in the shadow of change to come. It is action packed as allegiances change with the slightest breeze, everyone looking out for themselves. Some of my favorite characters ended up taking twists and turns I was NOT expecting. I loved watching the characters we thought we knew, be put through even more than they imagined, coming out the other side something else.
There’s ton of emotional angst, especially as one of my favorite queer couples evolve, but it’s also a book extremely concerned with power. Powers which turn on their wielders, which have the ability to corrupt, and to change history. Our fears our lives won’t mean anything and the utter terror when we ponder of it also holds the potential for something disastrous. History only reflects that of the winner, and what do we do with those feelings of rage, revenge, and resentment?
As the Shadow Rises contemplates questions of who we want to be. What forces will we let control our lives? No mater how we were raised, or what lies within us, is our destiny our own to shape? This will be an ongoing question for the next book as it becomes increasingly important in this sequel. Power is an increasingly difficult, fragile, treacherous thing. And do all empires have to fall?