I loved the time as blood world building element in Everless, so you know I was so excited for the sequel, Evermore. And, after finishing, I am so in love with the interaction between stories, legends, and reality.
Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: She is the Alchemist, and Caro—a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood—is the Sorceress.
The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Now Jules must piece together the stories of her past lives to save the person who has captured her heart in this one.
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I had to actually go back and re-read the ending of Everless to prepare myself for Evermore. And soon you all can read both back to back! In Everless I feel like we were just getting to know Jules and now we can really see her grow. Jules has to figure out the type of person she wants to be – if she has what it takes to unravel this mystery and save those that she loves.
And I love Jules. Jules is such a tender character I want to protect. She is smart, talented, but we first see her here as in such a vulnerable place. She wants so badly to be believed, to be heard, and to protect the ones we love. And because of that, she becomes someone we instantly want to support. Haven’t we all felt a little misunderstood, misheard, and desperate to protect those in our heart?
And Jules has been really attacked in this book, which makes her journey even more emotional. Her consistent desire to protect her loved ones, to help her country, and to become someone more than herself. She really has to embrace the idea of her strength, even when she doesn’t feel strong, when she feels backed into a corner. In this way, I think she became really relatable. Because it’s so hard to feel confident, strong, when we doubt ourselves. For Jules it’s even more pronounced.
So Evermore becomes this adventure and personal growth story. As Jules experiences what it’s like when one word, one story turns you innto the thing people turn on with the flick of a finger. Where now you’re the witch and no one remembers the dinners you shared or when you helped them in their time of need. Our ‘villain’, which is tricky because it ends up being Jules’ oldest friend, wants to break her down, to destroy everything she loves. And Jules has to figure out if she has it in her heart to do what it takes to stop Caro.
And so a big theme in Evermore is the question of how do we protect the people we love? Even when they’ve become someone we don’t recognize anymore. Do we protect those we love with a lie? Sometimes it becomes necessary to become the villain, to leave our friends in ignorance, and in the shallow arms of protection. Jules has to struggle throughout the book to figure out how to do what’s right, even when it’s hard, even when it requires lying to those we are trying to protect.
In a way Evermore asks us what we can believe about ourselves when we’ve lost everything else. When we are broken down to the ground, and how we can push ourselves up. Throughout the book, I appreciated the interaction Jules has with the legend of the Alchemist and the Sorceress. The depth of the past is only heightened in Evermore and if you loved that aspect of Everless I know you’ll love the sequel. It examines what we will sacrifices to stop evil, those we love who are corrupted by power and what we can bear to lose. Evermore is a story about magic that defies time, of blood that fuels a kingdom, and a friendship that can destroy it all.