Talk about anticipated sequels! I’ve been looking forward to Redemptor since I finished Raybearer. I often worry with sequels that the pacing, action, or characters might let down. But Redemptor is a sequel that balances action and introspection – letting our doubts resound in our head. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
For the first time, an Empress Redemptor sits on Aritsar’s throne. To appease the sinister spirits of the dead, Tarisai must now anoint a council of her own, coming into her full power as a Raybearer. She must then descend into the Underworld, a sacrifice to end all future atrocities.
Tarisai is determined to survive. Or at least, that’s what she tells her increasingly distant circle of friends. Months into her shaky reign as empress, child spirits haunt her, demanding that she pay for past sins of the empire.
With the lives of her loved ones on the line, assassination attempts from unknown quarters, and a handsome new stranger she can’t quite trust . . . Tarisai fears the pressure may consume her. But in this finale to the Raybearer duology, Tarisai must learn whether to die for justice . . . or to live for it.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: panic attack
Redemptor brings you back to this world of mental connections, magic that may defy the odds, and love. Beginning with action, Redemptor is a book that, like Raybearer, consistently surprised me. It touches upon our internal thoughts which override what we know to be true. To convince us we aren’t worthy, that no on will stand by us. As Tarisai steps into the shoes of loyalty, Redemptor asks her what kind of leader she will be. What kind of mark she will make. Because while we may not want to put those we love in danger, is that our choice?
Redemptor manages to ask questions about loyalty and love, while also delivering non-stop action with a phenomenal sense of pace. Ifueko drops twist after turn, making it impossible to put down. Where is the line between protecting the ones we love and allowing them to make their own fate? In a book that seems to be about the connection between Tarisai and her friends, Redemptor also examines her responsibilities. Now that she has more power than ever before, more duty than before, can she still share her concerns the same way?
Redemptor is one of those books where I can’t figure out what I loved more. Tarisai’s journey of self-reliance and leadership had an emotional current that always kept me reading. At the same time, the assassination attempts plus the hint of more supernatural made it hard to close the book. And the theme exploration between being worshiped and loved, respected and feared? Major win. It manages to balance all these layers, nuance, and depth in a truly captivating way. If you loved the first, you have to read the second. It absolutely holds up to everything I loved about Raybearer, and even furthers my love and appreciation for Ifueko.
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