Shatter the Sky has everything I wanted: dragons, bisexual heroines, and danger. That’s why when I was approved for the sequel, Storm the Earth, I was over the moon. Bring on the dragons and action! Keep reading this book review to see how many dragons there were!
Let them burn.
Maren’s world was shattered when her girlfriend, Kaia, was abducted by the Aurati. After a daring rescue, they’ve finally been reunited, but Maren’s life is still in pieces: Kaia seems more like a stranger than the lover Maren knew back home; Naava, the mother of all dragons, has retreated into seclusion to recover from her wounds, leaving Maren at a loss on how to set the rest of the dragons free; and worst of all, her friend Sev has been captured by the emperor’s Talons.
As a prisoner of Zefed, Sev finds himself entangled in a treacherous game of court politics. With more people joining the rebellion, whispers of a rogue dragon mistress spreading, and escape seeming less likely with each passing day, Sev knows that it won’t be long before the emperor decides to make an example of him. If he’s to survive, he’ll have to strike first—or hope Maren reaches him in time.
With the final battle for Zefed looming, Maren must set aside her fears, draw upon all she’s learned about her dragon-touched abilities, and face her destiny once and for all. But when the fighting is over and the smoke clears, who will be left standing?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
While Shatter the Sky seemed to be centered around Maren’s quest for Kaia, Storm the Earth is about evolution. Because, what always fascinated me in stories, was what happens when they’re reunited? We hear the stories about how they fall into each others arms and reconcile. But is that all there is? I flat out adored how Storm the Earth delves deeply into this question. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of action, even more dragons than I remember in the first, but there’s also glorious character development and exploration of what comes next.
Because in that whole journey, we’re being tested, learning more about ourselves than we could have ever thought. Everything Maren knew was called into question. And that experience leaves a scar. In Storm the Earth, Maren has to truly figure out who she is, especially as Kaia’s re-emergence reveals old patterns of behavior. When we’ve been together with someone for a while, or in the throes of first love, we can become stuck as the person we were when we met. It’s one of those trials for a relationship, can it evolve? Is the person we become someone we still love?
Storm the Earth becomes about change, politics, and dragons. This dual POV novel features Sev thrown into a dangerous political manipulation. Both Sev and Maren discover pieces of the puzzle as they click into place. The action scenes make reading Storm the Earth fly by, but what I loved the most was reading about Maren and Kaia. With distance and time, we see the past from new perspectives. Mistakes are revealed to have been compounded and we are separated by unseen silences and gulfs widened by distance.
Storm the Earth has conversations about trauma, moving forwards, and forgiveness. It’s a story that asks us not only if we can change, but if we can accept that change. Even more so, at the heart of the story lies Maren and the amount of character development she’s gone through in the entire duology. Growing is a process of stretching and moving, but there’s often pain and knots in our back. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it though.