3.5 Stars

This is a pretty good second book in a YA Fantasy book series about the fight to bring back magic to a group of people that the Monarchy wants to destroy.

Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the maji in the land of Orïsha. What they didn’t count on was magic being revived in nobles with magic ancestry, too. As Zélie tries to unite the maji and bring peace to the country, Amari prepares to take over the throne of Orïsha. But before either girls’ plans can be solidified, the monarchy and military unite in an effort to exterminate the maji completely. Zélie and Amari find themselves scrambling to avoid a civil war.

This is a good second book, but I didn’t like it as much as the first one. I understand that the author needs to create tension and conflict, but the tension between the two main characters, Zélie and Amari, felt forced and it didn’t sit right with me. In the first book, Zélie was strong and determined, but here she constantly doubts herself and is indecisive. While it’s natural that as characters grow and take on more responsibility, they will question themselves, but Zélie’s behavior seemed out of place. There are also a lot of misunderstandings that are caused by characters simply not talking to each other and explaining themselves. This is a common tool used by authors to generate tension, but it gets old when it’s relied upon too much, as it did in this book.

Don’t get me wrong, this is still a good book. But, as is often the case, second books in a series fall a bit short and seem more like filler than substantive plots that move the story forward. Let’s hope the author channels the magic generated by her first book and finishes the trilogy on a strong note.