Book Review: AS THE SHADOW RISES by Katy Rose Pool

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult (US YA)
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: Yes - second book in trilogy

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS*

Synopsis:

Book cover for AS THE SHADOW RISES: title in swirling white next to a spear surrounded by red smoke

The Last Prophet has been found, yet he sees destruction ahead.

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.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

Given that the first book had only been released in the UK earlier this year (in March), I was rather expecting that the UK release of AS THE SHADOW RISES would be next year, to keep the yearly release schedule. Thus I was really excited to see that AS THE SHADOW RISES was to get a UK release date coinciding with the US, meaning I could continue this incredible series without waiting another six months.

One of the things I loved the most about THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS was the feeling that it was a book filled with classic fantasy tropes brought into the modern day. AS THE SHADOW RISES continues to follow that vibe, this time with quests for objects and the true history of the world being revealed. This series is really filling my wish for more classic fantasy-esque books.

I’ve been noticing this year that I am getting pickier about the sorts of multi-POV books I like. This series has POVs that are pretty separate for a lot of the book, in different locations and some – like Hassan’s – aren’t really affecting anyone else until the end, which is usually a bad sign for me.

However, they were linked. Ephyra is trying to save Beru, Anton and Jude are together. And then, particularly in the second half of the book, they are all pursuing a group of objects, which made it obvious that they were going to draw together. This combined with their place in the prophecy and how their goals were in opposition meant that it didn’t feel like five different story lines that are shoved together at the end. Instead, they are five pieces of a larger story that are unavoidably bound.

There are a lot of romantic pairings in this book. Some work out, others don’t. However, Anton and Jude’s relationship was the best of the lot, the one I was actually interested in seeing come together (I’m not much of a shipper; romances tend to be the least interesting bit of a book for me). Yet with these two, the way the tension and conflict had been written made it irresistible to look away from.

As soon as the true history of the world started to be revealed, and the characters were all seeking the Relics, I had a hope for what might happen in the finale. I guess I semi got that wish (OK, mine was a bit unrealistic for the direction books take, which was why I’d made it!) and I’m now excited to see how the trilogy ends next year.


Read my reviews of other books by Katy Rose Pool:

The Age of Darkness (this series):

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